A Benchmark For Fine-Dining Since The 1990s
We help Chutney Mary celebrate 20 years in London
Chutney Mary’s the benchmark for fine-dining since the 1990s, has been the training ground for many a head-chef and sous-chef and pioneers for a new wave of high-end Indian restaurants in Britain.
“Curry” is a word of Tamil origin, meaning sauce, was associated with hot, cheap and cheerful Indian food, and the “curry-houses” became a generic name for all Indian restaurants. Chutney Mary’s cut through that stereotype offering delicate, new flavours in an opulent setting on King’s Road.
Relentlessly raising standards in the choice of raw materials bought and prepared, to the recipes and methods of cooking and matching the food with a wine list that a sommelier would be proud of, Chutney Mary’s success for two decades is a tribute to the entrepreneurial sisters Camellia and Namita Punjabi. “50 Great Curries of India”, Camellia’s best selling cook book sol over a million copies.
If that is not enough, the sisters have added Masala Zone, Amya, Veeraswamy’s to their portfolio. Chutney Mary is part of the Real Indian Food Group built by the Punjabi sisters. Veeraswamy’s the oldest Indian restaurant in London since the 1920s and one of Winston Churchill’s favourites, was bought by the group, while Amaya and Masala Zone are new ventures.
We decided to honour the 20th year celebrations by ordering the tasting menu and sampling a range of delights. My guest, who suffers from a wheat and gluten allergy was pleasantly surprised to find the kitchen accommodating and some dishes were replaced to ensure we both enjoyed the meal.
I chose the intriguing Rose Blush (Prosecco and rose syrup) while my guest went for the bolder choice of Cardamom Cooler (a white rum fruit punch with a hint of cardamom). The Rose Blush was a perfect complement to the fish course – scallop Malabar and the tandoori seabass with lime and a dusting of crushed black pepper. The more potent Cardamom Cooler offset the more spicy tandoori prawn Balchaomasala and the lamb cutlet.
We requested the maitre de to suggest a wine that would go with the tasting platter of curries and the Vedello grape from an Australian vineyard was a light-dry and crisp wine which went perfectly with chef Siddharth Krishna’s lamb korma, Goan prawn and okra. The green chicken had a spicy kick and we would recommend ordering a side of yoghurt to cool the heat.
Savouring the wine and taking in the opulent atmosphere we cleansed our palates with a medley of sorbets – vanilla, mango and strawberry (the mango was really delicious).
We took a long pause and shared the kulfi and chocolate with our coffees. Too full to move, our last orders were a much needed minicab to close a perfect evening.
The whole tasting menu of six courses is approximately £70 per head for both the food and wine and on request vegetarian tasting menus can be ordered. It is a great choice to appreciate the fine-dining experience Chutney Mary has offered for the last 20 years.
Sumi Sastri - Editor HammersmithToday.co.uk
September 1, 2010