Fulham High street is always buzzing with activity and is dotted by an assortment of eateries. Nestled among them is one hidden gem called Pure Indian Cooking. With a female chef, Shilpa Dandekar at the helm this is a neighbourhood restaurant with a loyal set of patrons.
The minimalist interiors at Pure belie the superior quality of food and service served up by the husband-wife duo. who have worked with some of London’s finest high-end names. Chef Shilpa has worked with the likes of Chef Raymond Blanc OBE. Both Faheem and Shilpa began their career with the Taj group and then continued to work with big names like The Bombay Brasserie and the Michelin-starred Quilon.
Cocktails with familiar Indian flavours like mango and chilli, I always find very tempting and the Mango Chilli Margarita at Pure is quite bold and refreshing.
We tried a range of starters but loved the Patra Chaat and seared scallops the most. What makes the patra chaat so special is the fusion of a popular street food – chaat with all it’s lively flavours married to a very homely familiar taste – that of patra or fried colocasia leaves. One bite of the patra and memories of my aai making ‘aloo chya vadya’ (patra in marathi) came flooding, reminding me how much I miss watching her cook, especially during Ganpati when she always very painstakingly makes these from scratch.
The scallops are fresh and the flavours are brilliant. The kebabs were fabulous simply they were cooked to perfection. The spices used for marination come through in every juicy mouthful and meat lovers will be left wanting for more.
With the starters setting the bar high, we were expecting a great set of dishes for mains to follow as well. And Chef Shilpa did not disappoint. Crab kokum fry – crab shell stuffed with spicy crab meat – was our favourite. Inspired by dishes the chef has eaten in her childhood home in the western coastal parts of India, dishes like the crab kokum fry, Lamb sukke and Mango curry are simple homely yet delightful dishes created with love and passion which clearly shine through.
I would also highly recommend the lassoni palak – leafy spinach cooked to a creamy consistency and tempered with burnt garlic – perfect with a large helping of rice and some prawn masala – ummm – so comforting and satisfying.
The Apricot Halwa is very moreish, as the different flavours are delicately balanced together. A dessert such as this befitting of a trained and experienced chef’s repertoire.
True to its name, the food at Pure is just that – pure, earthy and full of flavour yet with crafted with expert knowledge and the very best ingredients and produce. I would go back purely for the
I would go back purely for the patra chaat, crab kokum fry and the lamb dish and we do hope to make the most of the fact that this delightful restaurant is in our neck of the woods. But for those who can’t get to Fulham, there is a great opportunity to sample this talented chef’s cooking at her supper club called the ‘Modern Indian regional journey’. To book the supper club and to explore the menu in detail head to the restaurant’s website.
*With thanks to Humayun Hussain for the invite and Chef Shilpa Dandekar and Faheem for their warm hospitality. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.