Tel: +44 (0)20 8574 1897
Address: 39 South Road, Southall, Middlesex, UB1 1SW
Cuisine Type: Indian (Punjabi with Kenyan twist)
Website: www.madhusonline.com (Catering)
I really wanted to be controversial. After a particularly challenging day at the office, I was craving a reason to be contradictory. Oh yes, a scathing review was just the answer. Perhaps Madhu’s 4-star rating awarded by a well-known Sunday Times reviewer was just serendipitous good fortune, I concluded. Same for the 2004 Cobra Good Curry Guide “Best UK Restaurant” award – possibly the result of an unprecedented astrological alignment?
No such luck. Turns out the accolades bestowed upon Madhu’s in Southall are clearly and unanimously well-deserved. This family-run “Punjabi with a Kenyan twist” restaurant and catering business was established some 25 years ago – and continues to be lovingly nurtured by proprietor and culinary personality Sanjay Anand.
I must admit, I was fascinated by the Kenyan element of our dining endeavour. What would that involve? So naturally, the nyamah choma, a traditional spicy Masai warrior dish of spare ribs, was a given. Other appetisers, all extremely reasonable ranging from £2.00 for samosas to £14.00 for a tandoori mixed grill, include a freshly presented and tangy king prawnsachari and a not-to-be-missed (I might have been drooling) perfectly moist tandoori salmon. Gorgeous!
With taste buds titillating, we moved on to the main event. Beef and pork are not on the menu, but have no fear, there is a plethora of chicken, lamb, fish and vegetable dishes that are truly difficult to choose from – you’ll want to sample them all. To name only a sumptuous few: succulent masala fish, fillet of tilapia flavoured with roasted cumin seeds; dall makhni, lusciously creamy black lentils with green cardamom; and boozi bafu, complexly spiced spring lamb chops. The classic Indian staples – pillau rice, various types of naan and chapaties – are worth a mention here simply because Madhu’s versions are the best I’ve ever had – light, fresh and aromatic. As a bonus, main dishes are generously proportioned and an absolute steal at £5.00 – £10.00. And all easily washed down with a broad and very reasonably priced selection of wines, beers and spirits (wines range from £8 – £25 per bottle).
To top it off, dessert was absolutely divine. Generally speaking, unimaginative Indian restaurants will offer the usual mango concoctions or average ice-creams, whereas Madhu’s tempted us with numerous delights, including honey and pistachio cake with rose cream sauce. We were having great difficulty choosing, so were grateful when our waiter encouraged us to go with the trio platter, which comprised three petite morsels of heaven: a rich assortment of chocolate truffle mousse, a bursting mini fruit tartlet and sinful angelic cheescake (£5.00).
Madhu’s creative and seemingly faultless food, combined with warm, unrushed and attentive service is understandably what keeps this two-level contemporarily clad gem buzzing, even on a Monday night. Madhu’s is an unquestionable gastronomic voyage for locals and those who are up for a journey to urban west London.