Food / 7 March, 2024 / My Baba

Exquisite Flavours Of India: A Review Of Paro Indian In Covent Garden, London

Nestled amidst the bustling streets of Covent Garden, in the heart of theatreland, Paro stands as a beacon of culinary excellence, beckoning food enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike to embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other. Since its opening in October, Paro has drawn crowds every evening, with its popularity fuelled by TikTok and social media.

With a certain hype surrounding the newest Indian restaurant on the London dining scene, I visited Paro with an insatiable appetite, eager to determine if the restaurant’s sudden success was warranted.

Paro Indian, Covent Garden, London

Upon entering Paro, I was immediately struck by the vibrant ambience that enveloped the restaurant. The warm hues of green and white, interspersed with accents of gold and mahogany, created an inviting atmosphere reminiscent of a leafy jungle. From the intricately carved wooden furnishings to the soft lighting that cast a warm glow over the space, every detail seemed to whisper tales of a distant land steeped in culture and tradition. Paro sets the tone as more than just a typical curry house; it embodies the essence of a curry house re-imagined.

As I settled into my seat, tantalizing aromas wafted from the kitchen, promising a culinary journey that would awaken my palate. Led by acclaimed Chef Patron Niaz, a youthful 23-year-old, who originally hailed from the award-winning City Spice in Brick Lane. Paro’s menu is a testament to the rich tapestry of Calcuttan-Indian cuisine, offering a diverse array of dishes that pay homage to the flavours and traditions of Niaz Caan’s family.

What did I eat?

After a cocktail (An Old Fashioned using Indian Amrut Whiskey and Paro’s custom bitters no less) I opted for some small plates a delightful assortment of mango chickpeas, bang bang chicken, and lamb samosas that showcased the vibrant and eclectic modern-Indian approach of Paro. Each bite was a revelation, bursting with bold flavours and exotic spices that danced across my taste buds. Mango Chickpeas were perfectly spiced, bang bang chicken was full of flavour and had an amazing moreish texture to it, while the lamb samosas proved that even with all the modernity, Paro knows how to get the classics spot on.

Paro’s signature dishes

As I ventured deeper into the menu, I found myself drawn to Paro’s signature dishes, each one a masterpiece in its own right. The butter chicken, a timeless classic of Indian cuisine, was a revelation of creamy tomato sauce and tender morsels of chicken, infused with a symphony of spices that left me craving more. Chef Niaz tributes the dish to his grandfather, who, when he came to the UK had best friends of Punjabi origin. From there, Niaz’ grandfather made his own version of the famous Punjabi dish, using differences such as emulsified cumin butter. The lamb Rogan josh, cooked to perfection in a rich and aromatic gravy, was a testament to Chef Niaz’s mastery of flavour and technique. But perhaps the true highlight of my dining experience at Paro was the Lamb Shank, a veritable feast of smoky, succulent tender lamb meat, slow-roasted to perfection in the traditional Balti style, a cooking style authentic to South-Asian homes. Paro’s Lamb Shank uses a 48-spice mix passed on in generations of Niaz’ family, and the years of secret spice mixes can certainly be felt through the depth of the curries.

Of course, no Indian meal would be complete without a selection of bread and rice, and Paro certainly did not disappoint. The naan, hot and pillowy straight from the tandoor, was the perfect accompaniment to soak up the rich gravies and sauces, while the fragrant saffron rice provided a comforting and aromatic base for the flavourful dishes. Very few Indian restaurants can make very proper fluffy naans, but safe to say – Paro hits the spot.

Social Media

Paro Indian Covent Garden had exceeded all expectations, delivering a dining experience that was nothing short of extraordinary. After dining in the restaurant, it is clearly evident why the restaurant has taken off on social media, and the success is deservedly so. From the impeccable service to the exquisite flavours and impeccable presentation, every aspect of my visit had been carefully curated to ensure a memorable and unforgettable experience. Do not be mistaken, Paro does not market itself as authentic, that is not the aim from what I can see, instead, it is a modern approach to the Indian restaurant, where flavours are blended to suit palates all across the world in its modern dishes, while staples are excellently authentic and true to home. It’s a blend of flavour and story that very few restaurants can get right.

Summary

In a city teeming with culinary delights, Paro Covent Garden stands out as a shining beacon of Indian cuisine, offering a tantalizing glimpse into the rich and diverse tapestry of flavours that define this vibrant and dynamic culinary tradition. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious novice, a visit to Paro is an absolute must, promising a journey of discovery and delight that will linger in your memory long after the last bite has been savoured.

Sponsored content in collaboration with Paro Indian In Covent Garden.
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