Coriander restaurant Hatch End, London, review
Coriander restaurant Hatch End, London review
So, after spending much of 2016 eating well and on various stages of diet (you can read about my endeavours here and here), I ended the year with a huge nosh up, all in the interests of blogging, of course.
I was invited to review Coriander restaurant Hatch End, an award-winning Indian restaurant on the outskirts of London. Coriander boasts halal chicken and lamb dishes, as well as a good range of seafood and vegetables.
Well located on a busy high street in Pinner, Middlesex, Coriander restaurant looks sleeker and smarter than your average curry house, and fuses traditional Bangladeshi cuisine with some funky ingredients lesser seen on a Bengali menu.
With a very non-Asian clientele, I wasn’t sure how strong the flavours in Coriander would be, but I wasn’t disappointed. We were asked how spicy we’d like our food, and even the medium option had enough of a kick.
So here’s what we had:
The scallops were the first off-piste starter we had. Seldom seen on a Bengali menu, the scallops were succulent and well flavoured.
The fish masala was perhaps my favourite starter. Juicy white fillet laced with onions and spices, the fish was perfectly seasoned whilst still being light. The dish was a unanimous success, with even my fish-hating brother being a fan.
A close second favourite was the onion bhajis. Hands down, one of my classic choices at an Indian restaurant is the humble onion bhaji. Deep fried, yet soft-centred onion slices in batter, you can’t really go wrong. Onion bhajis evoke great memories for me, as when my dad owned an Indian takeaway, he’d bring a batch home, and that was my first taste of a ‘proper’ Indian starter.
While many onion bhajis I’ve had since haven’t quite been the same, with the modern version being an over-fried thin patty, Coriander’s version was true to the original – rounded, hearty and filled with thickly sliced onions. Well worth an order if you visit.
Bringing back childhood memories
Another classic, tandoori chicken was synonymous in my childhood memories of Asian weddings. It was the starter that l looked forward to. Sadly, in the last decade, the tandoori chicken has been swapped at weddings in favour of seekh kebabs, samosas and the like.
So major kudos to Coriander restaurant for evoking this childhood memory. Their tandoori chicken was just as it should be, pink-red in colour, succulent and ever so slightly charred from the high heat grilling.
As for the other starters, too many to detail, the seekh kebabs were juicy and on point, the chicken tikka was enjoyable, and the shingara, a traditional Bengali starter similar to a samosa but filled with spiced potato – was delicious.
If I HAD to choose between them all on another visit, I’d opt for the onion bhajis, tandoori chicken and fish Masala. Oh and I’d probably make space for a seekh kebab.
Ooh and another tip, be sure to ask for their tamarind ‘imli’ chutney as a dip. You can thank me later.
Having stuffed myself full with starters, I then proceeded to assess the mains. I am a trooper.
I didn’t have the king prawns, but I have it on good authority from my guests that they were delicious. And one thing I can vouch for is that they were HUGE. Being a king prawn fiend, I would definitely try them on a future visit.
The lamb shank Xacuti was an unusual dish on an Indian menu. Tender lamb falling off the bone, it seemed more reminiscent of a dish you’d find at a high End English she place, albeit with a little more spice. I wasn’t so keen as the lamb, though beautifully cooked, didn’t have much flavour, though hubby loved it.
The vegetable curry was an unusual mix of sweetcorn, okra, peppers and potatoes, but it kind of worked.
And finally, the chicken, though creamy, wasn’t korma bland, though if you like your spices, be sure to ask for it to be prepared hot.
As if we weren’t full enough, my greedy group shared two desserts of gulab jaman (Indian sweets) with ice cream and a mango and passion fruit ice cream pot.
With my pesky cold, I didn’t have either, though my guests more than made up for that by mopping up the plates.
So overall, Coriander delivered. Great food, nice sleek decor and super lovely atmosphere. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Coriander restaurant Hatch End in a nutshell
Price: starters range from £4.25 – £6.90, mains average around £12.
Halal: Chicken and lamb is halal, plus plenty of seafood and veg options.
Great if… you want Indian food with an impressive, quality range.
Not so great if… hard to find fault with this one, but perhaps if you want full on spicy Bangladeshi cuisine. Coriander is most fusion due to its non-Asian clientele.
About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.