The Telegraph Article
Curry: why the British are moving on from Chicken Tikka Masala - Experimentation by British Indian chefs and a desire to eat more healthily are behind growing consumer confidence when it comes to curry.
Skate Cheeks Koliwada, sir? In 1997, Chicken Tikka Masala was reportedly being ordered by 11 million diners in Britain, about 22 per cent of the population. Lodue Miah of the Madhuban restaurant in Liss, Hampshire said at the time that if he had 100 diners in a sitting, at least 80 of them would order CTM (as it’s fondly known in the industry). Updated statistics on the number of annual CTM orders do not appear to exist, but the dish’s appearance on most of the country’s Indian restaurant menus suggests it still has a firm place in our hearts. At least it did until 2011, when a survey by Chaat! Magazine revealed the Jalfrezi, a much hotter dish, to be Britain’s new favourite curry....
Shafiul Alom, the Bangladesh-born owner of cool new restaurant Est. India in Southwark, south London, agrees. He designed his menu to broaden understanding of the “rustic” dishes he hand-picked from around India, and will happily direct customers towards the more challenging ones: Kasundi fish tikka, for example, a tandoor-cooked dish marinated with mustard; or a south Indian Dosa, a long crispy pancake stuffed with chicken or lamb and served with Sambar, a soup-like vegetable sauce. Keema Pav, a bowl of finely minced and richly spiced lamb topped with pomegranate seeds, is another favourite. “Most of my customers are very open-minded and enjoy the culinary journey,” says Alom....full article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10564444/Curry-why-the-British-are-moving-on-from-Chicken-Tikka-Masala.html
Square Meal Review
A recent addition to pedestrianised Flat Iron Square, Est India’s self-proclaimed ‘modern urban feel’ translates as bare walls, wooden furniture, long tables and cosy booths for intimate get-togethers.
The cooking shows its debt to the subcontinent’s street food with dosas, naan rolls, puffs, utthapam and small plates (perhaps deep-fried corn and potato tikki), before offering various tandooris, biryanis and regional specialities such as Bengali prawn curry, Kashmiri palak lamb with spinach or a desi burger.
There are some genuine desserts too, including keer (rice pudding), syrupy gulab jamon dumplings and gajjar halwa (carrot cake) – plus kulfi on a stick.
All-in tiffin menus (£7.95) are ideal for relaxed business lunches, and there are some fragrant and spicy teas if the short international wine list doesn’t appeal.
London The Inside
Hidden away a short walk from London Bridge you’ll find a surprisingly nice open space, which in the summer will be a sweet little sun trap, perfect for drinking a mango lassi or two… Home to Est. India, a modern alternative to traditional Indian cooking the restaurant takes inspiration from the past and kicks it right into the future, this isn’t your korma with plain rice kind of place.
We started our eastern journey with two amazing dishes. Papri Chaat, a little tower of puffed rice, onions, coriander, chilli, tamarind, yoghurt and finished with pomegranate. Then the Keema Pav, a small bowl of insanely addictive minced lamb was so good, we could have ate this all night.
We then moved onto the curry. The fiery tiger prawn Malai Jhingha was the perfect amount of heat and the Palak Lamb was deeply marinated in kashmiri spices, resulting in a tasty sweet and sticky dish. All of the above was accompanied by an array of rices, punchy little side dishes and a great selection of chutneys, particularly the pumpkin which is now our favourite kind of chutney…
We finished our night with the cooling kulfis. Taking us right back to our childhood, just like a giant mini milk. Est. India is a cool little place, a secret neighbourhood gem and it’s pretty affordable too – well worth a visit.