o and i dined at trishna london on a unseasonably warm evening. summer experienced a renaissance at the end of september although the days started in an unmistakable mist that is so quintessentially autumnal in keat’s way. on this friday evening trishna london had thrown open its doors so the eating space merged with the diners sitting on the sidewalk. trishna’s location in a side street in marylebone village affords it this luxury as there is no additional noise.
the decor has been kept simple and to a minimum with large scale posters whose brightness is muted in keeping with the fact that trishna is a more upscale indian restaurant. the lighting is kept at a dim softness. service is attentive. i looked through the drinks menu whilst waiting for o to arrive. unfortunately my first choice of a spiced apricot martini was unavailable that night but the recommended mumbai mule lived up to its expectations of having faithfully captured the essence of the sub-continent. to me, it was a sophisticated alcohol and chilli spiked version of a roadside lemon soda.
now trishna london has been on my list of places to eat at for quite a while, and for two dishes in particular one of which is the haryali bream and the other the seafood biryani. hariyali is the word for green and here it denotes bream marinated in green chilli and coriander. contrasting against the vibrancy and heat of the green is a salad of baby tomatoes. trishna’s take on the kachumber is markedly different from the sub-continental version where kachumber is a salad with a very small dice. here the baby tomatoes stand in as a smaller version of the vegetable and are merely halved. but that is not to say that it did not taste good. it was the perfect balance of heat, piquancy and mellowness. i perhaps had higher expectations about the presentation of the seafood biryani. i like biryani to be served in a flat dish so as to expose the layers of colour that are a feature of this dish. placing it in a casserole dish detracted from that display. however, in terms of flavour it was excellent. the rice had taken a deep masala tinge which is customary of biryani and was heavy with seafood. the heat and spice of it was mediated by a cucumber raita. o had on the side picked the okra which had been cut into thin rings and dry fried with some spices and coconut.
the servings are not particularly large but biryani is by no means a light main course and i was right when i said to o that we would be sated with what we had ordered. and in the manner that is fairly unusual for us, we left trishna sans dessert. it is a pity for i would have loved to try the carrot halwa. i guess there is always a next time.
i am also inclined to say that trishna is slightly on the pricey side but that it's lunch bites and early evening menus which are coupled with wine lights look very promising. so perhaps that is something to keep in mind