Monday 18 February 2008

Rasa W1 - Soho, London

Das Sreedharan is a venerated culinary master in fact he’s ‘a complete genius and such a nice guy’ according to Jamie Oliver and he should know! I looked forward with high anticipation to a visit to Rasa in Derring Street, the W1 of 5 rose pink restaurants in London.

My cousin and I tried to make the most of it, i.e. order as much as we could and try new things. Not difficult as the menu is unrecognisable from Bangladeshi houses (circa 80% of the ‘Indians’ in the UK) – it’s Southern Indian.

No Naans (the tandoor oven in which they cook originated in the North), instead we had citrussy rice pancakes called ‘Uzhunappam’. These arrived a few minutes after ‘Malabar Erachi Chaaru’ and ‘Adipoli Erachi Mulegu’. The former, an aromatic pale brown curry of meltingly tender little morsels of lamb prepared with coconut milk, limey curry leaves, underscored by earthy tumeric, was good but rather mild. However, a superior side of Savoy cabbage, fresh, crisp, nutty and a little sweet as well as ‘Mysore Bonda’, large deep fried balls of mellow yellow mustardy mash were memorable. Similarly a fine range of chutneys (6 including delicious creamy coriander and raw candied mango) and ‘Medhu Vadha’ albeit for their unusual texture – bland, spongy, savoury doughnuts with shredded green chilli. Pleasant but in need of the coconut dip provided.

The place largely trades on reputation but judging by one or two comments some still expect too much. ‘Portions are small’ wrote one internet critic. I can only assume Mr Creosote has broadband at home, I left stuffed with tasty food, washed down with a glass and a half wine and tap water given ungrudgingly. A reasonable return for 30 pounds sterling.


Willp2328 score: 8/10

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