I don’t think we’ve done any Indian food on the blog yet. This could give you the impression that us Swans don’t like it, but that, Readers, would be WRONG. I absolutely LOVE Indian food (though I don’t pretend to know much about it)… the problem is that Indian food done badly is… well, it’s bad. It’s really, really bad. Therefore, understandably (I think), I’m slightly loathe to try new places*. However, it was my friend’s birthday the other day, so we went to his favourite Indian to celebrate. I’ve been meaning to try it for a long time, to be fair, as Andy goes about once a week so I knew it must be pretty good! I’m pleased to report, dear Readers, that it MORE than lived up to expectations. You’re reading about the start of a beautiful relationship *beatific smile*.
*in case you’re interested, in my opinion the best Indian restaurant in London hands down is Roots N1 near Cally Road. Also v good is (random south-of-the-river shoutout) Chutney in Wandsworth – the tikka there is amazing.
At Paradise we began with poppadoms and pickles (obviously), which we munched on while we waited for latecomers. Lovely stuff, especially the lime pickle which stopped just short of taking your face off. To start, we shared chicken tikka, prawn puri and onion bhajis. They were all delicious, especially the onion bhajis which were super crispy and not greasy at all. The tikka was delicious and moist; no dry chicken here my friends, and the little prawns were deliciously spiced, but not so much that their sweetness was overwhelmed.
We ordered a main course each, three side dishes to share and also rice and naan. We thought we were hungry, but I have to say, we MASSIVELY over ordered (I was still eating the leftovers three days later, but HURRAH for leftovers and not having to make lunch).
I had butter chicken, because whenever I see anything like that on a menu I pine for my holiday in Malaysia, where I practically lived on butter paneer (*wistful sigh*). The chef was really accommodating and more than happy to make my dish with a bit more spice than usual – I love the taste of butter chicken but if a curry is too mild and creamy I find it a bit sickly – and the result was delicious, the perfect balance of creamy and tasty. I should point out at this stage that there is a SUPER spicy butter chicken on the menu if that’s your bag (the arctic murgh ‘for [our] friends the Arctic Monkeys’, as you do, just casually, you know).
^ trying (and failing…) to make the food look sexy
^honestly, really trying! What is wrong with me??
The chicken tikka masala was also really lovely – very mild but tasty and with huge pieces of moist chicken. Paula had kashmiri king prawn which was basically curry pudding – it had pineapples and lychees in so was very sweet but when you had a mouthful with some garlic naan the contrasting flavours were amazing. The great thing about Paradise is that you could really taste all of the different flavours – even the very subtle ones (lychee!!) – in all of the dishes. Carly’s king prawn bhuna for example, was wonderful, the delicate prawns weren’t lost in the sauce at all – and the sauce itself was deliciously tomato-ey. Andy (birthday boy) had a lamb dish with plenty of green chillis (magnus gosht), I don’t usually like very spicy food, as I find that after a while I can’t taste anything other than my burning tongue, but not this time, Readers. The chillis were spicy but really fresh and cut through the rich meat perfectly.
In terms of sides, my favourite was the spicy daal. I think all lentils aspire to be spiced and turned into daal. Yum. We also had the saag paneer and matter paneer which were both great, if a little mild.
^I give up. Whatever. It was delicious, k?
Because it was Andy’s birthday they brought out some strawberry ice cream tarts with candles so we could sing Happy Birthday, and then gave us all a free digestif which meant it was a VERY happy birthday indeed.
People think London is too big to be friendly, but this place proves that dead wrong. Not only did they treat Andy like a long lost son but if you look at the menu you can see that they’ve created dishes and name dropped regulars in the restaurant! How nice is that?!
To conclude (*fangirl alert*), this place is absolutely amazing. I raved about Avenue being brilliant value, but this absolute FEAST plus booze AND a decent tip was a mere £37 each. For the fantastic location, brilliant food and stellar service I genuinely think that’s astounding.
^so… many… leftovers…