Address: 67 Fulham High St, Fulham, London SW6 3JJ
Alcohol Policy: Licensed
Summary: Smart and relaxed curry house serving a good range of quality food.
Pure Indian Cooking
Following some drinks in Parsons Green, Ange, Nate and I, had a collective desire for curry. When that happens there is only one solution: have one. A quick Google, and a glance at flagged places on my maps, and it was off in the direction of Pure Indian Cooking, Fulham. The hope was that this was the Ronseal of the curry world, and did exactly what it said on the tin, but there was only one way to find out. Would it be pure class or pure jokes? A bit of both, it turned out.
Fulham is not a part of town I'm particularly familiar with, but luckily Pure Indian Cooking made us feel welcome from the start. Situated at the foot of Fulham High Street, just shy of Putney bridge, its khaki coloured front belied a far more tasteful interior.
Upon entry, spices wafting from the kitchen had an almost entrancing effect whilst there was something equally hypnotic about the traditional music that drifted on the airwaves. As a result, the atmosphere was relaxed, helped by the generous space given to each table and the limited number of patrons at the late hour of our arrival. On the walls, bold prints and artwork added more sensory stimulation, most notably a couple of multi-coloured fabric specimens that were soft to the touch and spanned most of the left hand wall. A bar and mounted bottles of wine on the right hand side completed the altogether pleasant scene.
I was reminded of Indian Room in Balham - think simple, smart and tasteful.
Starters and sides
Pudina Paneer Tikka
It wasn't an indulgent start with just poppadoms and a paneer tikka piece each to get us off the mark. The poppadoms came with deliciously smooth mango chutney and an interesting chilli and garlic paste that was a touch overpowering Also accompanied by a dollop of chilli sauce were the three paneer tikka, fresh from the tandoor, marinated with fesh mint and coriander, and topped with a segment of fried onion.Taste-wise they were very fragrant, as was most of the food, but the cheese itself was a little lightweight, soft in texture, and didn't stand out in its own right. Far more memorable were the naan; the peshwari in particular was superbly light and full of coconut flavour.
Khade Masale Ka Gosht
For mains it was three curries: one chicken, one lamb and one veggie. First up, the Mangolorean chicken had rather anglicized appearance with a deep, creamy orange colour. However, the flavour was far from prosaic, like a richer tomato based butter chicken that packed a piquant punch. More pleasing on the eye was the khade masale ka gosht. However, despite a delicate tomato sauce that housed an excellent blend of spices, the flavour wasn't to my taste and the lamb on the bone wasn't the most tender. The aubergine, baingan bharta, was a return to form, with nice, mushy, smokey veg complemented by onion, garlic and cumin.
Being his usual jovial self, and encouraged by a few glasses of wine, Nate decided to try a few curry-based jokes with our waiter:
Q: What did George Michael order with his curry?
A. Well, I guess it would be rice.
Q.I heard there was a fight last night in the curry house?
A. ...the guy ended up in a korma.
Toe curling silence followed.
...the guy ended up in a KOR-MA
KOR-MA / COMA get it?
Finally, some embarrassed laughter from the waiter, but I'm pretty sure he still didn't get it.
I don't know if this should be marked down, but the size of the cobras should be. Otherwise, service was regular and polite so an average score is given, but some lessons in good humour wouldn't go amiss.
Value for money
At £13/14 per curry you're certainly paying Fulham prices here. Yes, the dishes are well executed, and the atmosphere pleasant, but it's hardly Darjeeling Express or a Maddox Street joint. Add to this the smaller cobras and it's a slightly below par score for value.
Pure Indian Cooking is certainly a solid curry experience and certainly no run of the mill, high street establishment. Ours was a comfortable late night visit, with careful and considered cooking. However, the prices are a little high, even if the lack of competition and above average incomes in the neighbourhood allow it. Nevertheless, it's worth a visit if in the area, but not sure we'll be going out of our way for a second visit anytime soon.