Tamada

122 Boundary Road , London, NW8 0RH

4 reviews

38 Georgian St. John's Wood

SquareMeal Review of Tamada

For an approachable taste of Georgia look no further than this dinky restaurant, where elegant, light interiors contrast with the homely, hearty food. But remember to arrive hungry, as you’ll doubtless leave full. Mezze-style starters include aubergine stuffed with walnuts, or spring rolls filled with beef, onions & egg, though only the brave should order kuchmachi, a stew of pig’s lungs, liver & heart braised with onions & spices. Typical main courses are stewed meats in rich, comforting sauces, which go well with the selection of Georgian wines. The house special of jarkoe sees layers of veal, caramelised onions, potato & cheese baked with a mayonnaise topping – filling but quite delicious. Don’t forget to order cheese-stuffed breads as accompaniments, & the delicious walnut cake as a finale.

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8.3

Food & Drink: 8.3

Service: 8.8

Atmosphere: 7.3

Value: 8.8

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 4.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 21 December 2016

Boundary Road, which marks the eponymous border between the boroughs of Westminster and Camden has a remarkably diverse range of restaurants along the small stretch of its western end. The Meghna Grill Indian is a much-loved and familiar favourite, but my dining comrades and I were in search of something different while in the area on a recent weekday evening and so opted for Tamada, which can probably claim to be one of London’s few Georgian restaurants. Prior to my visit, I have to confess knowing very little about said country. A quick look at a world map shows it located on the edge of the Black Sea, bordering Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Unsurprisingly, its cuisine draws on influences from all of these diverse neighbours and when we stopped outside the restaurant to review the menu, our taste buds were simulated by the range of dishes, which mostly appeared to be utterly unlike those on offer elsewhere, at least in mainstream London. Additionally, Georgia claims to be the country where the wine-producing vine as we know it today originated, and so the drinks also promised a novelty aspect, a chance to sample the indigenous Saperavi grape. A large number of the tables were occupied, but we could see some spare, and so in we stepped. Here, however, it begun to go downhill. The room itself was rustically basic and the service friendly, but the food did not quite live up to its initial promise and, by 9pm we were the only diners left, responsible for making our own atmosphere. On the positive side, our meze platter and cheese-baked flatbread stood out, but the remainder of the dishes did leave us mostly disappointed. The flavours and the composition of the former were impressively diverse and the aubergine dip in particular was excellent, while the bread typified archetypal comfort food. Less encouragingly, our ‘kuchmachi megrulad’ starter of pork lungs, livers and hearts with onions, walnuts, garlic and Georgian spice appeared as manna-from-heaven for a lover of offal, yet the end-product was mostly chewy and stringy meat. Sadly, this approach to meat preparation carried through to our veal main, while one of our other mains – a dish of stewed beans and local spices – distinctly lacked flavour and was almost a chore to finish. At least the Saperavi delivered, most reminiscent perhaps of a young Cabernet. At c£30/head all-in, we certainly didn’t feel like we had done badly (and the portion sizes were definitely generous); more, it was just an anti-climax relative to our prior expectations.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 01 July 2012

Well, Georgian food won't be everybody's “cup of tea”. But I am curious to try new tastes and Tamada certainly provides them. The stuffed breads really are worth sharing and the Borscht was not of the cloying, sweet, variety. The rolled aubergine was interesting though the beef spring rolls were a bit bland and disappointing. The layered veal was very well worth tasting and the portion was not mean either, so thumbs up there and for the spring chicken baked in a dish with potatoes. I want to try the giant dumplings too (next time?), they look attractive and they are a specialty. The Georgian red wines was decent but I am not sure they are worth the money. We tried the second cheapest at £20. Most were much more expensive. The people were solicitous and patient, but one particular waitress disappeared on us three times mid-sentence without warning which was off-putting and unprofessional. My conclusion, interesting cuisine, a good local resource, clean, welcoming and pleasant but needs a bit more work on the wine and waiting skills.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Nata M. 14 April 2011

The minute you set your foot in Tamada, you are transported into Georgia – everything looks, smells and tastes like in Georgia. Food is the best you can have in and outside of Georgia, without exaggeration. The owner of the restaurant, Tamara Lordkipanidze, makes you feel at home, staff make you feel like you are paying a visit to a friend and not just being a client in a restaurant. It is almost a cultural experience! My daughter has dairy and egg allergies and does not eat even slightly spicy food. The owner herself consulted us on what the best for her to have and advised her staff on preparation of the food. They really went out of their way to accommodate us! My 5 year old finished a full order of mushrooms and had Georgian pudding at the end. Khachpuri – flat bread filled with cheese – is an absolute must. Kuchmachi melts in your mouth and khinkali is so good you will keep coming back for it! I really enjoyed every single dish I had and now can’t wait to go back and try other dishes. The menu tailors to all tastes and is vegetarian and children friendly. If you never had Georgian food before, this is absolutely the restaurant to go to! Great food, cozy atmosphere, and friendly staff and you will be greeted by the owner who has the brightest smile you have ever seen!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Dougie B. 20 September 2010

What a find! Three of went on a Sunday to celebrate my birthday and it could not have been nicer. The welcome was so friendly; Tamara the co-owner (her partner is the chef) has that rare gift of being attentive without being over-powering. The room is really classy, no pretence at a Georgian peasant tavern. Our vegetarian was in heaven with the choices she had but the carnevourors had their hands smacked as we tried to help ourselves to her spinach and aubergine delicacies. As the other reviewers have said, the cheesy flatbread was delicious. The main courses were equally superb; my slow cooked veal was heavenly, the red bean stew was extraordinary and the cous cous thingy was gone in minutes. A free walnut cake with candle arrived unannounced which was fantastic. There are walnuts everywhere in the menu. Do try the wine. I had a glass of the white and the red which stood up the best in the world. You'll have gathered we loved it – you will too if you love good food and friendly service. Go on a Sunday lunchtime; it's less busy and great value.

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