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Painted Heron – eaten and reviewed

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Everyone loves a good curry (at least that is what I would like to think as I certainly do and I believe that I have rather good taste) so I popped down to Chelsea to see if their restaurants would be as good as their location and the decadence of many of the houses down there. This indeed gave the impression of the ‘local’ curry house but with of course extra style and without that oh so often dodgy stomach afterwards!

To summarise

The main dining room and the complimentary pickles

112 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea,SW10 ODJ

If you ever want to feel posh but also enjoy a good curry I would recommend this place. While the prices are no match to your standard Indian the taste certainly makes up for this. Opposed to other ‘posh’ restaurants I have been to it still manages to feel like a curry house – very nice indeed!

Ross says – 8 out of 10

To waffle

Tandoor roasted pigeon breasts with marinade - LOVELY!Lobster with squid pilaf and curry, rosemary and chilli naan AND yellow lentil curry - YUM!For me curry is the ultimate winter comfort food; its warming (sometimes unfortunately warming the wrong areas…), filling and often really really tasty, even the shit ones can give you the feeling of taste for a short while! I think that curry has got a bit of a bad rep because of this but I really want people to start thinking that curry is something more than food to be enjoyed with ‘the lads’ – The Painted Heron can certainly help me with this!

Unlike Benares (my favourite restaurant) this felt like a curry house with rather dodgy Indian music to boot, the decor was plain and elegant and instead of your normal dodgy ethnic prints on the walls they had proper works of art but it still felt rather homely and if I lived round the Chelsea way (something I hope I never actually do you understand) I could see myself making this my ‘local’. All your normal faves were available but instead of’meat’ in a samosa you get spiced duck and instead of chicken tikka you get halibut – I am sure you are getting a pretty good idea about the menu now! I resisted the good value looking set meals and dived into the a la carte menu and went for:

  1. Pigeon breasts in green chillies marinade, roasted in the tandoor
  2. Lobster tail, tandoor roasted with squid pilau and curry
  3. Yellow lentils and Indian gourd ‘Tinda’ tempered with garlic
  4. Chilli and rosemary naan
  5. Pistachio and rose water kulfi (Indian ice cream)
  6. washed down with a bottle of Gewurztraminer – crisp, sweet and tasty!

As you can see I did go rather overboard here (it was Christmas) and for me to admit to this means I really must have but the portions were also surprisingly large, the main course especially. I am not complaining though as everything was really delicious, its easy to think of Indian food as being mind-blowingly hot and tasteless – it is not and places like this are the proof; the spice blends are designed to taste and enhance the meat and vegetables not leave you in a sweaty heap on the floor wondering where the nearest toilet is. I really enjoyed every dish but if I had to say something negative it would be that while the lobster was tasty it didn’t seem to fit with the pilau and curry, it was like they had a bunch of spares and needed rid of them so chucked it on – it was tasty mind and you should never really complain about lobster I guess!

I went on a Wednesday so got in easily, it filled up a little bit as the night went on (mainly with dull fashion conscious Chelsea boys and there bored looking girl friends) and this added to the atmosphere. Prices I would say are OK, yes it was expensive but you COULD east much cheaper and still have a great meal. Its a good place, just wish it was closer to home for me so I could go more often and taste the rest of the menu!

Tags food, London restaurants, The Painted Heron, restaurant reviews, Indian food

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