Fri. May 24th, 2024

Nutmeg, Clifton Village: Review

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If the number of people who read my previous post about Nutmeg’s opening is anything to go by, you lot have been getting very excited about its opening. Nutmeg is a brand new Indian restaurant that opened at 10, The Mall (formerly home to Posh Spice) in Clifton Village on the last Friday of October, and I was lucky enough to be invited down on Thursday night for a bit of a blogger/press pre-opening bash.

Seated at tables beside the beautiful mural spanning one wall of the restaurant, the evening began with an intro from owners Raja and Charlotte, describing the menu – very different to most Indian restaurants. Head chef Arwind’s task was no simple one: before opening, his job was to create a menu with dishes that represented every single one of India’s 29 states.

While we often talk about “Indian food”, there’s a huge amount of variation in what’s commonly eaten depending on where you are in the country: Kerala’s known for its seafood, Andhra Pradesh for the biryani, the north of the country for its use of dairy products. Each dish on Nutmeg’s menu details where its inspiration comes from: it’s an amazing concept, and one that, from what I tried on the night, really does work.

We began the evening with three beautiful dips – twists on the standard curry house fare – with my favourite being the deep green mint chutney that you see at the front of the picture below. These were served with mini poppadums, which I’ve never seen served at a restaurant – a great idea, and perfect for scooping up just the right amount of chutney.


Nutmeg Clifton - Dips


Rather than full starters, we were each given a plate that showcased four of the options available on the full menu. The spiced pea and potato stuffed vegetarian samosa was packed full of flavour and beautifully cooked, while we were also treated to samples of three starters from the tandoori menu: tender marinated chicken, an outstanding lamb chop with a strong herby sauce, and a decent-sized juicy king prawn, the slightly charred edges of which added both flavour and texture.


Nutmeg Clifton - Starters


For my main, I travelled to West Bengal and enjoyed the Seabass Jal Tarang (£14.95). This is a part of the country known for its fish (it lies within the Ganges delta) and its use of green chillies, and this dish incorporated both. The fish itself – two generous fillets – had been marinated in lemon juice, yoghurt, gram flour and green chillies before being grilled to perfection – it really was beautifully cooked, and I was pleased to see that the heat of the chillies wasn’t overpowering – it was just enough without detracting from the flavour of the fish. It was served with a lightly fragranced tomato sauce, along with a serving of masala mashed potato – more crushed than mashed, but packed full of flavour with both whole and crushed spices.


Nutmeg Clifton - Sea Bass


Along with the mains, we tried a few of Nutmeg’s side dishes: a creamy, cheese-topped sag aloo (£3.50 – the cheese melted into the spinach – beautiful), along with both plain and peshwari naan (both £1.95) which were served just as delicately as the other dishes, thin naans as opposed to the thick, fluffy and overly filling breads of other restaurants. The peshwari with its sweet filling was out of this world.


Nutmeg Clifton - Sag Aloo


If you visit Nutmeg, be sure to save space for dessert. Sadly, the lack of dessert menu on their website means that I have no idea of prices, but the chai crème brûlée that I tried on the night was fantastic. The flavour of the cardamom came through over other spices, and the consistency was beautiful – sadly, this wasn’t the case for others at my table whose desserts turned out more custard-like, though. I’d have liked to have seen a caramelised topping, but the crunch of the sugar on top added texture.

We also sampled a gulab jamun – a traditional Indian deep-fried dough ball, soaked in a sweet syrup – it divided opinion on our table, but it was a great example of the traditional Indian sweet.


Nutmeg Clifton - Dessert


In my eyes, Nutmeg is a fantastic addition to Clifton Village: far more of an occasion dining place than your standard Indian restaurant, but with very reasonable prices, great presentation of dishes and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Their aim is to showcase food from all 29 of India’s states – and they do it very well indeed. I’ll definitely be heading back to experience a few more parts of the country in the near future…


Please note: our meal was received free of charge as part of a blogger/press event, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.


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