Bangalore Express City
1, Corbet Court, 3-6 Gracechurch St, EC3V 0AT
020 7220 9195/www.bangaloreuk.com
Bangalore Express is the City outpost of Chef-Patron Yogesh Datta, also proprietor of the award-winning fine dining Indian restaurant The Painted Heron in Chelsea. Sitting opposite Leadenhall Market the restaurant has an exciting looking new menu slanted at the busy City crowd and I have been invited to review. There are some intriguing elements including Indo-Chinese dishes such as Chilli Squid and Lollipop Chicken, a “Build Your Own Curry Plate Matrix” , Skinny Curry Plates and an Indian Breakfast Menu. Bangalore Express has an upstairs bar with a capacity of up to 60 covers offering canapés and cocktails and on a hot and sultry summer’s day a well mixed Mojito (£7.80) seems in order. Whilst looking over the menu crisp poppadums arrive with delicious home-made garlic, beetroot and mango chutneys (£3). From the small plates menu we try the Fish Tikka (£7.50)- deliciously meaty chunks of fish cooked in a yoghurt and spice marinade with a mild chilli kick. Aloo Chaat (£7.50)-a potato, sweet potato and chickpea salad-had the characteristic spicy crunch of this classic street food dish blended with the sweet-sour tang of tamarind.Vegetable Manchurian (£7.50) came from the Indo-Chinese section of the menu. Deep-fried balls of broccoli, cauliflower and paneer are served in a tangy soy based brown sauce. This is one of those irresistibly tasty dishes that you just want to eat more of. Where do I get a bus to Manchuria?Prawn and courgettes in hot and sour Goan curry (£18.50) used chilli and tamarind to deliver a classic Goan experience-it was definitely hot but not at the expense of flavour. Not for the faint-hearted though!Garlic studded naans arrived hot from the oven flecked with tiny shards of the pungent allium (£3.50).Basmati Rice (£3) was perfectly cooked, flaky and full of flavour. I love the cooling quality of coconut ice cream here served in a half- shell (£4.50). For a sweeter option creamy cheese cakes were doused in mango cream (£5.50). I’m really excited about the diversity of Indian restaurants that we now have in London. Bangalore Express does an excellent job at the ‘fun dining’ end of the spectrum with a wide variety of dishes you actually want to eat and a menu that reflects the flexibility and informality of contemporary restaurant going.