112, Cheyne Walk, London. SW10 0DJ
020 7351 5232
Wednesday 17th October, 2012
Chef Patron Yogesh Datta, was waiting for us just inside the entrance of his multi award winning Chelsea restaurant - The Painted Heron. It was a wintery October evening and raining! He cheerfully welcomed us, (we hadn't seen each other for some time), while his smiling waiters took our coats, hanging them behind a curtained recess opposite the bar. After a few moments, we were led into the main dining room and to a lovely table for two. The restaurant is decorated rather plainly, but this is clearly what the champagne drinking diners of Chelsea appreciate, as nearly all tables were occupied. While we made ourselves comfortable, we were served two very stylish and very full glasses of champagne. Pat and I toasted Yogesh, thanking him for inviting us to celebrate his 10th Anniversary. Unfortunately for us, he had to rush off to his other restaurant - Bangalore Express, as a large party needed his personal attention.
Our aperitifs were accompanied by a, 'Popadom Basket with three home-made relishes - £3.75.' The Popadoms were not deep-fried, but roasted, making them - dare I say it - healthy! The relishes were unusual - watch out for the pot in the distance, slices of fresh garlic in a savoury herby sauce! While we sipped and nibbled, our waiter brought us leather bound menus, which included a, '10th Anniversary Special Menu.' Before Yogesh left, he drew our attention to this menu, which was available with or without wine, but told us that we were, of course, welcome to choose any dishes from the menu.
'Popadom Basket - three home-made relishes.'
The Anniverary Menu started with a 'Amuse-Bouche' of a, 'Pappadum Spring Roll with Paneer and Peas - served with a glass of Rosato, Spumante, Ca Morlin - Italy NV.' This delicate little morsel was absolutley delicious, plumply stuffed and sitting on top of a wonderful chutney, of ground coriander leaves, mint leaves and chilli. Pat wasn't sure if to use the cocktail stick or to 'go in' with his knife and fork. In the end we decided on both.
Our next course, the, 'Pre-Starter,' attracted no problems with cutlery choice, as this cute little soup bowl had its own little handle. The, 'Tomato Rasam,' had been strained, which is popular in the better Indian restaurants of London, and was mildly spiced. Pat and I like our Rasam 'South Indian style' ie: lots of chilli, so we could have taken it hotter, but were delighted to see crispy fresh curry leaves, floating on top.
'Tomato Rasam' and 'Silky Soft Lamb 'Chapli' Kebabs'
There were four varied starters to choose from and all had been cleverley paired with a glass of wine. 'Monk Fish with Split Yellow Peas - with Grand Cru Riesling 'Rosaker,' Hunawirh, France 2010,' and, 'Duck in Goan Cafrael Paste - with Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Bussola, Italy 2004,' which both Pat and I had our eye on as we both really enjoy our Goan curries, to, 'Silky Soft Lamb 'Chapli' Kebabs - with St Laurent, Heinrich, Austria, 2008,' and, 'Paneer Samosa with Crispy Baby corn and Plum Chutney - with Clare Valley Riesling, Mount Horrocks, Australia 2009.' Pat decided on the Cafrael and I went for the Kebabs, but it was a close thing as I find it very difficult to say 'no' to a Samosa! Our generous starters arrived and were nicely presented with a small accompaniment and home-made chutneys. The duck was cooked to perfection, slightly pink in the middle and smoothered in an authentic Goan green paste - delicious! It came with a miniature slice of, what I can only describe as, swiss roll or, to give it its proper name - 'Dhokla.' Pat was initially puzzled at this little delicacy, so gave me a taste. I immediately recognised it. Dhokla is a Gujarati invention made from gram flour. Its texture and flavour took me back to a party some years ago in Bangalore. At that party, hosted by Raji and Balan of Mysore Breweries, I enjoyed it as a canapé, with a chilled glass of white wine. My kebabs were well spiced with peppery garam masala and were juicy but not silky soft, as the menu described. I did enjoy them, especially with the accompaning Potato and Pea Curry, decorated with my favourite pomegranate seeds and the streak of Red Berry Chutney was just delicious.
The main course selection featured another Goan dish, 'Partridge Vindaloo - with Sherazade (Syrah/Nero d'Avola blend) Donnagugata, Italy 2009,' which Pat and I both decided to order. We regularly visit Goa and eat authentic Goan Vindaloo nearly every night! This Vindaloo was amazing! served on the bone, for a deep flavour and had the required chilli kick. Other mains were, 'Spicy Indian Ocean Black Tiger Prawn and Spinach Casserole - with Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine de Marce France 2011,' and, 'Diced Lamb Leg in Pakistan Haleem - with Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Nori, Canada 2007.' All were served in bowls, so you can delve into your dining partners choice and come with sides of, 'Broccoli and Cauliflower Poriyal,' a saucy dish flavoured with turmeric and unsweetened coconut, 'Moong Lentil with Egg,' a dry curry and new to us, 'Basmati Rice decorated with Rose Petals,' and, 'Naan Bread Basket,' wedges of leavened bread, sprinked with finely chopped fresh garlic and coriander leaf - delicious, especially the garlic!
'Partridge Vindaloo' with 'Moong Lentil with Egg'
'Basmati Rice decorated with Rose Petals' and 'Naan Bread Basket'
Pat serves the 'Broccoli and Cauliflower Poriyal.'
Our Anniversary dinner ended with a choice of two desserts, 'Caramalised Saffron Rice Pudding - Late Harvest Semillon, Valentin Bianchi Argentina 2007,' and, 'Chocolate and Pistachio Fondant - with Marsala Superiore Riserva, Curatolo Arini, NV.' Being curious to see and taste them both, we ordered both and were not disappointed - beautifully made, presented and I ate all of the Fondant without sharing it with Pat. Then after a good and strong Expresso, we thanked the Sous Chef and braved the rain!
'Chocolate and Pistachio Fondant - with Marsala Superiore Riserva, Curatolo Arini, NV.'
112, Cheyne Walk, London. SW10 0DJ
020 7351 5232
10th Anniversary Menu - £65.00 per person with wine - £45.00 per person without wine
Service Charge: 12.5%