I have always wondered what the Best Restaurants in the World do differently? Break boundaries? Change perceptions? Like Trishna, London for instance, challenged the British understanding of Indian food and flavours by featuring a menu with regional flavours depicting beauty in simplicity. Trishna features a contemporary interpretation of West and South Indian coastal flavours while preserving the essence of the classic dishes.
London, also known as the Restaurant capital of the world, boasts some of the best Indian restaurants in the world. Trishna is among its handful of Michelin starred Indian restaurants.
When Trishna opened in London in 2008, it was associated with its namesake seafood restaurant in Mumbai city. The idea was to attract patrons of coastal cuisine from around the world. Nearly six years after opening, Michelin-starred Trishna London is no longer associated with the world-famous Trishna Mumbai, and has also recently got an all-new avatar. After a month of refurbishment, Trishna London opened again in February, 2014 with a new look and a new menu. Have a look!
So what is it about Trishna that makes it so special? I think that when it comes to seafood, quality is key. The seafood must taste fresh, and this is not ordinary freshness; this is fragrant, firm, shiny-eyed fish with sweetness of the sea fresh! Believe me when I say the food connoisseurs dining here know their fish. Their legendary Dorset Brown crab with garlic and dripping with butter is the stuff from gourmet fairytales. One of the reasons why their butter, garlic and pepper flavoured delicacies are savored is because of the way it compliments the fresh crabmeat rather than masking the flavor of the sea.
The menu of Trishna, London boasts exotic spices and subtle flavours. Two things that still happen to be common between the two Trishnas, firstly, the quality of seafood and secondly, the significance given to Koliwada flavours. A 5-course seafood-tasting menu at Trishna, London gives special focus to Koliwada-style dishes. Coastal cuisine seems to seduce taste buds of diners as well in London as it does ours in Mumbai.
The dishes of Trishna London, prepared by Head Chef Rohit Ghai bring the essence of flavours from the west and south India in a concise menu. It brings the scent of basmati rice with the spike of pure spices and the rich, sweetness of seafood in coconut milk. Not only is it interesting to note some of the ingredients that have been used in the dishes but also the style in which they are presented.
It is common to use turmeric and chilli in Indian preparations but adding mango ginger, an uncommon cousin of turmeric in the Haldi baby squid starter and the use of smoked chilli to add an extra note in the Kolhapuri Jheenga is a subtle, yet refreshing change. Beauty in subtlety is so wonderfully featured with items like Tulsi Scallops (with basil and chickpea chutney) and Kasundi Jheenga (Tiger prawns in Indian mustard).
It is not only the unique selection of items on the menu but also the style in which some of these oh-so-common favorites are presented. For instance, the Bharli Vangi, essentially baby aubergines stuffed with a spiced mixture, is served along with aubergine fritter aka pakora and aubergine chutney. Similarly, the good old Paneer Tikka, which is almost as common as potatoes in the restaurant world, is served with methi leaf and a corn and green mango chaat. These are items that you will be able to find on many other menus as well, but it is the style in which they have been prepared and presented at Trishna that elevates the dish and consequently the restaurant to a new level.
Although classic dishes like Kerala Jheenga Curry and Andhra Lamb Masala feature on the menu, there is also the more unconventional three-way lobster main with Goan Xacuti served with a lobster kathi roll and a samosa. Classic preparations like seekh kebabs and poultry tikkas have been done with meats like duck and guinea fowl giving them a rare depth of flavour. Even the regular seafood biryani has been uplifted with Moplah flavours and the Chettinad Baby chicken is served with a chicken leg chaat!
Most importantly I noticed the relevance of putting glamorous desserts in this menu, which is oh-so-rare to see. Although there is always a selection of some tender gulabjamuns, rich kheers and Ice Creams to choose from, a dessert plate like this one is an exceptional treat.
Gajar Halwa served with a sweet samosa and Masala Chai Ice Cream
Aam Malai, an alphonso Mango cream served with raw mango chutney and mango jelly.
Chocolate Chikki Cake with pista cashew chikki and jaggery peanut ice cream
In fact just looking at this pista studded kheer with figs and cardamom makes you drool, doesn’t it?
It is really about taking a dish forward. Normally, I may not order a gajar ka halwa after a heavy main course but if it is served and presented as tastefully as this one, I will definitely be coming back for more! Trishna London has stylized and remodeled some of the most common Indian delicacies to a new avatar. Featuring regional Indian food with this creative edge, supreme quality and consistency have made Trishna one among the World’s Best Indian restaurants.
Trishna London is located in – 15-17 Blandford Street, London W1, tel: 020 7935 5624
You Can Book Your Table here www.trishnalondon.com