Starters of puff pastry puchkas, filled with spiced black chickpeas and potatoes are served with tamarind water pour to pour in and pop in the mouth before they crumble. Their texture is as addictive as well spiced papri chat. Tanga, Anglo-Chinese chilli, garlic prawns are beautifully juicy and fresh. Crisp paneer samosa with chopped coriander have a brilliant, bright tomato chutney to dip. Most unusual are spiced, minced mutton cakes stuffed with hung yoghurt and mint, both refreshing and earthy.
Among mains, stand outs are aubergine cooked in a tangy sauce with ground coconut and sesame seeds, boneless chicken thighs in Methi curry, fragrant with tomato and fenugreek and an extraordinary Hyderabadi salad of green chilli and onions cooked with ground peanuts, sesame and coconut. The tamarind dal with dried red chilli and curry leaves is wonderfully comforting. Hunza apricots are wickedly rich with clotted cream and sprinkled with pistachio.
Darjeeling Express serves up idiosyncratic, characterful and audacious yet homely, honest cooking. It feels far more personal than the likes of Dishoom. We love the all female kitchen. The beautiful irregular shaped bowls for main dishes and terracotta pots for masala chai add to the enjoyment of eating here.
£80.00+ dinner for two including wine
|What||Darjeeling Express, Kingly Court|
|Where||Darjeeling Express, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Oxford Circus (underground)|
On 27 Jun 17, 12pm - 10pm daily
|Website||Visit the Darjeeling Express website for more information|