Haandi, named after a Punjabi cooking pot, has been operating here for since 2000. There was originally a branch in Edgware as far back as 1998, but this location is the focus now. Haandi is tucked away in a quiet side street just behind the glitz of the main Knightsbridge thoroughfare, nearly opposite Harrods. The dining room is narrow and long, with a view into the kitchen where the chefs work amongst the tandoors and stoves. The menu is Punjabi, with lots of familiar dishes. There is a short wine list but we drank Kingfisher beer (just £4.95 a pint, which is cheaper than a lot of pubs these days).
Chicken burra tikka is a regular order of mine, with a generous portion of chicken that has been marinated in spices and then cooked in the tandoor until tender (14/20). Chilli garlic prawns were carefully cooked and quite spicy (14/20), as were tender tandoori lamb chops (14/20). Fish tikka, using tilapia, is usually good here but tonight the fish felt a little limp in texture, though the flavour was fine (12/20). Samosa chaat was pleasant, with crisp sev and sweet tamarind chutney amongst the many components (13/20).
Punjabi chicken curry was decent enough, with a buttery sauce and nicely balanced spices (13/20). Aloo gobi has always been a star dish here, the kitchen somehow managing to conjure something remarkable from this quite common high street staple. Here the potatoes have excellent texture, the cauliflower cooked precisely, the spices just right (15/20). Palak paneer was also good, with strong spinach flavour (14/20). Paratha is the best of the breads here, avoiding dryness and oiliness to have a texture that is just right (14/20) while naan bread was fine but unexceptional (13/20).
Service was friendly and the bill, with beer and mineral water to drink, came to just £40 a head for loads of food. Bearing in mind this restaurant is located within just a few yards of Harrods, this is a surprisingly low price given the quality of the cooking.