Lunch at Trishna, London
Wow, guys – I have such a backlog of posts from our US trip! Not to mention the gazillion pictures, most of which are still unedited…
I’ll try to catch up, because I have some cool stuff coming your way – like how to visit Washington in a day and a half, our favorite places in beautiful Savannah, southern barbecues, and the best sandwich in New Orleans – so I’m hoping to get those to you over the course of the next few weeks.
Of course, I won’t be neglecting my beautiful home town either, so there’ll be more Copenhagen content coming your way as well. As a little teaser, I’m currently on a hunt for the best ramen in Copenhagen – let me know what’s your favorite place!
But for today, I want to share a little gem from London with you. As you well know by now (sometimes I feel like I’m repeating myself constantly), we started our trip in London to watch the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins, before hopping over the pond to start our road trip. By the way, allow me to gloat for a minute, because the Saints not only won that game, they actually won the past 7 games in a row and are leading the NFC South! Who Dat!
But I digress. Anyways, after spending Sunday with beers and hotdogs at Wembley Stadium, we opted for bit more of an upscale lunch on Monday. Our choice (my choice, really) fell on Trishna, a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Marleybone.
Growing up in Germany and now living in Copenhagen, I’ve mostly known Indian food as take-away butter chicken (uh, YUM!) and curry dishes, so I was super excited to check out the higher end of the spectrum of this enticing cuisine.
The restaurant is situated on a quiet street in Marleybone. The decor is quite restrained, elegant and almost minimalistic – instead of thick carpets or heavy gold-rimmed curtains, the only pointers to the cuisine are vintage posters from colonial times.
We got settled in and started off with some drinks: a Slumdog cocktail with scotch, coconut milk, lemon, egg whites, and toasted rice for the boyfriend, and a signature G&T with Tanqueray Rangpur gin, Indian lime, coriander seeds, and cardamom tonic for me.
We also got some papadam bread with a spicy tomato relish and a sweet mango chutney to nibble on.
I loved my G&T – you can’t really go wrong with Tanqueray, although I’d never tried the Rangpur. Looks like I’ll have to add that to the bar cart soon!
Soon after, the starters were served. I had opted for aloo chat (potato curry with masala chickpea, tamarind, and sweet yogurt) while the boyfriend went with nandu varuval (soft shell crab with green chili, white crab salad, and tomato chutney). Both were delicious, but mine was the clear winner, if I say so myself! It struck a perfect balance between rich, spicy and sweet, and I could’ve easily eaten another portion.
Next up was the second course: Paneer tikka anandarna (paneer cheese with mango, mint, sweetcorn, and pomegranate) for me, and Partridge pepper fry (Keralan spices, black pepper, Indian onion, and parotta) for the boyfriend.
The paneer was my favorite dish of the day. It was just utter perfection – I love paneer cheese, I love mango, I love corn, I love pomegranate, so that was an easy one, really. I loved the creamy texture of the paneer and the tangy pops of flavor from the pomegranate seeds.
For main courses, we were served a real feast. The boyfriend’s choice fell on the nilgiri chicken kurma (chicken thighs with coriander, curry leaf, and coconut); while I went with the lamb nariyal masala (lamb with curry leaf, coconut, and coastal spices). They came alongside wild mustard potatoes, dal, basmati rice, and naan bread.
I can’t even begin to describe the wonderful smells of all these different dishes – and don’t they look absolutely beautiful? I wish all my lunches were this colorful! It was hard to decide where to start, but eventually we did tuck in, spooning the delicious sauces onto rice or dipping pieces of naan into them.
The naan was just incredible. I do have an actually quite doable recipe for homemade naan, so I really ought to make that again soon (although I have no illusions of coming close to the perfection of this). The potatoes were amazing but incredibly spicy, so I wasn’t able to shovel them into my mouth with the speed I would’ve preferred to.
Eventually, we had to admit defeat, even though we loved the food so much we could’ve licked the plates clean!
Our final stop of the day were desserts: Fig and cardamom kheer with pistachio and fig kulfi for me and Date and caramel mishti doi (baked yogurt with banana chips and chashew nut chikki) for the boyfriend.
The boyfriend is not the biggest dessert eater (I know – what a weirdo! But more for me, so I’m a-okay with it), and he wasn’t overly excited, but I really loved my kheer. Is it just me or are pistachios just totally underrated?
We finished our meal utterly satisfied, having dived head-first into a world of flavors and spices. We were so full that we merely managed to walk back to the hotel (that was like a 5k walk, though), flop down on the bed, and take a nap!
The four-course lunch menu, which is more than plenty of food, costs GBP 35. For GBP 67, you get the menu plus a wine pairing, but we didn’t feel like getting too hammered for lunch, so stuck with our drinks only.
I really loved the food at Trishna – it was a completely different experience to the standard Indian take-out I’m used to from Copenhagen. Everything was intense, flavorful, exotic, and absolutely delicious. That paneer with sweetcorn was probably one of the most exciting dishes I’ve ever tasted.
If you’re into Indian food, Trishna should be on your London list. The lunch tasting menu is comparably affordable, and it’s worth every penny!
Have you been to Trishna, or another high-end Indian restaurant? Would you try? Let me know in the comments.
Trishna London | 15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, London W1U 3DG | trishnalondon.com