10 Lincoln St
This plush Indian eatery is tucked away on Lincoln Street, just off Kings Road. Rasoi is an intimate affair with around ten tables dotted throughout its dining room. It was an unassuming mid week lunch hour when we visited, and we almost had the place to ourselves. The kitchen at Rasoi is where Vineet Bhatia regained his Michelin star in 2006, and the restaurant’s reputation has preceded it ever since.
Before we managed to choose anything from the menu, we made the easier choice of what to drink. A lusciously creamy mango lassi and a glass of house red got us started, whilst we grappled with what to eat. Eventually we decided on the crab and lamb platter to start, and tucked into a tamarind infused amuse bouche of papri chat whilst we waited for our first course to arrive. A basketful of garlic, masala cheese and coriander naan bread also whet our appetite, and proved difficult to resist.
Our starters were typical of Vineet’s approach to cooking, and worked beautifully with the delicate balance of spices used to flavour each dish. The crab platter comprised a South Indian masala crab cake, crab chutney and a crab & corn samosa, whilst the lamb platter offered up a mix of coconut lime lamb, and lamb Shikampuri Kebab, accompanied by sour onions.
After a little more decision making, our main meals of tandoori black spice chicken breast and grilled pepper duck breast arrived. The duck looked suitably tempting, but the chicken breast stole the show, blackened with squid ink and decorated with a layer of gold leaf. Oddly, I half expected the chicken to taste burnt due to its dark finish, but the meat was superbly soft and again, beautifully spiced. The gold leaf didn’t taste of anything in particular but gave the dish a little glamour. Portions at Rasoi are appreciatively realistic, so your plate won’t be piled sky high with food you have no chance of finishing.
For dessert, we ordered a sweet-toothed finish with a chocolate samosa and caramelised nuts. The samosa was filled with white and dark chocolate and almonds, with a coffee & walnut mousse on the side and Colomba ice cream to boot. If you’re nuts about nuts, the caramelised nuts were a moreish way to end a meal, served with a silky chocolate torte and a scoop of cardamom ice cream.
This is not the kind of curry house that soaks up the excess of a night out. This stylish town house is the kind of place where intimate dinners and small business lunches win out. Walking in for dinner after a few too many beers, could end up cheating you of the full experience of Rasoi and its kitchen - and that would be criminal.
We ordered from the a la carte menu, which will set you back by around £40 - £50 per head, for a three course meal with wine. A set menu is also available at £21 for two courses, and £26 for three. (A discretionary service charge of 12.5 % will be added to your bill).
10 Lincoln St, London, SW3 2TS
Tel: 020 7225 1881
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar