Address: 356 Old York Rd, London SW18 1SS
Alcohol Policy: Licensed
Summary: Sadly now closed, this was a nice Indian establishment that graced the delightful Old York Road in Wandsworth.
Yes, once again we shamefully diverted our attention away from Tooting, but Tooting is in Wandsworth council and Wandsworth Town is only a short hop away, so we didn’t feel so bad. Plus, we had won another voucher (embarrassing) and it would be silly to waste it. However, despite these [short lived] reservations, it proved a visit worth making.
It was with some trepidation that we headed to the Tonsleys on a Monday evening, as both of us were trying to keep our heads down (Tom: supposed to be training for a half marathon; Michael: avoiding a girl from the area). Luckily, Amirah’s Kitchen is situated on the same road as the station, and it wasn’t long before we were checking out what Amirah was cooking.
Located on the modish, Old York Road, Amirah’s kitchen takes its place alongside many other culinary establishments. A relatively new restaurant, its understated, black exterior fits nicely on the street with a very provincial feel.
Inside, the walls were a lime green that matched our zest, and the black furnishings contrasted smartly, with the up lighting on the walls. Passing the bar on the left, the space then opens up into a dining area for about thirty people. Each table is tastefully adorned with a rose in a vase and the whole left wall is covered with an image of Delhi tuk tuks. The overall result is a very simple, contemporary and elegant venue.
We could mark it down for being outside Tooting, and for the questionable music mix that ranged from the more traditional to dramatic movie soundtracks and house, however, that would be harsh. All in all, it’s a pleasant environment. 7/10.
Starters and sides
Poppadoms and dips
For starters we had a poppadom each, with sides, and a tandoori selection.The poppadoms were perfectly crisp and not at all greasy and the dips were similarly to a high standard. In fact, probably some of the best we’ve sampled. I prefer my dips smooth and the mango chutney was just right; quite sublime.
The tandoori selection was equally excellent. The description on the menu of ‘A selection of kebabs- prawns, salmon, chicken lamb’ didn’t do it justice. Each meat portion was delightfully flavoured, from the cheese coated chicken, to the deep fried prawn, and the mint sauce dip was described by Tom as ‘absolutely fantastic’. Similar exclamations included: ‘I don’t even like salmon, but I like this’ and ‘even the side salad is good’, such was the quality of the dish.
The breads also felt carefully prepared and came beautifully presented, cut into quarters in baskets. Even the pilau rice was notable; perfectly fragranced with saffron and cumin. In general, the sides and starters were near faultless. 9/10
Goan Fish Curry
Kasmiri Lamb Rogan Josh
The curry continued where the starters left off. The fish and braised lamb were expertly cooked and the sauces were rich with intense flavours. Portions were more than ample, but it didn’t stop us mopping up the last drops with our naan. Some might prefer slightly more texture in their dish, but this would be the only potential criticism and we certainly didn’t mind. Like all the food here, the balance was just right; not too creamy like many other curries and no sign of grease at all. Again, all but nothing to criticise; a stellar performance. 9/10.
…and it wasn’t just the food.
Our waiter was twice as professional as those found on Tooting high street. He placed napkins on our laps, committed our order to memory, introduced each dish and even told us to write a review (here’s to you sir!). 8/10
Value For Money
It’s fair to say you pay a little bit more for the quality here. Our bill came to about £60, including two beers each. We were fortunate enough to have a voucher, halving our bill, but, value is more than just price and I’d say it was certainly worth the full amount. The quality of the food was top notch and other small touches, including taking our voucher amount off before adding service charge, really ticked our boxes. The bill also showed the amount split by two negating any controversial calculations or being left short of the total (we’ve all been there).
Finally, to top it all, at the end of the night we received a mint chocolate and a competition form giving us the chance to win a return visit. Here’s hoping our names are pulled out of the hat (hint, hint, Amirah). 8/10
As you can tell, we loved Amirah’s kitchen and definitely recommend a visit. Totalling up the digits brings our overall rating to a stonking 41/50 that just pips Spice Village to top our rankings. Only a short trip on the 219 from Tooting High Street, it’s definitely Wands-worth it.