15-17 Blandford Street, London, England, W1U 3DG, United Kingdom

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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.

Further reviews: 24th Feb 2014 | 23rd Feb 2012

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