Madhu’s at The Sheraton seems to have been rebranded Madhu’s Heathrow now, though it is still in the same room at the Sheraton hotel. The dining room is large and quite smartly decorated, with a bar in one corner and a couple of semi-private booths on the opposite wall. The cooking is Punjabi, with a few culinary touches from Kenya, where the Anand family first had a restaurant before coming to the UK in the 1970s. They set up The Brilliant (owned by Gula Anand) and also Madhu’s in Southall, owned by Gulu’s nephew Sanjay Anand. Madhu’s run a large wedding catering business and have recently opened additional restaurant venues, such as Madhu’s of Mayfair.
Aloo tikki is a dish of potatoes filled with garden peas served with chickpeas, yoghurt and tamarind chutney. The tamarind brought a touch of sweetness and the spices were well balanced by the yoghurt (14/20). Aloo papdi chaat had fried wheat crisps, mashed potato and gram flour vermicelli, all drizzled with green herb chutney, yoghurt, tamarind chutney and topped with fresh coriander. This classic street food dish was well made here, a lovely balance of textures and flavours (14/20). Lamb chops (from New Zealand) are marinated in ginger and other spices, cooked on the robata grill and served with a simple side salad. The grill adds a lovely smoky hint to the flavour of the lamb, the gentle spices of the marinade lifting their flavour (strong 14/20).
Punjabi kadi was a dish of vegetable dumplings simmered in gram flour and sour yoghurt curry, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves. This was very good, with an enjoyable spicy kick (14/20). Chicken biryani had quite fragrant basmati rice cooked with caramelised onions, mint and coriander and garnished with a single quail egg. The chicken thigh meat avoided dryness, and the egg was a nice touch. It would be nice to see a pastry crust on the top of the dish to seal in the aromas, but this was certainly very pleasant (13/20). Dhal makhani, made overnight, had rich flavour and good texture, with a characteristic smoky hint (14/20). Saag paneer, which was spinach with cottage cheese cubes, was cooked with spinach leaves, mustard leaves and spices, and had plenty of spinach flavour, and the paneer was good. The dish was not quite as hot when it arrived as it could have been, so I will score this 13/20 rather than the 14/20 it would otherwise have had.
Service was fine, if a little stretched on this very busy Friday evening. The bill, with beer to drink, came to just £36 a head, which is very good value by any standards. It is certainly impressive for a place of this scale, in the unlikely setting of an airport hotel.Book