Sindhu by Atul Kochhar is the new restaurant recently opened at the Compleat Anger, Marlow.
Atul Kochhar was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star, and his current flagship restaurant is Benares in Mayfair. He makes regular appearances on TV cookery shows, appearing on Saturday Kitchen just a week before the restaurant opening.
The menu has been created by Atul and head chef Gopal Krishnan, who we met on our visit. Gopal, like Atul, undertook his culinary education in India at the Taj Hotel group and has worked at well regarded London restaurants such as Mint Leaf and Tamarind.
Sindhu is described as offering diners”the very best of traditional Indian cuisine in a contemporary manner”. We all know what to expect from the traditional “British Indian” restaurants, so I was intrigued by what would be on offer …
We ordered the following, which was ample for 2:
- -Tiranga murgh (£9) – trio of grilled chicken with mint, saffron infused chicken kebab and crispy kori kempu
- -Macchi Amritsari (£9) – Crisp Fried Pollock with Chilli and Lime, Mint and Coriander Chutney
- -Hiran ki boti (£20) – Saddle of venison with cardamom and mace, turnip, roast jus
- -Salli Murghi (£15) – Corn Fed Chicken Supreme with Cheese and Coriander, Straw Potato, Spiced Apricot Sauce
- -Bread basket to share (£8) – a generous portion of naans etc, in fact we had to leave some of it!
- -Spinach Poriyal (£5) – spinach stir fry with mustard and coconut
- Chocolate Fondant, with peanut butter and vanilla ice cream (£7.50 each)
You can see from the menu descriptions that we are some way from what you might expect from your typical “Indian” restaurant. You don’t just pick a curry, rice, side and naan – and there is no long list of all the familiar Korma, Madras, Vindaloo and so on.No – this is fine dining, and as such the English language menu descriptions would not seem out of place in many other fine dining establishments (in Marlow, think: Vanilla Pod). The difference of course is that the ingredients and flavours described remind you that you will be treated to something a bit unexpected…
The food was all very impressive, and a real pleasure on the taste buds. For me it was something new – those unmistakable Indian flavours but being used in dishes created in a very contemporary manner and with superb presentation. My highlight was the venison, delicious flavouring and cooked to perfection.
In addition to the delicious food we ordered, it was the extra touches which helped make the meal that bit special, for example:
- -Lovely delicate bite sized poppadoms at the very start
- -Potato samosa for an “amuse bouche” (aka little freebie before your starter, and often a chance for the chef to “show off”)
- -Granny Smith apple sorbet in between courses- next time I might ask if they can serve it as a dessert – it was delicious!!
Service was friendly, and the atmosphere good – there were a decent number of diners despite the quite “soft” opening in the early days. We visited in the evening, and the restaurant was a little dark perhaps, lit by candles on each table – this was mostly an annoyance for me wanting to take photos of the food – but I guess putting that aside it would be cosy/romantic depending on your disposition! I have included a photo here of the restaurant when empty which gives a better feeling for the decor, which certainly sets it apart form what you would might expect elsewhere inside the Compleat Angler.
We will certainly revisit, and I suspect next time – if the occasion warrants the budget – we will try the Tasting Menu (£48), which looked a bit special!
Atul is of course in the kitchen sometimes, and when he is – from what we hear – is keen to come out and talk to diners.
I should round off by saying that for anyone reading this without knowledge of Marlow – you should note that the riverside setting of the hotel and restaurant is nothing short of stunning! We recommend it – it’s a great addition to Marlow’s flourishing restaurant scene, so give it a try, and let us know what you think.
Macdonald Compleat Angler
Marlow Bridge Lane
Bucks SL7 1RG
01628 405 405