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Black Salt

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

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Black Salt, sister to the superb Dastaan, was one of the most exciting Indian restaurant openings in London in 2021. The head chef is Manish Sharma, who was at Copper Chimney and had also worked at Jamavar and Kahani. There is a short wine list but we had Kingfisher beer tonight.  

Tonight’s meal began with crisp fried popadoms and home-made pickles and chutneys. Tandoor lamb chops, using best end of lamb, were large and extremely tender, having absorbed their spicy marinade. This version seemed to be improved from the last one that I tried here and worked really well. There are plenty of tandoori lamb chops on offer around London, but you will struggle to find any better than this (15/20).

Chill and garlic tiger prawns were cooked in the tandoor and were unusually good quality prawns, the shellfish having nicely absorbed their spicy marinade. A lot of Indian restaurants in London use quite cheap prawns, but these were lovely, and the cooking was precise (16/20). Methi chicken had tender pieces of chicken and plenty of fenugreek flavour in the sauce. Fenugreek is quite a bold flavour, but here, with flavour from fresh fenugreek leaves rather than dried spices, it worked really well (15/20). Lamb biryani featured rice that had nicely separated, distinct grains and plenty of aroma, while the lamb avoided dryness. I prefer to see a biryani with the pastry lid presented at the table so that you can enjoy the aromas being released when the lid is cut, but this is a bit of theatre and the flavour here was certainly good (14/20).

Baingan bharta is a dish of roast aubergine flavoured with onion, tomato and spring onion. This had pleasant texture and mild spicing (14/20). Kala jeera potato with onion seeds and garlic kept the texture of the potato quite well, and had plenty of garlic flavour to enliven the Parisienne potatoes, which were balls of potatoes that were roasted with cumin (14/20). Dhal makhani is the classic smoky dhal that is cooked overnight and had deep flavour, a recipe made famous in Bhukara in Delhi but very well reproduced here (15/20). Both naan and paratha were very good, with a freshly made naan that was light and fluffy and a paratha that avoided either greasiness or dryness, the twin curses of parathas in lesser establishments than this (14/20).

The bill came to £57 a head with ample food and plenty of Kingfisher beer. Service was friendly and efficient. The spicing here is unusually vibrant, reflecting that the spices are ground as needed rather than being made in a big batch at the start of the week. This is more trouble for the kitchen, but the reward is clear in the flavours delivered on the plate. As noted at previous visits, Black Salt is delivering some of the very best Indian food in the capital right now.

Further reviews: 23rd Apr 2022 | 27th Nov 2021

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User comments

  • N Solanki

    Good to see you back but you really have to go to Nusr-Et Steakhouse and give the gold tomahawk steak a score out of 20.

  • Chef Pradeep

    Wow Cheffy!