Sunday, 6 September 2009

emni: indian rediscovered

i have a one-month trial membership from tastelondon, which i am putting to good use. the other day o and i tried an indian place in islington called emni. emni sets out to rediscover indian cuisine reflecting it in the diversity of its menu that includes regional dishes from around india. let’s be very clear, if it hadn’t been for tastelondon i wouldn’t have tried this place because both o and i are agreed that for the size of the servings it’s a bit on the pricier side. we’re both from the sub-continent and are more prone to eating our indian and pakistani food in the east end that is markedly cheaper and very very good.

so returning to emni. o picked a fantastic starter – a harra (green) kebab. it took a while for the starter to arrive but when it did it was worth it. spiced spinach and lentil kebabs with a centre of fig served with some tamarind sauce.

our mains were a selection of dishes including a west bengali kamla phool kopi: cauliflower and potatoes in a rather spicy and almost reduced sauce. a benarasi rampur chicken korma, which was rich with cream and spices including the infamous red kashmiri chilli, that gives it lots of warmth. lemon rice dotted with peanuts, saffron and onion seeds, which tasted exceptionally good. the rice was perfectly boiled with each grain tender and yet whole. as an after thought we had a punjabi saag paneer (spinach and cottage cheese) given the size of the servings. i have to confess that there was ample paneer and the spinach was well seasoned and spiced.we also had ridiculously over priced tandoori roti.

on the whole the food was really good. the spices were top notch and you could easily detect the different notes as they came through in layers. the korma for instance had a creamy note with a kick of chilli in the end. and the saffron and lemon in the rice didn’t compete for attention but came together in a perfect marriage. having said that i don’t think i’ll be coming here unless i get a tastelondon card. without the 50% off i would rather go to the east end or perhaps even nip into masala zone, which despite being a chain offers some really good indian food.