Tamarind Kitchen
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SquareMeal Review of Tamarind Kitchen

Bronze Award

Following a complete rebrand and move upmarket, this less-formal offshoot of Tamarind (the Michelin-starred Mayfair Indian) is now a twinkling den of dark woods, swirling incense and low-lit corners. On our early visit it was already buzzing, both at the window-side tables – which glow from lights installed within them – and among elevated booths at the rear. There’s an equally handsome basement dining room for Soho overspill, while bartenders shake up sparky, fruit-laden cocktails at the small entrance bar. The two-page menu is simple to navigate, exploring small plates and Indian kebabs before curry-dominated mains and sides. The delicately presented likes of a whole, deep-fried soft shell crab with a potato, yoghurt and turmeric salad was pleasant, if timidly flavoured, as were seared scallops with slivers of jarringly hard parsnip slices. We recommend fast-forwarding to the curries, because our Alleppey-style fish curry of tamarind, mustard and curry leaves delivered one velvety punch of hot flavour after another. Side-step feeble naans in favour of steamed rice and some tempered, yellow-lentil dahl and don’t neglect the very pretty dessert options. Thanks to its bold reimagining, this Tamarind site now delivers succinct quality and cosseting vibes.


Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Indian
Ambience
Cool, Cosy
People
Dates, Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating

Tamarind Kitchen is featured in

Best Indian restaurants in London

Location for Tamarind Kitchen

167-169 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WR

020 7287 4243

Website

Opening Times

Tues-Sun 12N-2.45pm Mon-Sun 5-10.45pm (Sun -9.45pm)

Reviews of Tamarind Kitchen

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2 Reviews 

a H

MUST READ
25 June 2019  

Laughing stock! Michelin chef is accused of using Knorr chicken cubes to flavour his acclaimed dishes… even in vegetarian meals

  • Karunesh Khanna admitted using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour dishes
  • The executive chef used Knorr cubes in his vegetarian and vegan dishes 
  • Revelations emerged during an employment tribunal case brought by an assistant manager who lost his job after he alerted bosses

By MICHAEL POWELL FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 00:10, 23 June 2019 | UPDATED: 00:39, 23 June 2019

 

His haute cuisine curries have delighted David Beckham and Charlize Theron, but Michelin-starred chef Karunesh Khanna has admitted using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour his acclaimed dishes.

The executive chef of the upmarket Tamarind chain of Indian restaurants also allegedly used the Knorr cubes in vegetarian and vegan meals but failed to tell customers that they contained meat, according to legal papers.

After six staff members complained, Mr Khanna – who trained at The Dorchester, Four Seasons, The Ritz and Claridge's hotels – told one manager: 'Guests don't need to know.'

His haute cuisine curries have delighted David Beckham and Charlize Theron, but Michelin-starred chef Karunesh Khanna has admitted using shop-bought chicken stock to flavour his acclaimed dishes

The revelations emerged during an employment tribunal case brought by an assistant manager who lost his job after he alerted bosses about the use of the cubes.

The tribunal heard that when the row reached Tamarind director Fateh Dhaliwal, he backed his chef and said: 'Those members of staff need to be phased out.'

Mr Khanna admitted he used Knorr stock while working at Tamarind Kitchen in Soho while the flagship Tamarind Mayfair restaurant was undergoing refurbishment last year, according to the documents.

Assistant manager Mafis Ali raised concerns with a sous chef about the use of the stock on June 4 and asked that the correct ingredient information be provided to the waiters.

The executive chef of the upmarket Tamarind chain of Indian restaurants also allegedly used the Knorr cubes in vegetarian and vegan meals but failed to tell customers that they contained meat, according to legal papers

But when Mr Khanna refused, Mr Ali emailed all the senior chefs saying that guests were being deceived about whether dishes were truly vegan or vegetarian.

He also raised concerns that the secret use of the Knorr cubes meant that the dishes would not be suitable for strict Muslims because the stock was not halal. The email was ignored, and on June 18 six members of staff confronted restaurant manager Shoaib Malik and demanded that he speak to Mr Khanna.

But the top chef 'made it clear that he was not going to disclose the use of Knorr chicken powder to guests', prompting Mr Malik to resign in disgust, the tribunal heard.

After six staff members complained, Mr Khanna – who trained at The Dorchester, Four Seasons, The Ritz and Claridge's hotels – told one manager: 'Guests don't need to know.' Pictured: inside Tamarind in London

Mr Khanna admitted he used Knorr stock while working at Tamarind Kitchen in Soho while the flagship Tamarind Mayfair restaurant was undergoing refurbishment last year, according to the documents

The top chef 'made it clear that he was not going to disclose the use of Knorr chicken powder to guests', prompting Mr Malik to resign in disgust, the tribunal heard

Mr Dhaliwal made Mr Ali redundant two weeks after the bust-up. An employment judge has now ruled that Mr Ali was unfairly dismissed.

The judge said Mr Dhaliwal 'didn't want anyone interfering with KK's [Karunesh Khanna's] cooking as it was so important to FD [Fateh Dhaliwal] to have a Michelin star chef for the refurbished restaurant'.

Mr Khanna still works for Tamarind at its flagship Mayfair restaurant, which reopened in December last year after a multi-million-pound refurbishment. A tasting menu, paired with wine, costs £114 a head.

Mr Ali will be awarded damages, limited to one month's wages – around £2,500 – at a remedy hearing on September 23.

 

 

ANN-MARIE B

10 July 2018  
Beautifully exotic.

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