Sindhu Restaurant by Atul Kochhar - Marlow
If you are searching for a perfectly cooked homemade curry, then look no further than Atul Kochhar's Sindhu Restaurant at the luxury Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel in Marlow. Nestled on the pretty banks of the River Thames, twice Michellin starred chef and TV personality, Kochhar, and head Chef, Gopal Krishnan, have created an outstanding, traditional Indian menu fashioned with contemporary flair. Since the restaurant's grand opening in November 2014, Sindhu, which simply means 'river,' has certainly proven to be a popular dining venue. This comes as no surprise given the success of Kochhar's flagship dining venue; Benares Restaurant & Bar. You'll find this glamorous haunt in the heart of prestigious Berkeley Square, in London's busy West End.
Having dined twice before at Benares Restaurant & Bar in Mayfair, Scott and I were keen to try another of Kochhar's popular restaurants which this time took us to the charming, historic town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire.
Intrigued by the 'Weekend Lunch Menu' of two courses for £18.50, three for £21.50, or, all three courses (plus a glass of wine) for £25, we reserved a table one Saturday afternoon in July. Sindhu (once home to Aubergine restaurant) houses up to 65 covers at any one time. The venue has been newly refurbished into a smart and contemporary setting, offering diners some lovely views of the River Thames.
Whilst musing over the appetizers, mains and desserts, we were presented with a platter of freshly fried poppadoms and three jam jars filled with sweet and spicey chutneys. Our complimentary starter was melt-in-the-mouth delicious and every bite left you craving more!
In-between mouthful's of the bite-sized poppadoms, we chose our drinks. Both deciding on the non-alcoholic cocktails, I opted for the 'Strawberry Lemonade' - fresh strawberries with lemon and vanilla finished with lemonade. Scott chose the 'Minty Mango' - alphonso mango juice with mint.
When both of our drinks arrived, it was like a celebration of sunshine in a glass and we couldn't wait to get stuck in! They were delicious; full of fresh flavours muddled with luscious syrup and topped with artfully decorated fruits.
We clinked glasses and polished off the last of the poppadoms, and just in time too, as our appetizers soon arrived...
Choosing from the three starter options, I decided upon the 'Hariyali Nimbu Jhinga' - tandoor cooked tiger prawns with coriander and lime leaf. The batter wasn't too heavy or greasy, but instead tasted light and crunchy. The tiger prawns were still tender and sweet and the notes of coriander and lime complimented the flavours perfectly.
The portions were quite small, but starter size I guess! I was just greedily wishing I had half a dozen more to enjoy!
In the excitement of ordering our dishes, I completely forgot to take a photo of the menu! I haven't been able to trace the menu we had from looking on Sindhu's website, so I can't provide you with the exact ingredients in some of the following dishes. Hopefully you'll see from checking out the snaps that they were delicious though!
Tandoori skewered chicken on a bed of fresh rocket and baby tomatoes, topped with a subtle curry dressing.
The mains... 'Skewered Minced Lamb' - stuffed with basil and peppers and drizzled in mint. I added scoopfuls of our chosen side dishes; 'Maavadikai Pappu' - yellow lentils with mustard, curry leaf and green mango and 'Khumb Palak' - cup mushroom with pureed spinach, chili and cumin to my main.
Not least forgetting the crowning jewel of the dish; a 'Garlic Naan'. I believe a curry is only complete when a generous tear of naan is there, ready for the dunking.
My favourite type of naan bread looks just like these below... A thinner crust rather than the thick types you can get in supermarkets. Most importantly, it needs to be drenched in butter and garlic.
Here's the 'Maavadikai Pappu' - yellow lentils with mustard, curry leaf and green mango.
And the 'Khumb Palak' - cup mushroom with pureed spinach, chili and cumin.
Keen to make sure we didn't order the same mains, we chose one meat and one fish dish. Succulent, pan roasted sea bass on a bed of smooth, creamy coconut curry sauce. It was perfect; the skin was crispy and caramelized and the fish was tender and sweet.
We couldn't resist ordering desserts, and were delighted by the 'Sticky Toffee Pudding' - date and ginger, vanilla ice cream... It was heaven!
We ordered this traditional Indian pudding (see below) which featured carrot! Unfortunately I cannot remember the exact ingredients, but, from memory, it had a curried, pureed carrot filling wrapped in sweet filo, accompanied with a mango and ginger ice cream. But, don't hold me to it, you'll have to check out Sindhu yourself and then you can correct me if I am wrong!
Go for it, book a table here and you won't be disappointed. I would even go as far as saying Sindhu has been my best Indian dining experience to date...