Set over two floors, with communal tables tightly packed, Madame D is already attracting a crowd. The reasonably-priced selection of Tibetan, Nepalese and Chinese dishes combine comfort and liberal spice, and there's also an inventive selection of cocktails (think rhubarb margarita and artichoke negroni).
As ever with sharing plates, it’s the kind of menu that’s best enjoyed as larger group. Come as a table of six and you can easily order everything and dip into it all. And the buzz of conversation and elbow-to-elbow proximity with other diners make Madame D more suited to big catch-ups than intimate date nights.
Prawn crackers are no mere nibble – as you’d hope at £8.50 a portion. The prettily pink szechuan peppered crackers come with generous garnishes of newari pickles and whole red prawns (made rather rubbery by the pickling process).
A cool, yoghurty dip would have made a nice addition and those who plan to order them for grazing purposes while deciding on the rest of the menu, beware: the heat can numb your taste buds.
You’d do better to double up on the naga chili beef puffs. The sticky sweet/savoury pastry bites are easily the best thing on the menu – and they sell out accordingly. Order at least one each and thank us later.
Other highlights include the tangy hakka chili paneer and the oh-so moreish crispy potato and noodle bhel. Kathmandu curry is a rich coriander cream and coconut concoction cut through with crispy bamboo shoots and earthy chunks of sweet potato.
|What||Madame D restaurant review|
|Where||MADAME D, 76 Commercial St, London, E1 6LY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Aldgate East (underground)|