Last Updated on November 21, 2021
PURE Indian – Beyond a neighbourhood Indian Restaurant at Putney Bridge
We first reviewed this modern Indian restaurant back in 2017, describing it as a jewel. Since then, we’ve been back informally several times and recommended it to friends (some travelled from Stockholm with PURE firmly on their itinerary) who’ve been equally delighted by the dishes emerging from chef Shilpa Dandekar’s kitchen.
Dandeker and her husband Fameem Vanoo started their careers with the famed Taj Group in India and following time spent with London’s Bombay Brasserie and its Michelin-starred sister restaurant Quilon, as well as working on the opening team of the very first Brasserie Blanc, (where she was promoted to Head Chef under the tutelage of its owner, the famed Michelin-starred Chef Raymond Blanc OBE) she and Vanoo opened PURE in 2015 offering attractive looking food prepared with quality ingredients and clean, distinct flavours whether subtle or spicey.
Cocktails are a snip at £9.00, so we ordered a Gin and Tonic and a Rhubarb Gin Fizz while we worked through the menu. In the end, to help with the decision making we started with the sharing board at £16 for two, which proved to be a great way to start the meal and a fabulous introduction to experiencing PURE.
The sharing board had Tandoor paneer & vegetables, chilli fried squid, spinach salad, curried cashew nut, methi malai chicken tikka and seekh kebab with homemade chutney. Plenty for two – and a fantastic mixture of spicy, sweet with a refreshing salad.
So rarely seen on a local Indian restaurant menu we were keen to try the Lobster pulao (£19). It was a real treat and stunning to look at too. The dish includes a 5 oz lobster tail cooked with saffron basmati rice and aromatic spices and served in the lobster shell. The flavours were subtle, fragrant and satisfying. The kind of comfort food that’s also a real treat!
Also recommended from the seafood menu, the Halibut Fish Curry (£17) made to Shilpa’s own recipe is equally fragrant and totally delicious. Firm chunks of halibut in a light tomato laced creamy sauce felt all at once indulgent and yet healthy.
Tandoori duck (£16) was equally new territory for us, and definitely should be tasted. The Barbary duck breast with spiced apricot chutney and tamarind sauce melted in the mouth and the perfectly pink duck breast was soft and tender.
Vegetables are treated with equal culinary respect. The asparagus & pinenut porial (£8), mustard and curry leaves tempered asparagus and pine nuts with coconut was nutty, light and delicious, with the coconut bringing out the sweet notes of the asparagus.
while the Baingan bharta with its combination of roasted aubergine, tomato, cumin and ginger was something I definitely want to try at home. It’s a south Indian dish made by mincing grilled eggplant which should be cooked over charcoal or wood for smokey notes then mixing it with tomato, onion, herbs and spices.
With a side of steamed rice and saffron paneer, this was a veritable banquet.
We had a delicious pudding of badaam ka halwa and poached cherries with pistachio ice cream to share between us and left feeling full but not unpleasantly so.
The food at PURE Indian is marked by a love of fresh seasonal ingredients and a light, contemporary approach to Indian dishes. The result is a series of unusual and delicious dishes eaten and enjoyed by appreciative clientele – it was a Monday night and the restaurant was pleasantly busy. There was also a constant flow of home deliveries. Both of which are evidence of the restaurant’s success in becoming a fixture.
PURE Indian Cooking,
67 Fulham High Street,
London, SW6 3JJ
Tel: 020 7736 2521 or 020 7834 2165