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
2A Pond Place London SW3 Tel: 020 7584 6655
Claudio Pulzeâs Cuisines Collection group is beginning to live up to its name with Italian (Il Duca, Il Forno) Indian (Zaika) and modern English (LâAnis) and now this latest, Spanish addition. The Spanish feeling to the bright, warm basement premises owes more to Gaudi and Dali than it does to the bullfighting-posters school of dÃ©cor with a curvy, red sofa and swirling wrought iron near the bar and a semi-visible kitchen. Thereâs a bright red inset panel in the ceiling and accents of the same bright red around the room, floored with terra cotta tiles.
The menu is also a cut above the standard assortment of tapas and is done with contemporary Spanish flair. Try the more unusual items like starters of ravioli of hake with griddled clams and mussels, or outstanding snails stuffed in savoy cabbage with frogs legs fried in Campofrio bacon. There is also a nod towards more traditional tapas with the Plato mixto de Picar-Picar. The outstanding main has to be the slow roasted suckling pig with firm, tender, juicy pale pink flesh under burnished skin that crackles like the top of a good brulÃ©e. Baked dorada with mussels, clams, almonds and tomato or baby stuffed squid with prawns and creamed rice show a real understanding of the traditions of Spanish seafood cooking and there is also a good roasted chicken with peppers, oregano and lemon cooked in wine. Some of the dishes are quite rich, but do try the apple and cinnamon tart with whipped custard or the turron (Spanish nougat) ice cream with hot chocolate sauce. Wines are mostly Spanish, with a good assortment available by the glass, including a range of sherries, which are surely among the most under-priced of Spanish wines; try a fino before, manzanilla with your starter and a treacly-rich Pedro Ximenez with dessert. Service is very engaging and hospitable.