Sunday 28 June 2009

Elephant Walk - West Hampstead, NW6

Too hot and humid for a preamble today, so I'll get straight into the review, sweat running from brow, feet in a bowl of ice, and so on.

Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurants used to be thin on the ground in London but not anymore, indeed there are several, most a cut above average. Elephant Walk is run by a husband and wife team and three or four very sweet and lovely waitresses. It is small but light in a cafe like way, easy to find - and yes, it is better than average, good to very good.

Starter options appeared a little unremarkable with the exception of Idli's and Dosa's, so we went straight into the mains. Eight of us, three Thali's - meat and vegetable curries, rice, Gothamba rotis (similar to Paratha's but more chewy) and sambol - much enjoyed, just as authentic King fish curry with coconut and tamarind and vegetable sambar were. There was a lot of food, too much to sample, even if portions were sensible.

I thought Ooru Mus, a Pork curry in a thick treacle coloured gravy was strongly reminiscent of a stringent and savoury roast chilli dominated Madras, while mushy Pumpkin registered mellow coconut but lacked a mustardy bite. Still both were comfortably above par.

To summarise: it's decent value, one could get stuffed and get out for £10 if a herbivore, £12 if a carnivore. Beers include Lion lager, apparently ubiquitous across Sri Lanka. The Wine List is mercifully concise, and despite a rather anaemic complexion, the Rose was very palatable. Phew!

FOOD (& DRINK): 3.5/5

Willp2328score: 7/10

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