GUM was delighted to be invited to Chillies West End, an exciting Indian located on Woodlands Road, to promote the new student deal they have just launched. The invitation coincided nicely with our new food and drink section, which seeks to promote affordable dining for all us broke foodies out there. The deal sees students walk out with 10% off all sit-in meals from Sunday to Thursday, and 10% off take-away throughout the week. A valid student card must be shown on order.
The starters offer a range of tastes and textures with a varied origin. The Desi Chilli Puri, the combination of spiced chickpeas on a crunchy pancake was well balanced with the tart mixed pickle. This was followed by two standout dishes, the house speciality of Charcoal lamb Chop, chargrilled with a warm heat cooked in a traditional tandoori oven. It is the chef’s own recipe which draws from North Indian cuisine that is characteristically more dry than the curries we normally associate with Indian here in the UK.
The Salmon Tika followed, a delightful blend of perfectly cooked salmon which was not overpowered by the hot tika spice.The Salmon was sourced from the famous Scottish fishmongers McCallum of Trune, and had the characteristic buttery texture of high quality fish.For the main course we were given a varied selection of curries from the mild and creamy Dal Makhani to a fiery lamb karahi. Indian curries vary drastically in flavour and spice levels, with us in the UK altering and adopting traditional recipes to our milder tastes. A prime example of this which is offered at Chillies is buttered chicken, a mild and creamy curry with a slightly sweet after-taste and a strong presence of cardamom. The Dal Makhani, a slow cooked black lentil dish originating in the Punjab region of India, had great depth of flavour, which went nicely with the Gosht Saag which consisted of tender chunks of lamb in creamy spinach. Although the Gosht Saag lacked the expected intensity of flavour and fullness, the quality of the lamb did show.When asked for a spicier option I was a little disappointed to encounter the Lamb Karahi, which was a deal less fiery than I was hoping in, say, he form of a vindaloo, but once again the variety available allows choice for everyone’s tastes. A Karahi normally has less cream and ghee (the emulsified butter used throughout Indian cooking) which was a nice relief from some of the previous dished which had filled me thoroughly. The fresh green chilli and ginger added to the dish a delightful fragrant aroma.
Words: Alexandra Embiricos