There are about twenty restaurants that we visit on a fairly regular basis (at least a couple of times a year). Most are casual places, a couple hold Michelin stars. I’d miss any of them if they closed but a handful are all but irreplaceable. B2M is one of that handful. It’s not just the good food. It’s combining that good food with “proper” hospitality. It’s what every restaurant should aspire to be.
Covid has, of course, intervened in our meals here – the last time was just after restrictions were lifted last July. It was good to be reading a menu of old favourites, although we noticed a couple of tweaks to the menu. Have to say I wasn’t convinced by the idea of Yorker Kheema starter – lamb kheema in a Yorkshire pudding served with spicy mash. But, as usual , there was bags of choice of very convincing food. We were accompanied on this visit by a family member but, as usual when we dine with guests, I’ll only mention the food my partner and I ate.
We started with mini poppadums, topped with tomato and onion. And there’s an array of things to drizzle over – raita, mango chutney, a spicy mint (?) one and an even spicier one where I only got chilli.
As to starters, a long standing favourite of masala dosa ticked all the boxes. Nice pancake, filling with lightly spiced potato, accompanied by the classics – coconut chutney and a sambhar. Samosa chaat is another favourite in South Asian restaurants although we’ve not previously ordered it here. Unlike most places where the samosa is served chopped up and mixed with the yoghurt, chutney and other accompaniments, here it’s served intact. Crisp pastry, with a tasty filling of mainly potato and peas – it’s the work of seconds to break it up and mix everything together.
We ordered two absolute belters for mains. Yep, we’ve eaten them before here and, with such a long period since last time, we were really looking to them. Lamb Chamku has a quite clingy sauce, rich with garlic and the earthy sweetness from beetroot. It’s a dark, almost sinister, colour – perhaps that’s how Sandeep came to name it Chamku, after the Bollywood crime thriller. There are two dishes in the style of the city of Kolhapur (to the south of Mumbai) – a chicken one and mixed vegetables. We’ve eaten and enjoyed both over time. It was the chicken one this time (although I think the veggie version edges it). Another dish where the food isn’t swimming in sauce – and what sauce there was came very well spiced, with a big hit from chilli (but not such that you can’t taste the rest of it). Sandeep brought us a sample of the Goan fish curry, explaining that he worked in Goa for three years and that his chef was Goan. He’d told the chef to make it exactly as he would traditionally do at home. What comes is perfectly cooked fish in a very well rounded smooth sauce. This is not a bland dish but the flavours are restrained so that the delicate fish is not overwhelmed. One to consider ordering on a future visit.
As always, carbs were spot on. This time, pilau rice and roti.
It was nice evening and we were very glad to be back and that B2M has made it through these past very tough months.