Pat Chapman's Curry Club
Join our mailing list
To receive our e-letters
please enter your email address below and click subscribe:



shop safely

 Restaurant Review

Brilliant Restaurant

72-76, Western Road, Southall, Middlesex. UB2 5DZ

020 8574 1928

Wednesday 2nd May, 2012

On a cold and rainy May evening, I decided to treat my neice, Celia and nephew, Harri to dinner at one of the UK's most popular Indian restaurants - The Brilliant in Southall. The Brilliant is a special establishment, in that it is a restaurant, serving authentic North Indian and traditional Punjabi curries with a Kenyan twist, for familes, and, it is run by a family - The Anands.

The Anands have been in the restaurant business since the 70's, and offer high quality food for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians. We were warmly greeted by Gulu, Dipna's father and his waiting staff. This is not unusual, as all diners at The Brilliant are old friends. We were shown to our table, discreetly placed by the bar and one of the two large-screen TVs, that was showing international sports, but not unobtrusively for those who wish to concentrate on their food and friends. Our smartly laid table, with starched white cloth and sparkling cutlery, was tempting as it displayed the new and delicious range of, 'Brilliant Chutneys and Pickles.' All we needed was a plate, stacked high with Papadoms.

We decided, after a quick 'canvass of votes,' that both, 'Plain Papadom - thin roasted wafer made from urad flour,' and, 'Roasted Papadom - thin roasted wafer made from urad flour and spiced with crushed black peppercorns,' would do very nicely. Followed by, 'Bhajia Mix (Onion Bhaji) - small cubes of potato mixed with spinach, onions and green chillies, indulged with spices, coated with gram flour and deep-fried,' and, one of my all time Brilliant favourites, 'Chilli Paneer - pan fried triangular chunks of home made Indian cheese with onions and fresh capsicum. Spiced with garlic and green chillies flavoured with fresh lemon.' This dish was new to Celia and Harri. However, Harri is a confirmed meat eater and was quite suspicious of the idea. To give him credit, although limited, he did try it but decided that it wasn't for him. Celia, however, is now a paneer convert! she loved it!

Gulu, while busily welcoming his dining guests, spotted that we hadn't ordered a portion of their signature dish - 'Brilliant Butter Chicken - one of Britain's home secret recipes. Succulent pieces of pan fried chicken cooked with a touch of butter.' So, immediately summoned our lovely waiter to bring us a portion. I can report that it was indeed, very large and very succulent, we all enjoyed it very much, (with Harri helping himself to a second portion), along with another suprise starter - a beautifully decorated plate of, 'Papri Chat - a crispy snack with chickpeas, low fat yoghurt and tamarind chutney. Finished with coriander.'

     

'Chilli Paneer - pan fried triangular chunks of home made Indian cheese with onions and fresh capsicum. Spiced with garlic and green chillies flavoured with fresh lemon,' and 'Papri Chat - a crispy snack with chickpeas, low fat yoghurt and tamarind chutney. Finished with coriander.'

This dish is one of my all time favourite Indian street foods and I had to fight them both to eat them. Celia won, but Harri lost! As soon as I pop one of those delicious crispy puffs into my mouth, it brings me wonderful memories of my travels in India and particularly, Bombay, where you will find this unique and tasty snack.

Our waiter, came to check on us to see if we had decided on our mains, but we had to send him away for five minutes, while we discussed options! After another look at the menu, I decided on, 'Masala Chicken - chicken cooked in a traditional Kenyan style, in a rich masala sauce,' with, 'Garlic Naan - leavened bread stuffed with fresh chopped garlic and baked in the clay oven,' (you can never have too much garlic!), 'Karahi Chicken - boneless chunks of chicken tossed with fresh red and green capsicums in a thick masala sauce,' with, 'Chapatti - a thin light wheat bread cooked on the traditional Indian thawas (griddle),' for Celia and being a creature of habit, a 'Chicken Tikka Masala,' for Harri, with, 'Naan - leavened bread flavoured with fresh chopped coriander, freshly baked in the clay oven.' We shared, 'Pilau Rice - Basmati rice cooked with fresh green peas, imbued with fresh ginger, garlic and cumin seed,' a mixed salad and a home-made yoghurt Raitha with cucumber.

Our mains were delivered from the kitchen, beautifully presented on a custom made stand, holding our individual choices in gleeming brass karahis - a stunning display, and we all experienced a 'wow!' All our curries were delicious, with thick, rich and spicy sauces. Celia, initially was worried that her Chapatti wasn't going to fulfil her needs, so eyed the Nan Breads which were warm and soft, and the Cucumber Raitha was cool and creamy.

     

'Garlic Naan - leavened bread stuffed with fresh chopped garlic and baked in the clay oven,' and 'wow!'

    

'Celia, initially was worried that her Chapatti wasn't going to fulfil her needs, so eyed the Nan Breads...'

We all made a valiant effort to finish our banquet, but failed! Portions at The Brilliant are made for sharing, so are generous. No room for pudding, although we did have a quick look. There is a wonderful choice of authentic Indian desserts and quality ice-creams - perhaps, next time.

The Brilliant is a busy restaurant, so do remember to book your table by emailing Shankar - Dipna's brother, who you will always find at the bar, overseeing the drinks service and receiving takeaway orders.

Hours: 12 to 3, Tuesday to Friday and 6 to 11.30, Friday and Saturday to 12. Closed on Monday.

 

  

Brilliant Restaurant

72-76, Western Road, Southall, Middlesex. UB2 5DZ

020 8574 1928

www.brilliantrestaurant.com

info@brilliantrestaurant.com

Reviewed 02/05/12

" );