‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ could not be a more fitting phrase to describe Fulham’s PURE Indian Cooking. From the outside it looks like your standard curry house. One you’d either walk past, sadly avoid altogether or frequent with the sheer hope of sobering you up after 47 jaeger bombs. All of which would be a terrible mistake.
Inside I’m faced with inoffensive yet slightly underwhelming décor, but I soon realise what this place lacks in style, certainly makes up for in substance; with a menu full of hearty, flavoursome and incredibly delicious dishes created by its talented head chef, Shilpa Dandekar.
With Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc under her belt, it’s no surprise Shilpa brings with her a certain level of quality and expertise that subtly shines through an impressive menu using fresh ingredients that marries both classic and original Indian cuisine. Don’t expect to find your favoured Jalfrezi on the menu, but the very attentive and knowledgeable waiters will recommend dishes based on those us Westerners are more familiar with which undoubtedly surpass. Mouth-watering slow cooked spiced lamb mopped up with perfectly cooked paratha; crisp and fluffy goat’s cheese and spinach samosas served with mint, tomato and beetroot chutney; succulent Mangalorean chicken cooked in coconut and chili, and asparagus marinated in mustard and curry leaves topped with toasted pine nuts are just a few of the standout dishes.
The real stars of the show however, are Shilpa’s signature halibut curry; a soft, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth dish of dreams and the curried steamed mussels, which not only make the much-loved moules-frite look like a sorry state of affairs, if it were up to me the moreish and mildly spiced juice the mussels are doused could be (and was) slurped as a soup. When asked how she created such a deliciously light sauce with such depth of flavour, she laughed and told me ‘’just three ingredients’’, one of which I assume is PURE gold.
PURE Indian Cooking is open seven days a week. To make a reservation visit pureindiancooking.com or call 0207 736 2521.