When a menu is created from the restaurant owner and head chef spending five weeks on a culinary journey around India, you know you’re in for something a bit special.
Grand Trunk Road – which is also the name of this Michelin recommended east London restaurant – was ancient India’s first trading route.
From Kabul to Kolkata (Calcutta) the 1,600 mile journey is the Indian equivalent of America’s Route 66, and it’s the recipes from the many different regions along the way – some dating back to the 16th century – that make up the menu.
This knowledge allowed restaurant owner Rajesh Suri and head chef Dayashankar Sharma (a former personal chef to the Indian prime minister and Indian cricket team) to come up with dishes, they claim, aren’t served anywhere else in the country.
On our visit we were treated to the Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing priced at £78 per person for five courses.
The Amouse-bouche of Zucchini Kofta with green chilli and tomato chutney was enough to get our tastebuds tingling.
Then came the starter of Seared Scallops with roasted pepper, tomato and garlic chutney – which was phenomenal – and Baby Squid stuffed with seafood, sweet chilli and green mango salsa.
The stuffed squid dish, they told us, was inspired by a recipe favoured by wealthy Indians. Traditionally, the filling would be whatever fish was left at the end of the market day, so the taste would never be the same. At Grand Trunk Road they use prawns, crab and tilapia fish, which is then deep fried. I’d highly recommend giving it a try.
Second course was Tandoori grilled Chicken Kebabs coated in red onion and fresh herbs, and Rabbit Tikka marinated in timur, kebab chini and Indian long peppers. I loved the chicken, but the rabbit wasn’t for me. However, that’s only down to personal taste. My friend ate mine!
The lime and thyme palate cleanser was just what we needed to refresh us ready for the main course – Roasted Lamb Rack, Masala Mash and Rojan Josh sauce. I’ve eaten lots of curries before, but this dish was like heaven on a plate. It also came with truffle naan bread, which was delicious – but by this point I could only manage a few bites as I was getting rather full.
Of course, that didn’t stop me when dessert came! I suddenly found room for the Chocolate, Orange and Chilli Mandarin Cake with chocolate truffle sauce (basically a posh Jaffa Cake) that was put in front of me, along with the creamy Vanilla Madagascar Yoghurt with fresh berries, that I just couldn’t stop eating.
Grand Trunk Road in South Woodford (easily accessible on the Central line) only opened it’s doors in November 2017, but was named Best Fine Dining Indian at this year’s London Curry Awards – and it’s easy to see why with the sumptuous food and superb service we were treated to.
It’s a restaurant to keep an eye on in the future, and definitely worth heading that bit further east for.
Click here to go to the Grand Trunk Road website.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Katie Wilson