Last weekend my Dad came to visit as he was picking up my little brother from uni (for the final time. He’s now (nearly) a graduate, it’s slightly terrifying). Anyway, as part of the visit he kindly offered to take me and my best friend out for dinner, and we all fancied trying somewhere new. I tweeted asking for recommendations and immediately got a few responses, almost all of which featured Purple Poppadom. I’d already heard plenty of great things about it so it seemed like the perfect choice.
As we entered the restaurant we were all really impressed by the decor. It was pretty obvious from then on that this was not a standard curry house, but something all together more modern and luxurious. (The little creative part of my brain was equating purple to all its rich and royal connotations. Whether it was intentional or not, it was a great choice).
For the summer season, Purple Poppadom are serving a special Deep Blue menu which features a wide range of exciting fish dishes along with a few meat and vegetarian choices. The menu includes a tasting menu to showcase some of the best bits it has to offer, but we decided to go a la carte so we could choose exactly what we fancied.
To start I went with Streets of Mumbai, which was a play on traditional chaat dishes. It was served as a trio of mini dishes – a tangy herby puffed rice, a potato cake served with spiced chickpeas, and a small crisp pastry filled with yogurt. I was instructed by the waiter to pop the pastry in my mouth and eat it in one go, which resulted in a fantastic bursting sensation. All three components were delicious but my favourite by far was the aloo tikki potato cake which was wonderfully spiced. I could have easily eaten a whole plateful of them.
Both my dad and my best friend went for the Scallops Side by Side starter which, perhaps obviously, featured scallops cooked in two ways. The first was coated in a spice crust and pan-fried, whilst the second was served in a coconut curry sauce. Both were extremely delicate, with the sweet natural scallop flavour allowed to shine. We were all particularly impressed with the plating of the starters. Purple Poppadom obviously value presentation very highly and it really helps them to stand out even more over the competition.
Our mains were a mix of traditional and more modern dishes. I plumped for the Goan Pork Vindalu. I love pork in curries and it’s a rare treat to find it in restaurants. Plus I was intrigued by the idea of a vindaloo as it’s not something I’d ever order in a normal curry house for fear of my mouth exploding. It was a perfect choice; the meat was beautifully tender and it was full of chilli flavour with just enough heat to give it a pleasant tingle. My dad chose The Halibut Islands with Alleppey sauce, and my best friend picked the Tiffin Seabass, both of which went down exceedingly well.
To accompany our curries we had some dal, coconut and steamed rices, and a chilli and coriander naan which was recommended to us by the waiter. The rices were fluffy and smelled divine (they tasted divine too). The naan was also an extremely welcome addition. Rather than the thick, pillowy naan you normally get this was quite thin and covered with chopped chillies and coriander leaves. It may sound a little odd, but in the best possible way it reminded me of an Indian pizza!
Despite being quite full already, we couldn’t resist the call of the dessert menu, and we decided to share two between us. We ordered the Chocomosa Anand which is the chef’s speciality dish of rich chocolate-filled samosas served with vanilla ice cream and caramelized bananas, as well as Mango Three Ways which included a mango creme brulee, mango ice cream and mango salad. Everything was utterly delicious, but my favourite part may have been the mango salad. It was very simple but the flavour of the mango was so wonderfully sweet; nothing like most mango you tend to get.
Overall we were all incredibly satisfied with the meal, and we would love to go back very soon. The brilliant food was only improved by excellent service. The manager was present in the restaurant throughout, asked us how we had enjoyed our meal, and gave us his own business card at the end. This was a lovely personal touch that really embodied what seems to be a great effort on their part to provide an excellent customer experience.I now understand why everyone constantly recommends Purple Poppadom; from now on I shall be doing the same!