Ok, Imli Street is new, only three months old but is part of the Tamarind group of restaurants comprising Tamarind in Mayfair, Zaika in Kensington and Tamarind in California, very well thought of eateries with a fantastic group of chefs behind them, so my expectations were high.
So lets start at the beginning shall we. We were greeted and seated on arrival very quickly by the girl who would be our server the whole night and as we were seated a bottle of complimentary water was placed on the table, good start. Having a quick look around the decor was simple but elegant, it really did remind me of a more modern, cleaner version of some of the restaurants I have eaten in in India.
The menu was imaginative and it did not take long to choose what we wanted to eat. They have a great offer which was three mains and two sides for 19.95 for two people, we chose not to take this simply because we really wanted some dishes which were not on the offer but it is a great offer non the less.
We had Chetinaad style dry crumbed meatballs with chutney, chicken biryani with raita and Keralan Kingfish served with tapioca mash, along with these mains we had Saag Paneer, (with real Paneer, I developed a love for this cheese in India) and were given complimentary rice and Dal. We finished with poached cheese with strawberries and masala milk and again, complimentary Lassi. Alongside the meal we had a bottle of Chenin Blanc recommended by our excellent waitress Marjorie.
The meatballs and the dal were excellent and the kingfish was sublime. All the flavours were beautifully pulled together while none were overpowering. The meatballs were crispy and made of incredibly finely ground mince while the kingfish retained it’s firmness. The Saag Paneer I could eat by the bucketload, it is common in England to have some other similar form of cheese substituted but this tasted just like the Paneer in India. I would go so far as to say that this was the best Indian food I have ever eaten in England and now I really have to go to Tamarind in Mayfair and see what they do there.
The service was excellent, attentive with plenty of knowledge of the menu and frankly just spot on! The extra complimentary dishes given to us were a nice little touch, it would certainly make me think of ordering the Dahl and a Lassi next time as well.
While my expectations were high they were surpassed!
When the bill came we had three mains, one side, one dessert and two coffees as well as a bottle of wine and the whole bill came to just sixty pounds including a service charge which we considered to be superb value for money. I think we have found a new restaurant to add to our faves list when in London.
167-169 Wardour Street
London W1F 8WR
020 7287 4243