Amaya, London

Curry fact of the day…It was the Portuguese that brought chillies to India!

On a slightly different matter, far from the shores of Goa and Lisbon, lies an upmarket, Michelin star Indian restaurant by the name of Amaya, sister of Chutney-Mary, just off a quiet street in Knightsbridge. Now, my quest for quality desi grub in the big smoke has been quite a roller coaster, so there wasn’t really much expectation for Amaya, after all, the last two Michelin Indians were a good lesson in disappointment. Oh, and then there was a moment where the waiter, clearly of Indian origin, asked if we wanted ‘naan bread’! Yes, this is, as I have recently had a fit about on Twitter, the same as asking if one would like ‘croissant bread’ or ‘cocoa chocolate’ or ‘pilau rice’. It’s just not right!

The menu, on the other hand, was full of dishes just asking to be ordered, and being the one left in charge of making that decision, it was a swift flight before my mind had the opportunity to confuse itself.

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Chicken
Monkfish
Broccoli

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First up was Black pepper grilled chicken with peanut chutney, a teasing, succulent bite, gently buzzing with black pepper. Followed by Tandoori monkfish, another meaty offering, tickled with lime and turmeric and  dollop of coriander chutney. Tandoori broccoli with yoghurt was a remarkable tribute to an otherwise neglected vegetable, smokey, crunchy to perfection and a slightly sweetened raita to lift it up!

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Aubergine
Spring lamb
Lamb kebab

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If ever there’s an aubergine dish on the menu, I have to order it! Here we had Grilled aubergine with tamarind and cumin, crispy with a soft centre, not too tangy or sweet and I even managed to steal a few extra pieces from the others!

Lamb Musallam (tandoori baby lamb leg) had a delicate perfume of saffron and spices, yet the meat was a touch bit dry, but not tough. Quite palatable nonetheless.

Lamb dori kebab: the kebab arrives on its skewer, then the waiter pulls the ‘dori’ (string) through the meat to release it from the skewer onto the plate. This was probably the least favourite as it was way past being melt in the mouth and strongly flavoured with green mango, having the consistency of baby food, and not in a nice way.

As for other green supplements, we ordered Green beans with coconut and cumin – brilliant!

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Almond pannacotta
Apple brioche
Chocolate

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I loved the Almond and saffron pannacotta, beautifully, barely set, slightly grainy texture reminiscent of phirni, topped with  delicate saffron water. Surprisingly light, perfect sweetness, in fact, just a little under sweetened which made it even better.


The piece de resistance was definitely the Apple halwa brioche – dry apple and raisin compote stuffed inside a crispy crunchy brioche served with a very unnecessary yoghurt foam. Brilliant and we had to fight each other for the few last bites!

The last dessert was so very wrong! Ras malai chocolate mousse, rabri shot. Ras malai (milk dumling) and chocolate should never ever even be used in the same sentenc, let alone had in the same mouthful. Whilst the chocolate mousse was a brilliant mousse as can be, the ras malai was much to rubbery, and as I said, should not have been mingling with the chocolate. The rabri (reduced milk) was the saviour on the plate!

The best thing about all this food was that it was unusually light and not overpowering! Quite the bonus when wanting to try a variety of dishes! 

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Overall experience: 8
Food: 8
Recommend you go: 9
Website
 
Amaya on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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