I first visited Trishna a year ago when they were publicizing a special “all crab” menu. At the time, a friend who’d been to the original Trishna restaurant in Mumbai had told us that it was famous for its crab, so I didn’t need further convincing to drop by the relatively-new London outpost. Sadly, though, my meal at Trishna a year ago turned out to be not very tasty *and* rather expensive. The crab dishes tasted straight out of a can, and I remember paying through the nose for the privilege. It was so depressing I didn’t even blog about it at the time.
Then, a few weeks ago, other friends from India told us they were craving Trishna (because they go there semi-regularly) and convinced us to go along with them. Because we love these friends so much, Jon and I set aside our misgivings and reluctantly met them there on a warm, Sunday evening.
First, the prices seem to have decreased since I was last at Trishna, with most dishes costing less than £15.
Second, we avoided all crab dishes on the menu and ate a *lot* better this time around. Fish tikka (here, cod) was spicy and flavorsome, and while the portion seemed a bit small for £13.50, the four of us each managed to have a large taste despite sharing.
Crunchy, spicy prawns were addictive and something that every bar in London should have on its menu, and Hariyali bream with a coriander marinade was light and refreshing.
Jon and I had let our friends do all the ordering except for my request that we get the aubergine, which turned out to be the one dud of the meal. More so than usual, the aubergine appeared to have sponged up a lot of oil and tasted of nothing except oil and tamarind. Avoid.
Fish curry was so good we ordered two of them, and the lamb curry had a delicate coconut scent that reminded me of Malaysian curries. I felt transported to some breezy, tropical town in South India.
£3 per bowl of rice was a bit steep, but otherwise, no complaints this time around about the price. The four of us ate a large amount of flavorsome, light-tasting food for just £32 a person, excluding wine. And as you expect after eating at a higher-end Indian restaurant, there was none of that bloated feeling you sometimes get after a curry house feast.
So the lesson here is that Trishna London, unlike its eponymous parent in Mumbai, while no good at crab, seems to have plenty of other charms. At the very least, they cook a mean fish curry. If you’re looking for a stylish spot to eat carefully-prepared south Indian dishes, Trishna is worth a visit.
Trishna London, 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH; 0207 935 5624.