Taking two of the UK’s favourite cuisines and putting them under one roof seems like a sensibly crowd-pleasing idea at this most crow-pleasing of entertainment venues.
Despite the name and the Bollywood-style mural inside, Scarlet Rasoi deals in the cooking of both India and Thailand, though the focus is very much focused on the former. With its location in the 02, there’s an emphasis on eating as entertainment from the open kitchen, where chefs work with tandoori grills, woks and ovens.
The menu is split into small plates, grill plates and rasoi plates, as well as a short list of side dishes.
You might kick off with small plates of tom yum prawns, crispy wontons or salt-and-chilli calamari with spicy dips, which are effectively the same as a starter. Otherwise there familiar Indian favourites such as chicken tikka and seekh kebab rubbing shoulders with the sort of dishes you usually see in more upmarket West End establishments: the street-food classic of pav buns stuffed with spicy potatoes and garlic chutney, say, or a cold chaat puri filled with chickpeas and tamarind.
To follow, there is tandoori chicken, lemongrass lamb, tandoori salmon tikka or a vegetarian gunpowder paneer, all cooked on the grill and served with the likes of masala potatoes, naan and mint yoghurt, though if you’re sharing you might also want some rice (plain or pilau), masala fries or vegetable samosas.
The rasoi plates, meanwhile, are familiar high-street favourites. There’s butter chicken or Kashmiri lamb as well as South-East Asian Penang chicken (with coconut milk and shredded lime leaves), prawn pad Thai and an Indian spin on the classic Malaysian noodle dish of mee goreng.
All the ingredients are halal and vegetarian options are also good; try the aubergine aloo, saag paneer or chana masala, with a plate of dosas to mop up the sauces with.