I have long been a fan of this Indian restaurant, just on the Twickenham side of the Richmond bridge. There is considerable attention to detail here, shown with better than normal popadoms served with no less than eight imaginative chutneys, including ones with carrot and another of sweet lime.
There was a nibble with a little pani puri (a thin, crisp pastry) served on a shot glass in which was water of tamarind chutney, chickpeas and potato. You pour the flavoured water into the hollow puri and pop it in your mouth, releasing the flavours as the puri pops open. The puri itself was delicate, and the tamarind gave a pleasant sweetness. My favourite version of this was at the late lamented Sabras, but although not in that league it was very enjoyable (14/20).
A starter of aloo tikki chaat was nicely presented, the potato pattie being nicely spiced, chickpeas tender, a topping of sev and tamarind chutney and yoghurt meaning the dish was not too dry (14/20). Tandoori mushroom was skilfully made, well spiced, cooked carefully and served on a banana leaf (14/20).
My malai chicken tikka was tender enough but cooked just a fraction longer than ideal, though the spices from the marinade came through well (13/20). Coconut sea bass was seared in the pan, and had reasonable fish but the coconut flavour was missing in action, so the “mango and coconut” sauce tasted just of light spiced mango (12/20). Fortunately the tarka dhal was as excellent as ever here, dark and rich (15/20). Aloo gobi was also good, the cauliflower and potato retaining their texture quite well (13/20). Naan bread was excellent, supple and light (15/20).
Service was friendly and capable, and the bill came to £34 a head, including beer. Tangawizi, despite its modest décor, serves food a cut above the norm, the cooking generally very skilful, and with a menu that ventures beyond the high street norms.