With dishes including Devon crab claw meat with ginger and friendly service, it is no surprise Pure Indian Cooking has become a firm favourite with locals
Review by Andy Barnham
West Fulham and Putney are old stomping grounds of mine. A university friend moved to the neighbourhood when we graduated and I often used to meet him for drinks there. However, nights out by the river stopped after he moved away a decade or so later. So it was a trip down memory lane with my wife last night as we made our way to Pure Indian Cooking on Fulham High Street, pointing out that despite loving Indian food we’ve never been to an Indian restaurant, as we’ve always opted for take-aways.
Hailing from Mumbai, husband and wife team Faheem Vanoo and Shlipa Dandekar at Pure Indian Cooking have been offering elegant and vibrant cuisine for three years since opening in 2015. With Faheem handling the front of house, Pure Indian Cooking is powered by Shipla in the kitchen. Having worked under Raymond Blanc OBE and Sriram Aylur of the Michelin starred Quilon, Shilpa has been imbued with the importance of freshness of ingredients and seasonality and it shows.
It’s clear looking at the menu what Pure Indian Cooking is aiming for; local British ingredients cooked using authentic Indian spices, techniques and passion. Where else are you going to find pounded coriander and goat’s cheese samosas or Devon crab claw meat with ginger, green chilli and kokum? The ingredients though are only half the picture, the other half completed by exquisite presentation; the three samosas each served in a shot glass with filled dip; beetroot, coriander and tomato chutney respectively while the crab claw meat is baked and served in the shell of a crab. Whilst I abhor the current phenomenon of food photography with phones (FYI- if you must insist, sit next to a window and use natural daylight and do not use on- camera flash), these dishes are photo-tastic and will make your friends jealous.
For traditionalists who may not want tandoori duck or coconut venison, there are chicken, lamb and vegetable options including a lovely lasooni palak (creamy spinach flavoured with brown garlic and dry fenugreek leaves) and yellow daal tadka (lentils tempered with tomato, cumin and mustard sees, curry leaves and garlic). If you’re a rice and naan fiend, then you’ll probably want your own helpings of these dishes, but otherwise one each shared between two is perfect.
To wrap up, my wife opted for chocolate fondant, salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream with rose water, while I went for a Liefmans fruit beer as desert. Slightly viscous, strawberry in flavour and light, the beer was refreshing while my wife waited 15 minutes for the fondant, which we both agreed is the mark of a good, freshly made pudding. Gooey in the middle the caramel wasn’t too salty and the rose water delicately refined the vanilla, which can sometimes be slightly cutting in flavour.