Experience modern Indian cuisine at The Painted Heron, Chelsea – a review
Friday evenings are everyone’s favourite day to well just let their hair down, to relax and let the pressure of deadlines from the week gone by settle down for a bit. That is reason enough to want to celebrate with a great meal.
If you can manage to get a date night on a Friday then it’s an even bigger bonus in my diary.
After what seems like a lifetime, we finally managed to find time for a quite dinner out for two last Friday evening. And we couldn’t have picked a better place to spend it at than the Fine dining restaurant – The Painted Heron. Situated in South Chelsea it is nestled at the exit of a quiet residential lane.
Quitely understated this riverside restaurant is perfect for when you are looking to indulge in modern Indian cuisine and enjoy a good wine list. After all, it is amongst the top 20 secret London restaurants that foodies love and is headed by acclaimed award-winning Chef patron Yogesh Datta.
We choose to sit at a cosy table facing the Heron Terrace. In spite, of the rain it was quite warm and a Champagne Cocktail was in order. It set the mood for our fabulous starters. Wild soft-shell chilli crabs on a skewer were plated so beautifully on a vintage plate and served with tree unusual chutneys. The crunchy batter was a mixture of sesame, chilli and lager, very moreish.
The orange chutney gets its distinct flavour from crumbly goats cheese and the maroon chutney has plum and berry flavours – just one example of how traditional dishes have been interpreted to create a distinctive and unique menu.
The chicken tikka three ways, was everything you would expect from tandoor grilled chicken on skewers – deep smoky and juicy flavours lending themselves to succulent melt in your mouth chicken. The modern twist to this dish is the kala chana and potato side it is served which sits on a bed of freshly ground coconut chutney – delightful and a revelation of how unexpected flavours and ingredients come together to create this tasty combination!
Minced Wagyu beef was an unexpected but fantastic choice for the chapali kebab starter, traditionally made with lamb. Served with tangy tamarind chutney the kebabs are paired with rice served in a small coconut shell.
If these starters have amazed you, the creative dishes on main course will leave you spellbound. Dishes like peasant supreme sit alongside wild boar curry and venison haunch steak. Much as we would have liked to let our taste buds continue their journey into these wildly fantastic sounding dishes, we decided to keep it simple for the main course.
The vegetarian and meat thali’s come with there different curries, naan, plain rice, salad and curd raita. Served in rustic plates with the finish of old silver, the plating looks fit for royalty.
The fried okra in batter on the veg thali is brilliant and chicken curry from the meat thali is great with plain rice.
Thalis are a great way to sample several dishes in one mini meal.
Chilean Casabalanca Pinot Noir was a good accompaniment to our meal, balancing all those complex spices with the deep fruity notes.
Many of the other patrons were regulars and knew the staff well, many took their wine glasses along and sat outside at the Heron Terrace. We followed suit…
A perfectly cosy little spot to enjoy the late evening light and the warm summer air.
There is also a Heron Al Fresco menu to explore if you so choose.
It’s amazing how after a heavy meal we manage to crave for a little sweet something and the sorbet trio was perfect to share for two. It was a close call between the coconut and the mango sorbet but we both agreed that the coconut sorbet was the best.
This gem of a restaurant really does deserve every bit of praise it gets and then some more, with top marks for creative combinations that work well and traditional Indian food that you cannot fault.
After your meal, do not miss out on the opportunity gaze at the beautifully lit Chelsea Bridge. Such a pleasing sight especially on a rainy night it really is rather romantic. Also, a great spot to wait while you call an uber or if you get lucky with the weather simply walk along the A320 for sweeping views of the Chelsea bridge.
*With thanks to Humayun Hussain and The Painted Heron for an invite. All opinions expressed are as always my own. No monetary compensation was provided for a positive review.