With a new concept and a new name (kind of), TPH of Chelsea welcomed us back down to their Cheyne Walk restaurant to sample their new and more sustainable menu. The restaurant has reemerged, as many are doing these days, in stripped back, plant-based style. The menu promises to be lighter and less calorific with no (or very little) compromise on taste. TPH now aims to provide ‘an unforgettable dining experience for people of all dietary persuasions’, explains head chef and owner Yogesh Datta. In this respect the restaurant stays true to Indian cuisine, but has assimilated itself with our health conscious lifestyles, rather than being left behind with restaurants that only sate our ‘once in a while’ stodge blow-outs.
Arriving for an early evening dinner, TPH was quiet. After our coats we taken, we were seated in the dimly-lit restaurant, which felt much warmer than my previous visit, though the icy outdoor temperatures perhaps accounted for that. A pickle tray and poppadoms within minutes, a selection of freshly baked poppadoms, as we flicked through the new menu. Familiar dishes still remained (chicken tikka masala, rogan josh, and lamb biryani), but with emphasis on how TPH have waved their magic wand and made them that little bit healthier. Try the ‘free range chicken tikka’, minus the cream and butter, plus the almond and tomatoes. With a nod towards vegan-friendly dishes, choose a jackfruit biryani or a plantain and chickpea curry.
Rather than loading up on meaty dishes, we chose a selection from the menu. For starters, curried Tibetan dumplings served up with tomato relish — filling, tangy and fresh! We weren’t able to resist the duck tikka in green chilli and mint, which was a lean duck breast marinated with spicy yet soft flavour, also served alongside tomato relish. Our main course comprised of a selection of dishes, including charcoal-cooked beef rogan josh, crispy okra, and sides of dhaba daal and chilli naan. Aside from the chilli naan, every remained on the soft side of spice, so do ask if you’d like them to up the ante. Anything cooked on a charcoal grill tastes without doubt better, so the smokey, spicy beef topside was a tender treat. Okra and asparagus fritters have a tendency to feel greasy, but my pal insisted we order them and we were both pleasantly surprised by their lightness. If you do choose the okra fritters, be sure to order another dish too because they felt more of a side than main.
If I remember rightly, TPH have chopped down their cocktail list to seven alcoholic aperitifs with the guava Bellini and mango mojito taking centre stage. The wine list remains unchanged with a broad selection ranging from £28-100. We chose the Gavi di Gavi La Giustiniana, a dry and floral white, which proved a cool way to offset the soft spicy flavours.
Following up dinner with a vegan-friendly sweetener, we felt comfortably full, and not guilty about overindulging. The new, sustainable and healthier menu is definitely going to pull in the foodie crowd, if the charcoal grill doesn’t already. We can’t wait to see how the menu will further evolve, as Datta has again pushed the boundaries on contemporary Indian cuisine.
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