BABUR - REVIEW - 4TH APRIL 2012
Babur is not just any old Indian restaurant - it is unique, exciting and fresh and most definitely somewhere you would want to go for ‘a nice meal out’ rather than just ‘a curry’.
From the tiger on the roof - which is something I loved straight away and is about as chinzty as Babur gets - to the modern, oriental minimalist decor inside to the cool, zen style toilets, to the tantalizing and exciting menu, Babur is different. It makes an effort to stand out from all the other Indian restaurants and it does it very well.
Babur is laid out perfectly - it has lots of tables but they’re not too close together and the night we were there, it was almost full. Which is quite impressive for a Wednesday evening. It has a nice vibe to it and the clientele that were there clearly like food, as Babur’s menu is as inventive as any Indian restaurant I’ve ever seen. The carefully and lovingly put together menu features everything from ostrich to venison to goat and even if you’ve never wanted to try goat before in your life, I bet that you’d want to here. Everything sounds delicious and you want to try all that the menu has to offer.
However fear not, for those of you that like things a little simpler, you can still get a chicken curry. You won’t see anything along the lines of a Dhansak or a Tikka Masala on the menu here though. The restaurant doesn’t serve any of the traditional Indian specialities on the A La Carte menu and it saves these purely for the takeaway menu; which I have also tried and I can tell you, is delicious.
My diners and I started with some poppadoms and homemade pickles and chutneys, which were all a little bit unusual and really tasty. I coupled these with one of the special cocktails which was bourbon mixed with apple juice and cinnamon syrup, the latter which added a warming almost sweet honey taste to it. Babur pride themselves on their homemade inventive cocktails aswell as their food and I can see why. I must admit, I was also tempted to give their Coriander Daquiri a slurp.
We were brought a nice taster after our poppadoms of cubes of spiced potato with a tamarind sauce - a small thought, but something that makes Babur stand out and diners feel special.
For starter, we ordered the Tandoori Poussin breast with red onion yoghurt from the Specials, the Tamarind-glazed Quail breast and the Goat Patties with tamarind and raisin chutney. All were delicious but apart from the goat patties, the other two were on the small side and for £7-£8 a starter, could have been slightly bigger.
The mains were a difficult choice as to be honest, I wanted to try them all! I went for the best option where I could taste more than one - the Vegetarian Thali. It came on a huge silver platter with lots of little pots of different curries, bread and rice and was a joy to eat until I got full and couldn’t finish it all! My dining companions ordered a Chicken Biryani, which came in a sealed clay pot where the chicken was so tender it almost melted in your mouth, and a Chicken Chettinad, which was spicy but very tasty and came in a ‘rice dosa fool’s cap’ which was like a little bread pyramid wrapped around the curry. We accompanied them with some sides of lemon and cashew nut rice and chilli and cheese naan.
We were too stuffed for desserts but they sounded fantastic aswell with the likes of Spiced Chocolate Fondant, Mango Brulee and Spiced Pear Tarte Tatin on the menu amongst others.
Babur was a great experience - delicious and unique food, comfortable and tasteful surroundings and helpful and attentive staff. If you want an Indian that pushes the boundaries and makes you think past that Chicken Korma, then this is your place. I will definitely be back.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Babur.
Babur, 119 Brockley Rise, London, SE23 1JP.