Madhu’s in Southall has long been a regular haunt of mine, and they have now opened a second restaurant. This one, also called Madhu’s, is on the ground floor of the Sheraton Skyline Hotel on the Bath Road near Heathrow. If travelling by car, you can park in the large car park at the back of the hotel. You do not need to buy a parking ticket, but instead give your registration number to the restaurant staff and they will validate your parking when you leave. The restaurant can be accessed by a separate entrance at the side of the hotel, as well as through the main entrance at the front.
Madhu's has a large dining room, seating 120 guests, with two nicely set out private dining rooms. There is no natural light in the room but there are plenty of mirrors and the overall effect seems to me quite smart. At the far end of the dining room is a semi-open kitchen with a robata grills (a charcoal grill of Japanese origin). The menu highlights these robata offerings, as well as having plenty of familiar dishes from Southall. The grill offerings were priced mostly from £7 - £9, with main courses £11-£14 e.g. lamb biryani at £14 and bread, including the rare (to London) romali roti, at £3.
The wine list has just over 50 selections, and I thought it very well chosen, as well I might since (full disclosure) I put the list together. To go with Indian food there are several Rieslings, a Gewürztraminer and some light red wines. The median price was £36, the list ranging in price from £18 to £199, with an average mark-up of under 2.5 times retail, which is very low by London standards. Wines include Goats do Roam Red at £23 compared to a retail price of around £9, Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett 2010 at £39 compared to a shop price of around £18, and Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo at £95 for a wine that will set you back £64 to buy in a shop.
A pair of large achari prawns (£12) was marinated with spices and pickles then cooked over the robata grill. This is a good dish at Madhu’s in Southall, but I preferred it here because of the hint of charcoal that came from the grill (14/20). Lamb chops (£8) were even better, benefitting not only from the charcoal but a higher quality butcher used here than at Southall. These were superbly tender, some of the best lamb chops I have eaten (15/20). Malai murgh (£9) was also good, the chicken tender with a smoky hint (14/20).
The main course dishes were more at the level of the Southall restaurant. Chicken biryani is a stalwart dish there, and here was similar, the chicken still moist and the rice fragrant (14/20). I was less sure about masala fish (£13), which had a lovely rich sauce, but for me the fish was cooked too long, losing its texture (12/20). Side dishes of cauliflower and yellow dhal were fine (13/20). It was nice to see romali roti (£3) as an option here; it is perhaps my favourite Indian bread style, thin layers tossed in the air by the chef and then folded quickly over a hot steel hemisphere.
There are a number of unusual desserts offered, such as seviyan (roasted vermicelli cooked in sweetened milk) but my favourite is the kulfi. Most Indian restaurants buy in their kulfi, but here it is made from scratch, and it shows in the fuller flavour and good texture (14/20).
Service was attentive and dishes arrived at a steady pace. Portions here are quite large, but if you ordered sensibly then a three-course meal with a modest wine would come to around £45 a head. This is a bit more than in Southall, but then the food is actually better and the room far smarter.Book