Black Salt is the younger sister of the superb Dastaan in Ewell, cooking almost entirely the same recipes as at the mothership. The head chef is Manish Sharma, who previously worked at Copper Chimney and had also worked in the kitchens of Jamavar and Kahani. There was a short wine list but I had Kingfisher beer tonight.
Chilli garlic prawns were large and precisely cooked prawns that had good flavour, enlivened by chilli and garlic and served with a home-made tomato chutney. These prawns were a world away from the cheap, small prawns served in many London restaurants these days, and were a joy to eat (16/20). Tandoori lamb chops were even better than I remember, large chops that were not cooked too long and which had absorbed a rich and complex spice marinade. The meat was beautifully tender (16/20). Mixed vegetable bhajia featured a blend of kale, spinach, potato, onion, tamarind & mint chutney, all deep fried. The outside was crisp and the mixture of elements was lovely, the tamarind bringing a sweet flavour note (15/20) Amritsari seafood featured shrimp, cod, curry leaves, ground spices, and a tadka tomato chutney (14/20).
Pork vindaloo is a Goan dish of Portugeuse origin, with pork laced with todi vinegar and a blend of Goan spices. This was a dark, rich, complex dish, every bit as good as versions I have eaten in Goa (16/20). Methi chicken had chicken breast with onion, tomato, and fresh fenugreek, which has a subtler flavour from the powdered fenugreek that is often used in restaurants. It really makes a difference and brings a lovely flavour to the chicken without overpowering it (15/20). Lamb biryani had distinct rice grains that were pleasingly aromatic, with meat that avoided dryness and a soothing mooli raita on the side (14/20). Jeera potatoes were Parsienne potato cooked with onion seeds, garlic and cumin, and nicely retained their texture (14/20). Black dhal was cooked overnight and was dark and rich while retaining a little texture in the lentils. This is a classic dish, very skilfully made here (15/20). Paratha and naan bread were both good, the naan light and fluffy and the paratha avoiding any oiliness (14/20),
Although we had ample food by now, we also shared some very good pistachio kulfi, which had good texture and plenty of pistachio flavour (14/20). Service was friendly and capable, and the bill came to £57 per person for more food than a sensible person would order (a doggie bag for the considerable leftovers was offered) plus copious beer. Black Salt is serving some of the best Indian food in London right now. When you factor in the relatively modest pricing, this place is a real bargain.