Flavour and spice – Indian Essence: Chef Season event

Even though Indian Essence is not in London I just had to review as this restaurant is the best Indian restaurants on the outskirts of London.

Indian Essence is an established restaurant that is owned by Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar for some nights though throughout this year he is laying on some special chef season nights where he will be joined in the kitchen with another top chef.  The chef season night I attended in February Atul was joint by Aktar Islam from the Lasan restaurant.

Upon walking up to the restaurant the front of house host greets us at the front entrance and takes our coats and leads us to our table. The table we had was opposite the kitchen window which I was thrilled about as I could watch the chefs all at work.  It was like watching a cookery show but without sound. The waiters firstly took our drink orders and I ordered a Mango Tango non-alcoholic cocktail which was tangy and had fresh passion fruit juice in it.  It was so nice I had two throughout the night.  My husband had a rose wine which had a clean refreshing taste but slightly bland in taste but it was still nice.  The waiters were all dressed well and were all polite.

Onto the food for starters first course was the Amuse Bouche (created by Atul) which is a smoked chickpea cake with yoghurt chutney.  The chickpea ball was crunchy and very spicy so I was very happy that I had a dollop of the yoghurt chutney on the side to cool down my palette but the ball was very delicious neverless. The second starter dish was a scallop (created by Aktar) that came with greens, cauliflower and a Keralan coconut milk sauce.  Aktar who created this dish came out and poured the lovely coconut milk sauce around the scallop on our plates. Me and my husband felt like VIP’s with him pouring the sauce onto our dishes plus we was the only ones he done this for as he came out only on this one occasion to show the waiters how to do throughout the night. After eating the wonderful plump and refreshing scallop we are presented with a exotic sorbet then was given to us to refresh our pallets of our tongues upon eating the sorbet when I was eating it, it led me thinking of a tropical island as the sorbet had a very refreshing zingy tangy fruity taste to it. Next on the menu was the Jardaloo Salli Murgi (created by Atul) this was chicken supreme parcels with apricots, caramelised onion sauce, crisp potatoes along with rice. The apricot and the sauce really worked well with the chicken.  Next course which at this stage I was getting quite full was Textures of Lamb (created by Aktar). This consisted of lamb cutlets and slow cooked shoulder served along with turnip, baby leaf spinach smoked bone marrow gravy with garlic naan.  All of the pieces of lamb was soft, flaky and melted in the mouth was divine with a slight spice. For dessert it was Textures of Chocolate (created by Atul). On the plate there was some splodges of nutella like chocolate spread, a white chocolate icecream with a hint of coconut (I think) and a passionfruit (or it might be mango) chocolate flavoured yellow wave.  All the different chocolates led me to go into chocolate heaven fantasy as I just love chocolate.  All the dishes were spectacular and all had the wow appearance but what really topped the night off for me was when Atul and Aktar both came out and talked to us and let us have photos with them as me and my husband are massive celebrity / Michelin starred chef fans.

Indian Essence is the best Indian in PettsWood, Kent in my opinion (well it is owned by a Michelin starred chef after all). Atul does not always cook their but when he is their it is a treat. I highly recommend to anyone that is in the area to eat there as you will not be disappointed.

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