Indian Essence
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SquareMeal Review of Indian Essence

Silver Award

“Fab food, excellent service” is one reader’s verdict on Indian Essence – the result of a hook-up between Michelin-starred celeb chef Atul Kochhar (of Kanishka and Sindhu fame) and restaurateur Jitindar Singh. This flashy eatery brings a taste of high-end new-wave Indian cuisine to the heart of Kent, and despite an inauspicious roadside setting, the dining room shows its cosmopolitan style with lilac and mauve tones, latticework, flamboyant contemporary artwork and elegantly laid tables. The menu makes few compromises to the suburban location, offering signature plates of chicken tikka ‘pie’ with prune compote alongside the likes of marinated grilled rabbit with cherry chutney, tandoori monkfish with spiced broccolini, an Anglo-Indian ‘railway curry’ or fennel-scented lamb chops with wild rocket salad. Veggies should check out the courgette kofta with korma sauce and the ‘gunpowder’ spice-crusted baby potatoes with broad beans. ‘Traditional favourites are available on request’ says a note on the menu, while desserts such as caramelised carrot cake with turmeric ice cream show Kochhar’s trademark blend of Asian and European influences.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Indian Essence

176-178 Petts Wood Road, Petts Wood, Kent, BR5 1LG

01689 838700


Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-2.45pm 5.45-10.45pm (Fri-Sat –11pm) Sun 12N-4pm 6-10.30pm

Reviews of Indian Essence

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2 Reviews 

Mr. Siva P

27 January 2014  
Went for dinner with my wife at the weekend. Food was wonder, but service a litle haphazard – clearly everyone is trying quite hard, but there seemed little communication between the staff (three different people talked to us about our table before we were seated and then the pre-dinner drinks orders came some 10 minutes apart). That is a minor quibble on what was a great meal – the food is inventive, with finely nuanced flavours. The venue itself is not grand, but perfectly comfortable.
Food & Drink

Mr. Two T

Beauty is skin deep
18 April 2013  
Had to try it due to the celebrity status of the owner (and fair doos to Mr K, he actually chef's there at weekends, so book in advance as he draws a crowd). The venue is cleverly located in an area of Greater rather than Central London, aiming to attract some of the cash from surrounding areas such as Chiselhurst, Bromley etc..a cunning move and one successfully delivered by nearby Chapter One. The restaurant itself suffers from a distinct lack of class from the outside and a rather unusual bar area that feels more like a drafty conservatory looking out onto a bus stop than a top restaurant bar. Yet, once successfully passing these hazards and entering the main area, the surroundings are contemporary and comfortable…although it can get rammed during weekends and thu nights particularly. Service levels vary but are never bad (based on 3 visits). But now to the reason I go there…the grub. Sensational..not much more to add. Layers of flavours, delicate spicing, intriguing menu. Example dishes include lamb neck slow cooked masala, John dorry and, my favourite, chicken curry. It's more Benares than local curry joint after the pub..not quite up there with big hitters like Cinnamon Club (for reference my favourite place of all) but same league in quality terms. If it was in a different building I could see it getting well acclaimed. Would recommend for food experience. Look to wear a £100 bill for 2 with (1) bottle of red. Tasting menu is £38..also good.
Food & Drink

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