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Brilliant

72-72 Western Road, Southall, Middlesex, London, England, UB2 5DZ, United Kingdom

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The Brilliant has been running since 1975, founded by the impeccably dressed Gulu Anand, who still oversees the front of house operation. The restaurant has undergone various expansions over the years and caters to the local Asian families of Southall, plus a few interlopers such as myself. I have been a regular since 1991, when I moved to west London. The menu offers Punjabi dishes and evolves slowly over time, these days the curries being lighter in style than years ago, with more use of healthier olive oil in place of traditional ghee.

Aloo tikki is a speciality of the restaurant, fried potato patties with masala chickpeas resting in yoghurt and flavoured with tamarind chutney, which brings a pleasing touch of sweetness (14/20). Methi chicken was as reliable as ever, the chicken pieces tender and having plenty of fenugreek flavour in the sauce, a rich and deeply flavoured dish (14/20). Aloo gobi was nicely cooked, the cauliflower and potatoes lightly cooked and retaining good texture while being cooked through, their flavour lifted by the spices they were cooked with (14/20). Aloo chollay was also good, the chickpeas tender and the potato fine (14/20). Romali roti was particularly good tonight, freshly made and having a soft, pliable texture. If this particular bread is allowed to rest even for a few minutes before serving it can quickly become brittle and papery, but this was just right (easily 14/20).

Carrot halwa was lovely tonight, warm and comforting, the flavour of the carrot enhanced by pistachios, the texture excellent (14/20). Rose syrup kulfi, made here in house unlike many Indian restaurants, was served on a stick in the manner of an ice lolly, and I’m not sure this treatment really added anything. The texture was fine and there was a somewhat lurid blue decoration that tasted of spearmint to me, which was unusual but was harmless enough (13/20). Service is unusually well drilled at The Brilliant, the staff very attentive despite this being a busy Saturday night, with tables being turned all around us. The bill came to just £40 a head with beer to drink, which is a bargain given the consistently high standard of the cooking here.

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Further reviews: 17th Aug 2021 | 13th Sep 2020 | 05th May 2019 | 06th Aug 2017 | 05th Jun 2016

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  • Frank Chacko

    Am very pleased that Andy H pointed out the Brilliant as an excellent and well priced Indian restaurant. I've always found it comfortable, unpretentious, with unfussy and always tasty Indian food in generous portions; every family member I've brought has loved it . I try to go as often as I can when driving home west. Possibly not the most refined, but my favourite Indian restaurant.

  • Imtiaz Alikhan

    Brilliant is really brilliant and I tend to agree with your remarks and comments, except for one point where I beg to differ: `"these days the curries being lighter in style than years ago, with more use of healthier olive oil in place of traditional ghee" What is the point of a supposedly healthier oil. The taste and aroma of pure butter ghee with Inian food is a perfect match and should not be substituded except in some cases with Mustard Oil. It is just as unconvincing as cooking Rissotto or Pasta in Ghee. When someone goes out to eat the best Indian food with the best possible taste he/she should eat it with the authentic Butter Ghee and then go out swimming or jogging if weight or health is an issue. It is not the food with ghee that is unhealthy, it is the lack of exercise that is unhelthy. A tablespoon of ghee has the same number of calories (120) and fat grams (14) as olive oil. Rest assured that both olive and ghee are valuable and healthy, and can be included on a daily basis. Olive oil has been considered the healthier product but it is not considered that if heated, it can be unhealty. It has a low burning point and is only helpful in moderate temperature cooking. Indian food certainly needs high temperature oil in the beginning to get the Onion, Ginger, Garlic and Chili brown before adding meat or Veggie. With overheated Olive Oil this could be rather unhealthy and less tasty! I am from India and you have been there often and long enough to know that for excellent Indian Food Ghee does not have a substitute.