Carom – Indian Street Food Restaurant in Soho
My last visit to Carom was at lunchtime and, at the time, the manager suggested we returned in the evening when there’s a more extensive menu. It’s taken me a while to get there, but I am glad I did, because this restaurant comes into its own in the evenings, when the lighting is soft and the atmosphere vibrant.
We started with a champagne cocktail each and some poppadum. These come with very delicious home-made chutneys – something that did help to differentiate Carom right from the start from my local Indian. We shared three small plates between us.
Soft shell crab was coated in a rich Indian spice mix. The crab itself was quite succulent – a good but not exceptional dish for me (perhaps I’d been a bit spoilt by the version I’d had a few weeks earlier at Bone Daddies).
Chilli Squid again, very pleasant, not at all rubbery and quite moreish, I particularly liked the dip – but I think I must have developed a palate of steel as I do seem to like spicy food!
The star of the class though was the Jhnga – Tiger prawns with a curry leaf marianade and chickpea and mango salad. Really quite special with beautifully blackened exterior hiding a perfectly cooked succulent centre in each prawn – I’m planning on trying more dishes from the grill at Carom.
My ‘Chennai’ chicken curry was, I believe, made from chicken thigh meat. Certainly the chicken was a lot moister than I would have expected from chicken breast, and rather better for that.
My dining companion’s Kerala fish curry came with sea bass, which he enjoyed, but felt the sea bass was a little overwhelmed by the sauce.
I’m not a great Naan eater, mostly because if I dare to try I generally find myself unable to eat the curry. But I had a taste of the Peshwari naan and it was excellent. If I hadn’t said no in the first place, I might just have eaten more.
As it was, I was quite full and couldn’t manage dessert, though my companion ate his way through a sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream and looked perfectly content with that.
The wine list is short and sweet, with a top price of £35 (other than for champagne) and there’s a rather special cocktail selection which I would recommend trying. There’s also a comfy bar area where you can drink and enjoy bar snacks.
Large enough to comfortably accommodate groups and small enough to feel intimate, Carom is a good place to meet up with friends in Soho. If you are budget conscious there’s a good set menu with two courses for £10 and three for £15, but mains on the a la carte are between £6 and £10.
100 Wardour Street