Looking for Michelin quality and standard of Indian food without going into Central London? Then here’s one for you @grandtrunkroad 📍 located in South Woodford, East London is an Indian restaurant that aims to deliver a Michelin star service and a menu similar to those found in Central London
It’s been awarded a Michelin plate (the award under 1 star) 3 years running and it’s easy to see why. Having been to all of the Indian Michelin star restaurants this place is pretty much on the same level.
I was invited to check out the menu and tried some sample dishes (note some dishes are smaller portions for review purposes, not regular sizes)
The first thing that caught my eye was the lamb chops, 3 pieces came with a very heavy price tag at £26! As I was reviewing the owner suggested that I get a custom platter of starters to sample everything.
Dilli Ki Chaat £7.50 Wheat crisps, spicy chickpea, sweet yoghurt, fresh mint & tamarind chutney
Sabudana Aur kale Tikki £7.50, Sago coated potato cakes, kale, fresh ginger, coriander & chillies, tamarind chutney – a simple dish, but cooked perfectly and tasted great 8/10
Lucknow Malai Tikka £16.95, Chicken supreme, marinated with saffron, cream cheese cardamom & crushed black peppercorn – chicken cooked to perfection with a strong note of saffron flavour – 7.5/10
Orkney Scallops £13.95, Pan seared with spicy tomato, roasted garlic & pepper chutney & lotus root crisp. Once again, another dish that was perfectly cooked ( you can see a theme here) quality scallops balanced and working in harmony with all the other ingredients on the plate.
Peshawari Lamb Chops £26.95 (for 3), I received 2 – love my chops and these bad boys looked amazing, reared on a farm in wales, these french trim chops were the best in halal lamb for quality. They were marinated in fennel, star anise, raw papaya & crushed spices.
Royal Lamb Shank £18.95
An 18th century revived recipe Slow-cooked lamb shank in a mild aromatic sauce from the royal kitchen of Lucknow. The dish was cooked to perfection and the meat was soft and tender which meant it fell off the bone with ease, however, although the gravy looked riched, overall the flavour lacked much depth in terms of spice flavour and heat.
Awadhi Dum Gosht Biryani £19.95
Lamb biryani cooked in a dum with aromatic spices, raita.
Cooked with a pastry on the top and cut at the table, the amora when the lid was open was fantastic, I could smell all the spices and flavours – taste-wise this dish did not disappoint – it was great, the lamb was cooked perfectly and the taste was excellent,
Amritsari Butter Chicken £15.95
Tandoor grilled chicken supreme simmered in fresh tomato, honey, cream & dry fenugreek sauce. I got a sample of this dish, whilst the chicken was like everything else I ate on the night cooked to perfection, I felt the overall dish was slightly underwhelming. It lacked richness and a depth in flavour and also I expect a slight element of sweetness to a dish like this.
Gobhi Mutter Hara Piyaz £10.95
Sample size. Cauliflower, garden peas tempered with cumin, ginger & tomato with spring onion. Cauliflower is my favourite vegetable so I always order it when I see it on any menu. This was a simple but lovely dish, with flavours balanced and deep.
Dhaba Dal £6.95 Whole black lentils cooked overnight, with tomato & fenugreek, finished with cream. This was given to me, if I was asked I would have said no as I don’t like dhal made with black lentils. I didn’t like it.
Food-wise, overall the standard and quality were up there, it was great, from the ingredients used to the cooking of the food, everything was cooked to perfection. Where it was lacking was the taste department. It to me as if the chef was holding back with the use of spices and chillies, everything was a little too mild, and I don’t even like spicy (hot) food, in particular with some of the main courses or curries.
The service was truly impressive, as mentioned, having been to many Michelin starred restaurants in the past I’m aware of all the little touches. The staff had a calmness to them, always very polite, my glass of water never stayed empty and they would also refill without asking, table cleaned between each course.
The covid safety was very high also, all staff were wearing masks at all time, indoors, the restaurant is running at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, there are shields between all tables, and hand sanitiser on each table as well.
This place is ideal if you wanted to visit a Michelin star Indian restaurant in Central but havnt been able to due to logistical reasons, like driving, kids or distance.
If you want to visit but are unsure of the prices, I would recommend booking the weekend menu feast has is only £28.50 pp and you get to try loads off the menu, great value.