The Brilliant has been running on this site since 1975, gradually expanding in size over the years to the large scale, two floor operation that it is today. The Punjabi menu has plenty of classic dishes, and recently has adapted most recipes to a healthier cooking style using less ghee. In these pandemic times it was good to see plenty of precautions being taken: your temperature is taken at the door as you enter, waiters wear masks and our table was a long way from others.
Today, aloo papri chaat was very good, the chickpeas tender, the tamarind chutney bringing a pleasing sweetness that blends well with the spices, and the delicate crunch of the fried flour crackers contrasted nicely with the yoghurt. The spices in this dish were distinct and vibrant (14/20). Methi chicken here has a dark sauce with deep fenugreek flavour, the chicken pieces tender and absorbing the complex mix of spices (14/20). Aloo chollay had tender chickpeas and potato mixed with a rich, spicy masala (13/20). Aloo gobi had cauliflower that had kept its texture really well, the florets just lightly cooked. The potato pieces also avoided sogginess, and absorbed the spices well (14/20).
Lachi paratha is a multi-layered paratha, a flat bread made with wheat flour. This bread can easily be either too greasy or overly dry and flaky, but this one was just right, with a buttery texture. There are very few UK restaurants serving romali roti, a bread that is rolled out very thin, tossed in the air and cooked briefly on a steel hemisphere, the bread folded over and over. This is probably my favourite Indian bread, and the version here is good, the texture light and pliable (14/20 breads).
The bill came to £33 per person including beer, and service was excellent. With the food that we ordered there was enough left over for another full meal, and the restaurant will happily box up any leftovers for you. The standard of cooking at The Brilliant is extremely consistent, and it is easy to see why it has been so successful for so long.