The Brilliant in Southall has been serving Punjabi food since 1975, and I have been eating regularly there since I moved to west London in 1991. It has expanded and refurbished several times in that period but the food has maintained a consistently high standard. The owner Gulu Anand has a daughter, Dipna, who has followed him into the business and runs Dip in Brilliant in Fulham.
Star dishes include the various tandoori chicken variants such as jeera chicken and chilli chicken, along with aloo tkki and methi murgh. At this meal we had excellent papri chaat, the puffed rice combined with yoghurt, tamarind chutney and spices and having good texture (14/20). Methi chicken tasted deeply of fenugreek, the chicken resting in a rich, dark spicy sauce that had a lot of depth (14/20). Aloo gobi maintained the texture of the cauliflower and the potatoes well, and again the spicing was vibrant (14/20). The Brilliant is one of the few restaurants in London that serve romali roti, ultra-thin bread cooked over a steel hemisphere and folded multiple times. This was excellent tonight and tasted just as it does in India (14/20).
Service is surprisingly well drilled for a family restaurant, the staff always friendly and professional. The bill tonight came to just £27 each including beer to drink. In general prices are very low: a large portion of papri chaat was £5 and popadoms are just 50p, while main course methi chicken was £9. The portions here are very large, and that £27 with a shared starter resulted in sufficient left over food for a takeaway that was ample for another complete meal. The restaurant is usually full of Indian families and on a Saturday night will do at least three packed sittings. There are many good restaurants in Southall but this is my favourite.