By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
I’m in London and while talking with a potential customer receive an invite to dinner at 6:30pm. I love Indian food and the meeting notice has Trishna in the title. After a quick search on Google I find that Trishna is an Indian restaurant that sits in the heart of London’s Marylebone Village (England) and earned a Michelin Star for it’s food!
Intrigue sets in as I haven’t been to any Michelin Starred Indian restaurants and Indian food happens to be one of my favorite cuisines. It is supposed to be full of flavor with spices such as cardamom, clove, cinnamon, mustard seed, turmeric, and more. One thing you cannot call Indian food is one-note. One-note food by the way means food that is one-dimensional in flavor. Given the variety of flavors present in Indian food, this just isn’t possible unless the chef doesn’t know what they are doing. I accept the notice and make a mental note to leave enough calories in my daily budget to eat well tonight!
The company scavenger hunt I’m on runs long and we bump our reservation to 8pm, but no worries, Trishna makes the adjustment. After a quick Google of the address our group heads to the Tube for 30 minutes of train time.
Trishna is smaller on the front than I anticipated, with a narrow front seating area, but it extends quite far indoors and has a basement area as well. The menu is quite simple, especially for an Indian restaurant, and its clear their food is not traditional Indian fare. Nowhere can I find the typical Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Vindaloo, or Biryani dishes. I’m excited by this as it’s a fresh change of pace to see original dishes! We order several appetizers for the table and soon are greeted by some very savory dishes.The Koliwada Shrimp appetizer has half a dozen pieces of deep-fried bright red shrimp (from the spices) and is actually quite mild. It’s fried well but is a bit bland. The spicy sauce accompanying the shrimp is spicy though and adds some well needed flavor to the dish. The shrimp, along with the crab, are my two least favorite dishes but everything else makes up for them! The Potato Chat reminds me of a diced potato au gratin, but with Indian spices, and isn’t too heavy. I like the chickpeas mixed in and the yogurt helps keep the spices at a level acceptable to the dish. My favorite dish of the evening shows up next and it’s the Lamb Chop. Luckily we ordered three of them, as you literally only get one lamp chop per order. The lamb is perfectly cooked, very juicy, and each chop is covered completely in rich spices of chili, ginger, turmeric, and other delicious spices known in Indian food. Any kind of chop is easy to overcook and Trishna does a great job of not making the mistake. In no time the group consumes the lamb, wishing for more. I personally ordered the Lamb Curry and the tender chunks of lamb are swimming in a rich sauce of curry spices with hints of coconut. It pairs well with the lightly-spiced rice provided and is gone from my plate in minutes. I wish I had my own bowl of it! The brown crab is a curry dish of pulled small bits of crab-claw meat and has a lot of butter. I’m not fond of the dish as it’s too rich and the crab meat is buried in the butter, garlic and pepper. It just doesn’t work well and at 22 pounds, it’s way too expensive for the result. I love a good Naan (Indian bread) and the Duck Stuffed Naan is really good. The duck is tender and full of flavor with the green chili holding it’s own against the duck and the bread is nicely sliced in four pieces, ready for distribution among diners. The Tandoori Baby Chicken reminds me a lot of the smoked chicken I make at home and is a very tender piece of boneless thigh meat. It’s covered in coriander and served alongside a chutney which cools heat well. My only complaint is that the coriander is ground a little coarse and adds an off-putting texture to the chicken. The flavor is spot on though. There is a bowl of Okra on the table, and I try it, but it’s over-fried and I really don’t care for the flavor. It tastes okay, but is not something I would order again.
Overall I really enjoy my meal and appreciate the chance to dine at Trishna as it’s been a highlight of my trip to London. I would go there again if given the chance.