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
68 Chiswick High Road London W4 Tel: 020 8987 9988
When you see a restaurant thatâs managed to get it right, it seems so obvious that it makes you wonder why so many manage to get it so wrong. Some of the ostensibly obvious points Pug has managed to get right are a well-designed space with comfortable seating, good lighting and soothing yet stimulating colours â mostly cream, pistachio and chocolate brown with a bit of raspberry. Which brings us rather neatly around to the food and that, too, has mostly turned out right, excepting a few little niggles that might owe more to personal taste.
Chef Brian Baker made an impression on London diners at The Criterion, followed by The Abingdon and became known for sensible but interesting flavour combinations, perfectly poised between the extremes of tradition and innovation. For the past two years he has been out of public view, having worked as personal chef to Sir Elton John, principally stationed in Nice. This extended sojourn in the south of France has, if anything, reinvigorated his palate. Witness his crispy pigs trotter terrine with celeriac puree â rich, earthy, unctuous and more-ish â with de-boned trotters under a light dusting of crispy breadcrumb. Scallop, crayfish and red mullet mousseline with saffron and yoghurt dressing, is equally delicious and at the opposite end of the calorie scale with nice chunks of shellfish coming through. Sitting down to write this review, char-grilled baby squid with lemon and garlic, from the daily-changing menu, sounds equally appealing.
Pot roasting is a good choice for breast of pheasant, which could be dry prepared other ways and this comes with shallots, brandy sauce, game chips and sprouts (seasonal but not a personal favourite among veg). Moroccan spiced lamb was cooked exactly as requested but spices could have been more in evidence, although the lime and herb cous-cous and the harissa and yoghurt dressings added extra flavours. I would have tried the pear tart tatin, but my rich starter put paid to that idea. I was not that impressed with my guestâs banoffee cheesecake, but then I donât really care for cheesecake and was not really receptive to more food at that point. Wines are well-chosen, fairly priced and a reasonable number available by the glass although this range was not as wide as could be, meaning that chardonnays dominated the whites by the glass. Staff are eager to please, well-informed about the offering and work very hard. Altogether, an operation that deserves to do well.