I have a love-hate relationship with Indian food. Love because it’s divine and full of flavour. Hate because I don’t do well with spices. So finding the perfect in-between is always important – and pretty easy to do if you’re heading to a top-class restaurant that puts an emphasis on superior service. At least that’s what we experienced when we headed to Grand Trunk Road in South Woodford, London.
Whenever I eat Indian food I automatically go for the Butter Chicken, as this is generally the least spicy of all the dishes available. And while I did end up going for the Butter Chicken at Grand Trunk Road as well, the experience here gave me the chance to try a few different items that I had not tried before.
Getting Our Cocktail On
First up, cocktails. Classics are always great, of course, but Grand Trunk Road presented cocktails infused with masala and Indian spices that gave a unique flavour. The cocktail menu is definitely something to write home about, and I was very impressed. Think along the lines of the Afghani Silk (Vodka, Cointreau, Lychee Juice & Lime; £9.75), the Grand-T-Martini (Vodka, Strawberry, Passion Fruit & cranberry; £9.75), and the Masala Smash (Dewar’s 12-year-old Whisky, Angostura Bitters, Apple Juice, Lemon & Garam Masala Syrup; £10.75). All original. All delicious.
Food-wise, Kassandra and I started off with a Pappadom Basket (£3.15), which came served with a selection of chutneys, including mango & chilli flake, mint & yoghurt, beetroot & fennel, and apple & ginger. All of these were delicious, though they did all have that little spice kick – except for the mint & yoghurt one, which ended up being my favourite. The pappadoms were beyond delicious, and I pretty much finished the entire basket.
Starters: Lamb Chops & Scallops
For starters, Kassandra opted for the Peshawari Lamb Chops, served with fennel, star anise, raw papaya, pepper & gram flour (£25.95; available as a starter and a main). I opted for the Grilled Scallops, served with spicy tomato, roasted garlic & pepper chutney (£12.95).
I’m literally obsessed with scallops, and these were well worth it – absolutely delicious. Kassandra isn’t really a fan of lamb, but the dish came highly recommended and she wanted to be adventurous. And she absolutely loved it. So definitely a winner!!!!
Mains: Butter Chicken & Bengali Fish
For mains, of course, I went for the Amritsari Butter Chicken (£15.95) – and loved every bite of it. I was a little bleak because the dish was so delicious but the pappadoms filled me up so much already and I couldn’t finish it. Note for next time: Don’t smash the pappadoms first.
Kassandra continued her adventurous streak and opted for the Bengali Fish – sea bass fillet with Kasundi mustard, tomato & curry leaf sauce, and crispy spinach (£16.95). I didn’t try the fish, but she loved it!
Together with all of this we had Dal (£5.95), Basmati Rice (£3.50), and a Garlic Naan (£3.95). I personally believe that garlic naan is one of the most delicious things in the world, and Grand Trunk Road sure does a mighty fine one!
The Finishing Touches
It was a real feast. I was lucky in that Kassandra is probably the only person in the world who can eat more than I can, and I was so grateful that she tucked into everything so heartily. I’ve obviously been out of practice and struggled a little. But that didn’t stop me from ending off with a small dessert. Kass had the sorbet and I went for the rice pudding, both delicious. These left us with the perfect sweet ending to a beautiful lunch experience.
Visit Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road is definitely worth visiting. It looks unassuming from the outside, but the second you step into the space of the restaurant, you’ll find yourself magically transported to an Indian fine dining experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
To visit Grand Trunk Road, check out all of their info below.
Grand Trunk Road
Address: 219 High Road, London E18 2PB
Call: +44 208 505 1965
Article Date: August 2019
Photos by @delishkass.
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