25 April 2012
44 Lordship Lane,
020 8693 7584
I was hoping to fall head over heels with Veer Zara because the Indian eatery takes its name from a classic Bollywood love story about star-crossed lovers.
The Indian air force pilot and his Pakistani sweetheart are destined to be together after spending an anguishing twenty years apart.
The 2004 flick raked in top rupees, more than 750 million to be precise but my love affair was just not meant to be.
The spacious Lordship Lane restaurant is decked out with authentic prints with a modern twist adorning the walls.
Its menu overflows with pages of promised culinary treasures and even boasts a healthy options section.
From this week, it has been enhanced with a splattering of brand spanking new dishes, which our slightly pushy waiter was keen for us to try.
I had other ideas though and after chancing upon the not very Indian sounding lamb xacutti, I was keen to find out more. Sadly the waiter wasn’t happy to oblige and disappointingly couldn’t tell me what it meant. However, having conducted a Google search, I can now reveal that it is apparently pronounced sha-kooti and is a Goan recipe using coconut and spices.
The stuffed green chilli starter was bland and not so much stuffed as somewhat baggy. The deep fried vegetable filled with yet more vegetables was under seasoned and my fellow foodie Chris was left yearning for more. The meaty mixed starter looked promising with a piece of chicken, lamb, deep fried prawn and onion bhajee.
But the chicken was too dry, the red meat too tough, the deep fried prawn spot on and onion bhajee way too greasy.
Meanwhile, the clever little novelty lemon squeezers went down a treat with Chris who vowed to purchase some as soon as he moves into his new flat.
Feeling somewhat downbeat, we had no choice but to soldier on and Chris was eager to tuck into his thali, which formed the staple of his diet during his recent trip to Goa. Are you sensing a Goan theme here? This is purely unintentional. It arrived swiftly with a good selection of yet more meaty dishes including succulent chicken tikka masala, fresh fluffy naan bread, and lightly spiced lamb sheek kebab.
The chunks of meat were accompanied by crispy salad, plain yoghurt, and pilau rice. The lamb sha-kooti was tough but bursting with flavour with refreshing hints of roasted coconut, and although it was an unusual pairing, the red meat seemed to complement the fruit harmoniously.
The mango delight lived up to its name with the sweet sorbet, which left a tangy after taste.
The melt in your mouth frozen dessert was filled into a scooped out mango skin and stole the show.
The dessert menu was a let down with only an assortment of ice creams to choose from.
I was really hoping for some steaming thick khir- Indian rice pudding but hey ho what can you do?
Veer Zara sits on Lordship Lane which has its fair share of bustling restaurants including a fair few Indian eateries.
There’s nothing that sets it apart from the crowd, and just like the film, it was a bittersweet affair. To top it all off, the heavens opened as we were leaving and a violent hailstone shower descended upon us.
Mixed starter £4.50
Stuffed chilli £3.50
Meat thali £10.95
Lamb xacutti £6.95
Bottle of Chablis £16
Mango delight £3.95
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