Last night, I spent the evening at Marylebone based, Indian restaurant, Trishna.
Having been informed that they are running a special menu for Holi spring festival, D and I hot-footed it over there to give it a try.
We were warmly received, despite being a bit late, and were shown straight to our table. Handed the cocktail menu, I took several minutes, scanning the exciting-looking choices before narrowing down a shortlist. I eventually decided upon the Old Delhi Margherita (a blend of homemade saffron infused Tequila, Cointreau, fresh Indian lemon juice and agave syrup, slightly spiced with a slice of chilli). D opted for a Mumbai Mule (Homemade chilli infused Ketel One, fresh lime, Angustura bitters, fresh ginger, syrup, topped up with ginger ale).
Upon making our cocktail choices we were shown the food and wine menu and selected the 4 course Holi Menu with accompanying wines. We selected our 4 dishes from the 4 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts on offer, and cracked into the poppadoms that arrived served with chilli shrimp paste and mango chutney dipping sides.
Unfortunately, at this point the timing started to take a bit of a turn for the worse. The starters and wine arrived before the cocktails which meant we had to have our aperitif post starter. Fortunately however, after finishing my starter of Crab & Pollack Tikkis they gave us (noticeably) ample time before bringing the next plate, in which time we drank our cocktails. Despite being deep in conversation with D, I did keep looking up to see where the next course was, which is never a good sign in my mind. The wine that came with the Tikkis was a Vire-Cliesse “Vieilles Vignes”, Domaine Andre Bonhomme, Maconnais 2009. Very cleansing, very light and very drinkable.
When my next course of Tandoori Baby Chicken arrived however the wait was almost forgiven as it was absolutely delicious. The chicken (albeit small in portion) was moist and deliciously seasoned. I could have happily eaten another portion straight after the first. The wine served with the chicken was a Tokaji Dry Furmint, Patricius 2009 from Hungary.
Next came the South Indian Coast Lamb Curry, which was tasty, however notably lacked any ‘kick’ to it. I’m completely pathetic when it comes to spices at the best of times, but even I failed to suffer an increase in body temperature from any of the dishes we ate. For many (and I’d feature in this list myself sometimes) that would be absolutely fine, however, I was kinda hoping/craving for something to get my tastebuds going. The wine selected for the curry was Bouquet des Garrigues, Domaine Cailloi 2009 from Rhone, France. It was a little too light for my taste, and given the lack of depth in the curry I think it could have done with the wine being a bit bolder to fill the gap.
I finished off with the Kesari Jalebis (cardamon rabri, poached pear and ginger ice cream) which would have been a perfect refreshing ‘cooling aid’ to the curry, had there been a need for it. It was an extremely tasty dessert. Although keep an eye out for low-flying cardamon rabri when visiting – they are somewhat difficult to cut through without firing them off over the other side of the room. The dessert wine was Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, Domanie Capmartin Doux 2010 from France. A fairly good match for the dessert and easily drinkable, it was ok, but not a long-savouring glass of wine.
All in all it was a pretty good meal. There’s no doubt that it feels more Marylebone than Mumbai in flavour however. The staff were pleasant, if a little inconsistent in their attention levels, but the real surprise came in the form of the bill. Sadly, it wasn’t a nice surprise either. Our 4 courses with 4 glasses of wine, plus the late arriving cocktails had set us back a whopping £170. Now, I’m not one to normally make a big deal out of the sum total of the meal, if I feel the food really stood up to the price, but for me £170 felt like an uncomfortably large sum to pay for a 4 course meal for 2 on a Tuesday night. The bill most certainly felt more Marylebone than Mumbai, and what enjoyment we’d had during the course of our meal felt rather tainted as a result. I’m not sure I’d recommend it as an £85 per head option I’m afraid. I think that, especially in London, you can find as good (if not better in certain cases) for a lot better value.