It’s only a few months since we were last here and, usually, I wouldn’t consider writing another review so soon, but we had such a nice time that I thought it warranted one. Indique is one of a slowly growing number of South Asian restaurants in the metro area that are trying (and generally succeeding) to serve more traditional flavours. It may be Gujarati vegetarian dishes, Mumbai street food, Punjabi grills or, as here, even on a shortish menu, a wider, more eclectic range of dishes which they reckon is reflected in the restaurant name – a merging of “India” and “unique”.
One of the things I like about Indique is the elegant, quite westernised, plating that is pretty much, erm, unique in the area for South Asian restaurants. You know the sort of things – food presented in perfect circles, blobs and smears of sauce across the plate, even the odd edible flower or two. But this does nothing to detract from the quality of the food. For one starter, 0.5cm cubes of paneer, peppers and onion had been prepared in an Indo-Chinese style with green chilli and soy sauce. The chef must have packed it into one of those metal rings to get the circle. It not only looks good, it tastes delicious. Bhel puri was another decent starter – the usual mix of potato and crisp puffed rice mixed with a tamarind chutney, that could have been a bit sharper for perfection.
Lamb dalcha is a dish from Hydrabad and is absolutely bang-on for texture and flavour. Really tasty meat that was as tender as you like, in a thick lentil based sauce. It manages to be both rich yet earthy at the same time. I’ve eaten lal maas at another restaurant. It’s a rich dish from Rajasthan, with a quite fiery tomato based sauce. The other version I ate was with chunks of lamb, cooked in the sauce. Here’s it’s lamb chops and I presume they are briefly cooked separately and then finished in the sauce. When I was ordering, the owner asked how spicy we like things. I replied that I like to try food as it’s intended to be. He said he’d crank up the chilli a notch, to better reflect how it would taste in India. It was lovely. Yes, there was serious heat but not enough that you couldn’t taste the meat or the other flavourings in the sauce. It’s another cheffy presentation – the plate coming covered with a dome. Lift the dome and smoke comes out. You get a sense and a smell of the smoke but it doesn’t invade the food. There’s also a small portion of spiced mashed potato which is garnish rather than your main carb.
And carbs are excellent. Tandoori roti was exactly how I’d want it to be – soft in parts, crisp in others. Naan was much thinner than those you get in the curry houses – soft and packed with flavour in itself.
Only one of us wanted dessert (although they brought two spoons “just in case”). Kulfi was another cheffy presentation with blobs and sauce squiggles on the plate. The ice cream “lolly” was in two parts – I think mango and pistachio – sweet but not overly so. Another success.
This is probably as good as it gets for quality in Indian restaurants round here. We also regularly go to one in Bramhall that is also excellent. Truth be told, I’m not sure if we could pick a “best” between them but, fortunately, we don’t have to pick.