It was third time lucky in my quest to find the best curry in Shepherd’s Bush, and this time I was not alone. A few months ago one of the now legendary Bush Twitterati asked where they could find a good Indian restaurant Shepherd’s Bush. When I met the lovely Robyn at the last Tweet Up I suggested she join me on my next "Spice up your life". It then followed that some hungry Bush Belles and Blokes joined us for various good reasons (half marathon celebrations, not being able to make next week's Tweet Up and just being a hungry curry-loving Bush dweller) and we actually made quite a night of it.
Rajput slots nicely into the modern Indian restaurant category. The décor is minimalist, the lights on low and the staff are polite and efficient but not overwhelmingly so. Despite being more than 15 minutes late (my fault completely, well mine and the Goldhawk for being a cosy pre-curry venue) we were greeted by smiles, warm welcomes and poppadom condiments already on the table.
As it was at my first Bush curry experience at the Ajanta Tandoori, there was shared joy at the Rajput that the poppadom condiments included coconut chutney, which was actually a new and this time orange concept to one of the curry crew (it's normally much more red in my experience, like at Ajanta). I am happy to say that Chris is now a convert. Having judged the number of poppadoms just right and getting them to us before we’d even looked at a menu, the staff left us well prepared and keen to pick our mains. Covering all the usual suspects of dishes the menu was extensive and reasonably priced.
It is a testament to the palates of the group that no duplicate dishes were ordered and that there wasn’t a Chicken Tikka Massala in sight when our mains arrived. They were served from a wooden trolley and onto heated table trays showing that the Rajput still has some of the old school Indian restaurant touches!. I ordered one of my all time favourite dishes; Lamb Passanda (aka a “posh korma” as my good northern friend and jalfrezi fan Kelly calls it.). The others orders’ were for Chicken Dansak, Chicken Tikka, Chicken Biryiani and Chicken Bhuna. We shared steamed and pilau rice, plain and peshwari naans, daal and a bombay aloo. Actually, it is possible that the bombay aloo was mainy eaten by me being my favourite potato dish ever but I did offer it around (though possibly only in a whisper and when everyone else wasn't listening).
|My Lamb "Grouch" Passanda|
|Naan breads and Chicken Biryiani|
As I was in the company of new friends, I didn’t ask to dip my naan in any of the other dishes which I now regret because they looked and smelt amazing. Damn you social etiquette! As for my Lamb Passanda, it didn’t look that great (in fact it was exactly the colour of Oscar the Grouch) but it was delicious; tender strips of lamb as opposed to chewy chunks and the sauce was thick and flavoursome in consistency.
With our group consisting of two Rajput regulars and three newbies who’d heard good things, there was much to live up to. I think they did it and with some subtle flair. I asked for some overall scores from my fellow diners and they were all 8, 8.5 or 9 out of 10. There may have been only two clean plates, but there were five very full and happy stomachs. We also didn’t have to empty our pockets; including the tip it was £22.00 each (and as you can probably imagine we didn’t go without on the beer and wine front).