Last Updated on May 9, 2022
Stylish Indian dining at Copper Chimney, Shepherds Bush
It used to be that ‘smart’ Indian dining meant a trip to Chelsea or Belgravia to eat at Tamarind, Kahani, Zaika, Benares or Chutney Mary. The same food could often be found in Southall for a fraction of the price, but I guess that isn’t the point. Copper Chimney is a much more accessible West London option, situated just around the corner from Shepherds Bush tube and in the main strip of Westfield restaurants, and offers quality Indian cooking in stylish surroundings at a sensible price.
The interior is attractively laid out with rough plaster walls, a canopy of hanging copper bells and lots of greenery. There are green and caramel banquettes and wooden parquet as well as tiled flooring, giving a modern rustic feel to the place. Copper Chimney’s parent company, founded in 1972 in Mumbai, runs 18 award-winning restaurants in India – you’ll find them running the catering in India’s airports – and they also have a sizeable international operation. But this Shepherds Bush outpost which we have been invited to review is their first U.K. opening so a lot is hanging on it.
Cocktails are a necessity on a Tuesday. We started with a Rum Pum Poh – a fun, fruity rum cocktail blending together white rum, fresh lemon juice, pomegranate seeds, kaffir lime leaf extract with a dash of Earl Grey tea. A classic Mango Lassi was thick, rich and sweet – such a perfect combination of attributes in my opinion.
From the Starter Plates menu at Copper Chimney, we chose three dishes. I loved the Chandni Chowk Chaat, street food from Old Delhi, bringing together the crunch of Chatpata chickpeas with spiced potatoes and creamy fresh yoghurt layered with a sweet and spicy chutney. It was beautifully balanced and had a long spice finish. Coming in a pasty-like shortcrust pastry, tasty Green Peas and Aloo Samosas were packed with spicy green peas and potato with a tangy tamarind chutney on the side.
The Tandoor grill is the central feature of any good Indian restaurant and it gave the Chutney Fish, sea bass marinated in green mint and lemon chutney, a fabulous melt-in-the-mouth smokiness.
Before we tried our curries we moved on to drinking the peachy nose and citrus notes of a bottle of white Finca Las Moras Seremos Torrontés which coped well with the spice of the main dishes. Pickled Chicken Masala was served in an earthenware pot with the tender meat cooked in a smooth gravy and covered with a rich, homemade pickle – very moreish! The dish of juicy Saffron Shrimp was similar to a Korma, with the prawns served in a mild saffron sauce. I always order an earthy and deeply satisfying Black Dal Maharaja if I see it on a menu and this one didn’t let me down. The slow-cooked black lentils, tomatoes and spices with a slick of ghee on top always improve my state of happiness. Vegetable Biryani was full-flavoured with fluffy saffron rice studded with cauliflower, potatoes, peas and whole baby carrots and with a crisp fried onion topping. On the side, we had a flaky Butter Nan, hot from the tandoor and doused in butter.
Our dessert of Gajar Pistachio Crumble from Amritsar was an amazing carrot crumble perfumed by the cardamom topped with chopped pistachio and praline. Some Indian puddings can be too sweet for me but this was fragrant and warming.
Copper Chimney is my go-to food destination in Westfield combining an excellent range of Indian dishes with great service and a consistently high level of delivery. Try it if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Unit 1028 – Southern Terrace,
Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush,
Tel: 020 8059 4439