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As co-founders of the furniture retailer Dwell, it’s no surprise that the brains behind this new Indian restaurant-cum-cocktail bar have invested it with a real eye for detail. From the stunning
five-metre oak bar (cut from a single tree) to drinks such as a zingy, Aperol-based negroni, first impressions of the bijou site bode well. Bare-brick walls and refurbished industrial chairs add to
the handsome look, so settle in for food that combines Indian home-style recipes from the owner’s mum with professional polish, courtesy of ex-Benares chef Raju Rawat. Everything arrives on small
sharing plates, from excellent, creamy and crunchy chaat and spiced mince patties to marinated lamb chops, pollock curry spiked with fenugreek and karela (bitter gourd with lentils). Just add
cheery service and a lively buzz, and you’ve got the makings of a real winner.
The first thing you’ll notice about Indian restaurant Zumbura - nestled in the well-to-do idyll of Clapham Old Town - is that in almost every way, it does not feel like an Indian restaurant. The interiors: no linen, leather bound menus, chandeliers, or sitar recordings. Instead, a vivid ceiling butterfly-and-birdscape, and deep turquoise and bare brick walls embellished with wild flowers in slim glass vases. There’s a wooden bar of organic form laden with ingredients used in the kitchen including the namesake fruit zumbura (pomelo in Urdu) and fresh tamarind. The crockery is beautiful, imperfect, handmade, and purchased from a local pottery. Brass light fittings with bare bulbs adorn the walls, chairs are seemingly salvaged classroom-style wood and metal, and there’s a presence of shabby chic nick-nacks...
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Some places are worth making that extra effort to seek out and one such place is Zumbura. Set slightly off the beaten track in Clapham’s affluent Old Town, this vibrant restaurant serves Indian food but not as you might know it. Gone are the old clichés associated with Indian dining and gone is the ghee.Instead, a fresh, light and modern décor set the scene, which is reflective of the cuisine. The food is based on home-style, traditional cooking from the Purab region of North India and is designed to be shared – great if you can never make up your mind on what to order like me and want to try the lot, which I near enough did...
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