Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
Tel: 020 3667 5222
Being perched on a spot where restaurant upon restaurant has come and gone over the years is never easy. The public is just waiting to see if any new venture which opens there will belly upo and fail, merely to confirm that the site is cursed!
Now, letâs not be too hasty. The Buddha Bar had already made one attempt to open in London, back in 2008, Londonâs Embankment, where it really did fail to capture the imagination â and wallets â of the dining out crowd. Will being in a more popular area such as the well-heeled Knightsbridge be any better? Letâs just say so far so good. At least the joint is surviving. Besides, the business only has a tenuous link to the original and now even uses a hyphen in its name.
Seductively lit â some might even say overly dark, where you can barely read the menu â the dÃ©cor is certainly eye-catching with plenty of Oriental motifs and reminders that this is the âBuddahâ bar. The bar also has a certain glistening quality and you can just see it being used as the backdrop of a movie or TV drama.
The menu takes in a gamut of Far Eastern influences, all given an accessible, Western tinge or as the menu intro puts it, âspearhead a new-wave Pacific Rim cuisineâ. Whether one agrees with that or not, the bottom line is that the cooking here is actually well-rendered and has a fresh, vibrant flavour. That said, price levels are somewhat hefty and you wonder just who exactly they are aiming for as their target customer.
Several set menus are on offer though from the a la carte, worth trying are the Buddha-Bar chicken salad, which is divinely successful and a lesser so spicy tuna tartare. The two mains we tried were of top notch quality and really packed a kick â Chilean sea bass with carrot puree and tamarind sauce along with roasted black cod with lemongrass miso. Everything has such a sheen and beautifully presented, ditto even such simple sides as the steamed rice, wok fried vegetables and the house noodles with organic mushrooms. One even gets a choice of accompanying sauces, which accentuate the lively flavours.
By Humayun Hussain