Chourangi is located just around the corner from the ill-fated Marble Sanctuary and opens to visitors at the same time, fall 2021.
Thankfully, those are the similarities – mound Appeared half way through completion, became a national laughing stock and is currently being dismantled, while Chourangi is a pretty charming place and seems to have all the right elements for a bright future.
Named after a quaint district of Kolkata, Chourangi bills its menu as “uncharted flavors of India”. That slogan is not far off: only a few Indian Restaurants in London serves dishes from the port city of West Bengal, where hundreds of years of historic trade and colonial activity left behind culinary influences from across Europe and China. The result – until the food goes – is an intriguing blend of flavors and textures.
Very helpful for the uninitiated, Kolkatan dishes are highlighted on the menu and, aside from a portion of steamed rice, these are the only dishes my partner and I have ordered.
The heavy upgrade made possible by the mustard flavor is almost immediately noticeable in our pick. It’s Chingri cutlet, a warm seasoned, chewy breaded shrimp dish that’s combined with a light mustard dip. Or kosha mangsho, a boneless lamb curry with a rich, rich flavor, where mustard oil enhances the gentle heat.
Where mustard really sings is at the start of aam-kasundi – chunks of chewy aubergine in a mango-mustard sauce. Here, the aromatic flavor pierces through like a spear – almost eye-catching and oddly more fragrant.
Elsewhere, a variety of textures await. Aamada maach is all about softness – bite-sized chunks of rock sea bass in a creamy sauce – offering a subtle fishy flavor at first, then a bit of heat. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the breadcrumbs croquettes mocha, which offers a delightful crunch but with a much milder flavor. They’re vegan, but offer a real treat with a mix of banana, coconut, and cinnamon, all offset by a delicate mint kasundi dip. Somewhere in between the two is kalonji naan, soft but crunchy and topped with light nigella seeds.
Aside from the occasional mustard flavor, the flavors on our menu never go too overpowering, or particularly hot, focusing instead on providing interest – tingle black cardamom wafting through dahi kebab kofta; or the tartness of curd in mango bhapa doi, a Kolkata “classic” dessert that deserves a place in anyone’s dish.
Chourangi’s decor is inspired by Kolkatan architecture and matches its superior Marble Dome location. Bright cream-colored walls, dark green furniture, rattan chairs and decorative textures on the ceiling and mirrors create a chic space, especially in the evenings with warm lighting and jazz music. jingle softly.
To the side is a sparkling bar serving a range of interesting cocktails that I now wish I could taste – especially the aam-kasundi “Harmony”, if its aubergine name is anything. .
Chourangi may bring “undiscovered” flavors to London, but its menu will have wide appeal, not just for adventurous diners. That comes with a cost – before service charges, and excluding our drinks, our meal cost around £48 per person. My main regret, though, is not sampling more of the menu – at least we now have a Marble Arch attraction that’s worth going back to.
Chourangi, 3 Old Quebec St, London W1H 7AF; chourangi.co.uk
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/food-drink/956088/chourangi-indian-restaurant-review-london Indian restaurant review: Chourangi, Marble Arch, London