The scene Contemporary takes on Indian classics (think pistachio chicken korma) are served up in a stylish setting; leather accents and red-and-blue-hued lighting settle you in for an evening of fine cuisine, not a cheap bowl of lager absorbant.
The kitchen sure knows its stuff, and each month this year has introduced a different regional cuisine with a special menu offered alongside the main menu. Look out for the Gujurat dishes throughout September.
The grub A starter of tandoori portobello mushrooms, marinated and filled with figs, cashew nuts, raisins, green chilli and homemade cheese in a curry leaf dressing, sets the tone perfectly: this is Indian food, but not as you know it.
The blend of sweet, rich flavours and nostril-cleansing spice is masterfully balanced, and the plate is presented beautifully, with artful licks of mango chutney.
For the main course, I struggle to choose from the long list of options, eyes darting hungrily from a Kashmiri lamb shank with red wine, ginger and spices to wild rabbit leg served with aubergine compote.
I rely on my waiter’s recommendation of Peshawari lamb chops from the grill and am not disappointed: the meat is as tender as I’ve ever tasted and the marinade of fresh ginger paste, raw papaya, herbs and spices elicits rapturous moans.
A side of stir-fried okra with mango comes drenched in an earthy tomato sauce is deserving of a similar response. I finish with milkcurd dumplings in flavoured milk, a satisfyingly light and simple ending to a complex meal.
Behind the bar A compact cocktail list, Cobra on tap, wine and champagne menu.
Bill please Starters from £4.50; mains from £7.50; desserts from £2.95. Glass of wine from £3.25; pints from £4.50.
Verdict For curry that’s a cut above, without hammering your wallet.
64 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7AH
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