Published on June 2nd, 2014 | by Lumy George0
Bengal Tiger, St Pauls
Summary: With set menus starting at £20, it's worth going if you are in the city.
Being somewhat of a novice when it comes to Indian cuisine, the opportunity to review Bengal Tiger was one I approached with great excitement. With notable postcode appeal from its Carter Lane location and a cliental including some of London’s finest law professionals, I had a feeling I wouldn’t be left disappointed.
Upon entering, the waiting staff were quick to welcome me. Whilst walking to my table, I was struck by the atmosphere of the restaurant. There seemed to be a relaxed yet sophisticated feel to the room, with dinner dates and larger parties all seemingly enjoying themselves.
Just as promptly as I was welcomed and sat, the customary poppadum and sauce quartet appetizer was brought to the table. These wafer thin crispy delights were a great snack whilst I delved into the menu. Of the sauces, I’d have to say the onion salad and spicy pickle were my favourites. During this, the manager very kindly brought over a spicy poppadum for me to try. This was lovely, leaving a wonderful smoky spice to one’s pallet. Whilst sitting and enjoying a glass of red wine, I noticed how the restaurant had worked the Tiger theme into different elements of its décor. Most noticeable was the sealing above the wrap around bar, lines of lighting had been used to create the look of a tigers jaw. Above the stairs going down to additional seating was a simple iron sculpture depicting the back of a tiger, the curve and notable fur patter.
For starter I decided to have the Tandoori platter. Though a classic, I was interested in the way this establishment would go about infusing the Tikka spices into the various pieces of meat and fish. I must say, my verdict is that it was done with great aplomb. The chicken was succulent with the green Tikka adding a depth in the flavour that was most enjoyable. The plate also included a juicy piece of Tikka salmon. Although this was the first time I’d had salmon in such a way, I found it extremely pleasing. The salmon was cooked to perfection and given a far more delicate hint of the Tikka flavouring. Also included in the platter was a piece of Sheek kebab and Tandoori king prawns.
I’d disciplined myself by saving the king prawn till last. As it sat on the plate, its white thick fleshy body curled from the intense heat during cooking. Small char marks could be seen across the meat with Tandoori sauce generously drizzled over it. I don’t know if you can tell, but I was looking forward to this. Now whilst I could use a plethora of superlatives to explain how great the prawn was, I’ll keep it simple and sum it up by sharing the one fault I had with it…there was only one. I could honestly have eaten a bucket of those little guys, the flavour smothered every cavity of my mouth with a warm smokiness. Without doubt the hero of a very tasty starter.
After such a good impression was left by the starter course, my anticipation levels for the main were high. With the help of the manager and after much deliberation I chose the Duck Achar with special fried rice, Bhindi Bhajee (okra mixed with cumin seeds and lime) and spinach. As the different components arrived to my table, I liked how each dish served seemingly had its own custom dish that brought the food to life. The tomato based sauce of the duck was full of rich tones. When enjoyed together with the rice and vegetables, there was a pleasant balance in flavour. Unfortunately, the duck was slightly over cooked for my liking. Rather than melt in the mouth, I found it had a certain firmness to it. Whilst the main was enjoyable, it sadly didn’t reach the highs set by the starter.
Never the less I was very impressed with the overall dinner experience. The management and team do a great job in ensuring all dinners are comfortable and able to shake off the stresses of their working life. Set menus start from under £20 per person so be sure to stop by next time your near St Pauls.
Bengal Tiger, 62-66 Carter Lane, EC4V 5EA.