BY PALOMA LACY
Some people revel in the excitement of the January sales. Sadly, I am not one of these.
Quite the opposite, shopping fills me with dread and fear of the oncoming jostle fest.
However, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush has managed to peak my interest with its dining offering.
Everyone is catered for – the casual munch set can chow down quickly inside – and those looking for a more leisurely experience can get their lunch fix from one of the restaurants studded along the path on the way to the entrance to the shopping centre.
I swung by The Copper Chimney recently and found a fine dining spot way beyond anything you might expect from the location.
It was the perfect antidote to the new year malaise.
The wide open space, with more than a touch of glitz and glamour was welcome, given the little one was in toe and feeling rather restless.
Despite a full restaurant, we managed to be far away from anyone not wishing to have a family-style meal with more than a smidgeon of chaos thrown in.
The walls are adorned with old photographs of the old country – in this case, Northern India, and the family restaurants that have gone before it.
It was clear to see that children are welcome here as was evidenced by the children’s menu, with dishes in keeping with the a la carte version, but toned down spice wise for smaller people’s palates.
Reshmi Malai Chicken – lightly marinated in yoghurt, cream, white pepper and cardamom – was well received. And main course, Butter Chicken, that stalwart of Indian cuisine or at least what us Brits think is sub-continental Asian cooking.
While I yearned for comfort food, collectively we decided to make the most of the vast menu, seeking an adventure, rather than taking the safe road.
First up was Delhi-Style Fried Chicken – marinated with garam masala, cayenne pepper and lots of other spices, before frying to a wickedly crisp and tantalising finish.
Amritsari Shrimp was our next punt– found in the city’s back alleys, this street food classic was a winner.
It was great to see so many dishes that were new to me.
Chutney Fish – sea bass marinated in house-made green mint and lemon chutney, and cooked in the tandoor to retain the moisture in the fish.
And then there were the favourites that could be traded for something new – Lamb Rogan Josh – cooked after a six hour marination, involving 21 spices.
It may seem as if I’m obsessed with marinating meat. Truth is, I am, because this where most of the work in good cooking takes places.
We couldn’t skip the usual side dishes – Tadka Dal, Jeera Potatoes and the lightest Lachha Paratha I’ve ever tasted.
We won’t talk about the amount of butter glaze but it was worth it. This much I can tell you.
The Copper Chimney, Southern Terrace, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
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