Black Salt

505-507 Upper Richmond Road, London, SW14 7DE, United Kingdom

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Black Salt is the younger sister of Dastaan, which has spawned a little empire of restaurants that includes The Kokum and a Dastaan in Leeds. The only brand-new dish tonight that we tried was fish tikka, and it was a cracker. The fish used was stone bass, which has firm texture and had beautifully absorbed its spicy marinade before being cooked in the tandoor. The cooking was precise and the gentle spices really lifted the natural flavour of the bass (16/20).

Tandoori lamb chops (£10.50 each) were generous in size, laced with spicy marinade and cooked nicely so there was still pink colour in the meat (some tandoori lamb chops at other restaurants end up grey and overcooked). The meat was tender and had excellent flavour. The chops came with a mint chutney on the side (15/20).

Garlic chilli tiger prawns came with a chilli, garlic and tomato chutney. The prawns were large and carefully cooked, having nicely absorbed their spicy marinade before being cooked (15/20). Vegetable bhajias were made with kale, spinach, onion, potato, tamarind and mint chutney. These are remarkably good, being crisp and clean tasting, far removed from the soggy onion bhajias that generally populate the plates of Indian restaurants in the UK (16/20).

Chicken biryani had good rice that had clearly separate grains, and meat that avoided dryness. I would still prefer to see a serving of biryani with a pastry case that seals in the aromas, but this was certainly a capable dish (14/20). Butter chicken was a very good take on the classic Delhi dish, rich and creamy in texture with just a gentle spice backdrop (15/20). Saffron prawn curry was also enjoyable, the prawns tender and the mildly spiced sauce suitably creamy (14/20).

Makhani dhal was extremely good, the lentils were cooked overnight. Some versions of this end up with overly soggy lentils, but the Black Salt version still has some texture, with the dark, smoky flavour that characterises this dish (16/20). Mustard potatoes were excellent, flavoured with ginger and garlic and retaining their texture well (15/20). Naan bread, rotis and paratha were all very good too.

Service was friendly and the courses arrived at a steady pace, neither rushed nor leisurely. The bill came to £68 per person, with beer to drink.  Black Salt seems to be in very good hands with its fairly new head chef Chinta Mamgain. 

Trade reservation

Further reviews: 31st Oct 2023 | 10th Aug 2023 | 09th Sep 2022 | 29th Jun 2022 | 23rd Apr 2022 | 26th Jan 2022 | 27th Nov 2021

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