Cyrus Todiwala takes on Docklands.
Cyrus Todiwala is a familiar face on our TV screens; more than just a TV chef, he’s a successful restaurateur, entrepreneur, and known for his charitable works. The London Unattached team have enjoyed eating at his other restaurants, Café Spice Namaste and Asado (now closed). So we were more than happy to make the trip from South West London to Docklands to try out the food at his latest venture.
The restaurant’s website claims that Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen is situated in the heart of Canary Wharf. With current building work blocking off some of the routes that google suggests, it’s actually a 10-minute walk from Canary Wharf or 2 minutes from South Quay (the option we chose as neither of us has a good sense of direction!). It’s in an area which is being rapidly developed as Docklands continues to expand. And, tucked inside the Lincoln Plaza Hotel, you do have to work quite hard to find the restaurant. Once inside the hotel, the restaurant is in a large modern space, softened by beautiful brass cooking pots hanging from the ceiling, antique teapots, and a very large ornamental elephant.
The food at Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen includes Goan, Parsee, and Keralan cuisine, as well as British Indian dishes. Whilst pondering the menu we sampled a selection of poppadums and pickles. From left to right the pickles were: mint and mango (my favourite), tomato chutney, mixed fruits, and onion and pickle. If you fall in love with these, you can buy jars to take home. Some of the poppadums were the traditional style we all recognise, but the crinkly ones reminded us more of crisps.
We decided to share a tandoori tikka platter as a way of trying different textures of ingredients cooked in the tandoor. Venison was flavourful with the slightest hint of gaminess. Chicken nicely moist and succulent while the duck lean and the salmon cooked to the point of perfect flakes. The unexpected favourite was paneer, soft and subtly spiced.
We were treated to a surprise cup of mushroom soup, a gift from the head chef. It was creamy and delicious, but I was surprised that it didn’t seem to have much spicing.
For my main course, I chose the Goan Prawns which came with unpolished red rice and “KISMOOR” – a crumbled dried shrimp and onion salad, which is supposed to be sprinkled over the curry. This dish is rated with 2 chillies on the menu. The prawns were huge and juicy, whilst the coconut milk in the ‘gravy’ calmed down the heat from the chilis used in the dish. It was a beautiful dish that managed to feel very luxurious.
Fiona also chose a fish dish. Her fillet of halibut had been marinated in ginger and saffron yoghurt, then chargrilled in the tandoor. It came served on a bed of soft rice, a little like a savoury rice pudding, flavoured with garlic and chilli. A curry sauce to the side provided a pop of slightly spicy flavour. This dish came with a rating of 1 chilli.
We were greedy and ordered a vegetable side of smoky aubergine, which was delicious. Normally I’d have eaten loads of it with the cheese and chilli naan. But we were a little full to really do it justice. Portion size is definitely generous!
Our fullness led to us sharing a dessert of home-made vanilla ice-cream served with a coffee liqueur. We both had memories of having liqueur poured over ice-cream on foreign holidays as children. (Our parents clearly had the same skill set!) This was a cold brew coffee blended with vodka made by Mr Black’s. It’s very different from coffee liqueurs such as Kahlua, which are more viscous and was really quite delicious though we ended up sipping it rather than pouring over the ice- cream.
By the time we’d finished, service was almost over and we could see the team in the kitchen clearing up so went over to take a closer look. Head Chef, Rajesh, was keen that all the kitchen staff be included in the photo – and we’d like to thank them too for such great food.
A beautifully cooked meal, this restaurant will be a godsend to people living or staying in this part of Docklands. It offers refined Indian food in an unstuffy setting at a reasonable price.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen
2 Lincoln Plaza,
London E14 9BD
Not over in Canary Wharf? Here are a few other Indian Restaurants we recommend:
- For those in West London, how about Patri, an Indian street food restaurant in Ealing.
- A little more central – we really loved Thali in South Kensington
- Right in the heart of central London, Hankies Indian Restaurant was a great discovery.
- For those living in the South of London, Indian Essence is a very special Atul Kochar restaurant there