At the time of writing this there are currently (from memory) 4 halal Indian restaurants that have been awarded a Michelin star. Benares, gymkhana, Trishna and Amaya that I have been to, all of which varied in standard, quality, taste and quality with Gymkhana being my favourite among the list. Tamarind was the last place I needed to tick off and being my birthday I was treated to a birthday dinner.
We arrive at 7pm to the Indian eatery located in the upmarket area of Mayfair where you will find many fine dining establishments.
The dining area is located in the dimly lit basement, so there no natural light. To me the restaurant felt dated and lacked a modern or stylish style to the decor and surroundings. The wooden floor creaked and echoed the flat atmosphere of the environment which really lacked character.
Coming here was a suppress for my birthday and I made sure I had a light lunch, at Gyms Kitchen which was really nice, despite this I wasn’t feeling all that hungry, part of this was also down to the fact that I have been on the lean in 15 meal plan for the last month so had been eating heathy and less. So because of this I opted for a modest order for dinner. It’s going to be unfair to base a restaurant review on 3 dishes but I’m not planning to come back to I might as well share my thoughts.
For starters I ordered Pudhina Chops £14.95, Lamb cutlets with dried mint, tomato & coriander chutney. When I think of the best lamb chops I think about Dishoom, gymkhana and Trishna for really nailing it for taste and quality and I was expecting something in the same ball park, however I found the lambs a little underwhelming. They tasted okay and but they lacked deep flavours and that thickness that makes them juicy and mouthwatering. Good but not great. 6/10
First main course I ordered is the Bhuna Murgh, £20.75. Chicken thighs tossed with garlic, chillies and freshly ground spices. The chicken Bhuna was very average, again I was expecting some exceptional cooking and a taste from this dish but was left feeling very unimpressed, there was nothing that send my senses a light. There was an overuse of tomatoes which overpowered a dish that lacked enough use of species and chill. 5/10
The other main we order was the Hyderabadi Shank or lamb shank costing £25.50, Slow-cooked lamb shank with turmeric, yoghurt and freshly ground spices.The lamb shank appearance always stands out on the table. Served in a thick sauce the lamb was very soft and tender and fell off the bone with a gentle pull so it was very good cooked. Well cooked however doesn’t mean it tasted great, again the sauce and taste was very basic, felt like something I could eat at a cheapo curry house on brick lane back in the day. No complex use of spice or flavour, just a baseline on tomato sauce. 5/10
The service slowly deteriorate through the night. As the restaurant got busier service become increasingly inattentive, it was hard to get the attention of staff, tables and plates were not cleared and water was not kept topped up with out instruction, not the kind of service one would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant.
Because of this when I requested the bill I instructed for the service charge to be withheld and not added, which it was without any fuss.
Having now been to 5 Indian Michelin starred restaurants I can easily put Tamarind rooted at the bottom of the list. From food, service value and atmosphere everything aspect puts it firmly in the average zone. Granted, I only had 3 dishes but based on those dishes and the poor service I wouldn’t recommend this place.