Below are my notes from a meal in November 2008.
Trishna is the sister restaurant of a well established seafood restaurant in Mumbai. The low-ceilinged dining room is simple, with wooden floor, no tablecloths, white painted exposed brick wall and careful lighting. The menu had a few offerings for the carnivorous, but fish is clearly the way to go. Starters were £6 - £12.50, mains mostly £10 - £17 with vegetables dishes £6.
There was a respectable wine list, with choices such as Dopff Riesling Schoenenburg 2004 at £38 for a wine that costs about £16 retail, Rioja Montecilo Gran Reserva 1985 at £69 for a wine that you can buy for about £24 in the shops. So few Indian restaurants pay any attention to the quality of ingredients, relying on spices to carry them through, so it was a real pleasure to see how much effort was taken here. Scallops were diver caught, sea bass was actually wild bass, and indeed at present they are choosing fish from a fifteen separate suppliers until they get a feel for the best ones. No fish here is frozen, and they even close on Mondays.
The meal began with ordinary popadoms but with a lively coriander and mint chutney with a refreshing bite to it. Scallops were of high quality, carefully cooked and lightly spiced, garnished with coriander (14/20). Isle of Wight plaice was deep fried and again tasted fresh and correctly cooked, served with crushed peas, their Indian version of fish and mushy peas (14/20). Fish tikka was kingfish, marinated with turmeric, black pepper and a little ginger, offered with Greek yoghurt, lime juice and dill. The fish was good, though the texture seemed just a little watery (13/20).
A side dish of peas, beans and spinach had a lively chilli kick (13/20) while the wild bass was served as a fillet in a tomato and coconut masala which had pleasant if slightly over subtle spicing for me (13/20). Best dish for me was bream marinated with coconut and coriander which really worked well with the high quality fish (15/20), served with a pleasant tomato and mint chutney that again could have been more spicy for me. Dhal had good taste but I found it rather watery in texture (12/20). Rice was ordinary but pleasant, a selection of breads (naan, paratha) freshly made and having good texture. A selection of kulfi (caramel, ginger, mixed spice) seemed a cross between ice cream and kulfi and did not entirely work for me, while a halwa was rather greasy, had saffron but should have been a little spicier (11/20).
Service was very good, a little pushed at times on this busy Saturday night, but on the second night in operation some tables were already being turned. Overall I found this a very enjoyable meal, with chef Ravi Deulkar taking care over ingredients. There are some areas to improve, and in general the spicing could go up a notch, but for a kitchen in its early days (and one which experienced a several hour power cut just before service) this was a confident performance. Prices are tolerable given the unusually high grade produce being used.