The Brilliant is a Southall institution that has been operating since 1975. Originally having just thirty seats, the restaurant has expanded multiple times over the years, and can now seat 220 people over two floors. The food is mostly Punjabi and the clientele mostly south Asian families. The always immaculately attired restaurant founder “Gulu” Anand now manages front of house rather than cooking himself, ably assisted by his daughter Dipna. The team also manage a large catering business and the Dipna Anand Restaurant and Bar at Somerset House.
“Samosa chaat blast” was essentially a cross between an aloo tikki and a samosa. A vegetable samosa was broken up into pieces and combined with Bombay mix, tamarind, yoghurt, chickpeas and spices (14/20). Fish pakora was made using tilapia, four pieces of fish that were coated in gram flour along with garam masala and a little chilli and then fried, This was simple but pleasant, and went well with the spicy chutney provided (13/20).
Methi chicken had tender pieces of chicken generously flavoured with fenugreek and finished with coriander (14/20). Aloo chollay had nicely cooked chickpeas and pieces of potato that were tenderised with raw mango and pomegranate (14/20). Aloo gobi featured vegetables that were lightly cooked, the cauliflower in particular having excellent texture. Both the potato and cauliflower pieces had nicely absorbed the garlic and spices that they were cooked with, the dish being garnished with fresh ginger (14/20). My dining companion also enjoyed mattar paneer, featuring peas and dense, crumbly paneer cheese in a sauce based on tomatoes and laced with garam masala. I like the romali roti here, bread that is rolled out very thin, tossed in the air and briefly cooked on a hot steel hemisphere, the chef folding the bread several times. The version here was light and supple (14/20).
Service was excellent, as it always seems to be here. The bill came to £42 per person including beer. Although portions here are no longer quite as vast as they once were, there was still enough food for us to take away for a further meal at home. The restaurant was packed on this Sunday evening, with tables being turned around us. The Brilliant seems to be as popular as ever in 2023, 48 years after it opened.
Further reviews: 18th Dec 2022 | 17th Sep 2022 | 17th Aug 2021 | 13th Sep 2020 | 05th May 2019 | 06th Aug 2017 | 05th Jun 2016
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