Restaurant review: Carom, W1

15:40 06 December 2012

Carom One restaurant, W1

Carom One restaurant, W1

Archant

Many of us have a favourite type of curry we keep going back to, be it a korma, bhuna or rogan josh.

But of course the streets of India offer far more flavours than your average take away menu and it’s definitely worth stepping out of your curry comfort zone from time to time.

I’ve done just this with a visit to Carom, an Indian restaurant which recently opened at Meza bar in Soho’s Wardour Street.

The menu, put together by head chef Balaji Balachander, features an eclectic mix of reasonably priced dishes which, according to Balaji, take inspiration from Indian street food and a variety of regional cooking from across the country.

There are a few classics, including chicken tikka masala, but many of the choices are unfamiliar (at least to me) with interesting twists.

My friend and I share three starters: chilli squid with a coriander dip, pan fried scallops with asparagus and Indian hummus and a puffed rice salad called bhelpuri.

The starters are for both of us the highlight of the meal. The chilli squid is a wonderful, spicy version of calamari and the scallops and asparagus work unexpectedly well with the hummus.

The biggest surprise though is the bhelpuri, which I learn is a traditional street food in India.

I admit I would not have ordered this dish had it not been recommended by Balaji, as the words ‘rice salad’ don’t exactly draw me in. But the rice, mixed with vegetables, nuts and spices, is fantastic and very more-ish.

For my main I try tandoori chicken with curried pumpkin and creamy black lentils, while my friend has a Kerala fish curry made of pan seared tilapia, spiced potatoes and a coconut and ginger sauce.

The chicken is nicely spiced, tender and balances well with the pumpkin and lentils.

My friend says the fish curry is good, but possibly a little too sweet for her taste.

We finish by sharing a warm sticky toffee pudding – not a particularly Indian dessert but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Before heading off we treat ourselves to a cocktail each from the Meza bar. It’s one of the best I’ve had in a long time and a perfect end to a lovely evening.

A main dish at Carom costs from around £5.50 to £10. There is also a set menu offering two courses for £10 and three for £15.

For more information visit meza-soho.co.uk or call 020 7314 4002.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The 38-year-old triggered a manhunt after two bodies were found at an address in Surrey.

Read more

The mayor is meant to be convincing Singapore to invest in London – but he clearly has a bigger plan.

Read more

Material Girl star Madonna has returned to Malawi with her daughter Mercy James.

Read more

Promoted content

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need. We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time, some great discounts.

Paddington

With Christmas comes a host of movies to the big screen, from festive family comedies to action blockbusters. Here is our pick of the best out next month.

Top Stories

Quizzes

Try our fiendishly difficult new Arsenal quiz! Picture: PA

This new quiz will test even the most devoted Arsenal fans’ knowledge...

Read more
How well do you know Shoreditch? (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

From ancient Roman burial ground to bearded hipsters Shoreditch has always had a lot going on. Prove you know more about it than anyone else by taking our quiz:

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more