Britain has a love affair with Indian food which makes me very happy. I love Indian food having grown up with an Indian mother who was an amazing cook. Other than, of course, my mother’s cooking, some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had has been in British restaurants.
There are apparently more Indian restaurants in London than there are in Mumbai! Some of these Indian restaurants have been recognised by world leader in the rating of restaurants, the Michelin Guide. A Michelin rating is prestigious and difficult to come by. Of the 65 Michelin-starred restaurants in London, five of them serve Indian cuisine.
We recently went to Trishna, a one Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in the Marylebone neighbourhood of London. Ditching the children for a date night, we sampled our way through a 5 course tasting menu and the cocktails list. No point in wasting good money on the children when they would just scarf down poppadums and naan anyway.
We were not disappointed with the food. The portions are smaller than you would get in a high street restaurant but the quality was excellent. Frankly I was full even with the smaller portions. My husband was only too happy to help finish our courses.
Every Indian meal at a restaurant stars with pappodoms and chutney. Trishna is no different except that the chutneys are freshly-prepared and delicious. The red chutney is crunchy and spicy thanks to its shrimp, ginger and chilli combination.
Then you get delicious options like the duck kebab, and the salmon tikka. If I were a better blogger (and had one less Lycheetini), I’d have documented what I ate more thoroughly.
Trishna focuses on the coastal cuisine of southwest India but with a twist. For example, the seekh kebab is made with duck and the tandoori option includes grouse. I’m pretty sure that there are no grouse native to anywhere in India. The food is appropriately spiced (i.e., it doesn’t water down spices for Western palates). Having said that, not all the dishes are hot. Just the ones that should be.
The interior of Trishna has a restrained old-school glamour. The foxed antiqued mirrored glass lends a subtle shine to the place that is in keeping with the dark wood.
Old postcards in wooden frames and bronzed lamps evoke an earlier era. A few tasteful knick-knacks just like your old school chum Hon. Rupert Nigel Worthington-Posh would have had lying around in his home from his great-grandfather’s civil service days in the British Raj. Or maybe he got it all from the Bombay Company catalog. It’s so hard to tell these days.
Trishna is located at 15-17 Blandford Street in Marylebone. It is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Unlike some other Michelin-starred restaurants we have been to, it is not pretentious or stuffy. Neither was the service. You can eat informally at the bar or al fresco if the weather is cooperating. There is a vegetarian version of the tasting menu. Our tasting menu cost £55 per person (£90 if you include the paired wines).
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