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Grand Trunk Road review: South Woodford restaurant takes you on a culinary journey across India

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 May 2017

Some of the starters available at Grand Trunk Road, including the crab meat cake, centre, and the chicken and spinach kebab, right. Picture: Lia Vittone

Some of the starters available at Grand Trunk Road, including the crab meat cake, centre, and the chicken and spinach kebab, right. Picture: Lia Vittone

Lia Vittone Photography

With fresh seafood, perfectly spiced curries and crisp naan breads, dinner at Grand Trunk Road certainly is a culinary journey.

Grand Trunk Road head chef Dayanshankar Sharma and owner Rajesh Suri. Picture: Child PRGrand Trunk Road head chef Dayanshankar Sharma and owner Rajesh Suri. Picture: Child PR

Inspired by an ancient 2,500 mile trading route between Afghanistan and Bangladesh the high end eatery brings recipes straight from India to South Woodford.

As we walk into the stylishly designed restaurant, in High Road, we are greeted by the owner Rajesh Suri and attentive staff.

Impressively on a Tuesday night the restaurant is full, and Rajesh, who lives in South Woodford, says the six months since opening have been a “whirl wind”.

The restaurateur was responsible for Tamarind, in Mayfair, the first Michelin starred Indian restaurant, but wanted to open something close to home, and brought head chef Dayanshankar Sharma with him.

From the start of the meal, it is clear this is not your average curry house, with home made chutneys to go with light popadoms.

For starters we have tandoor spiced king prawn, a chicken and spinach kebab from Rawalpindi and kekde ki tikki – a delicious crab meat cake.

With that we are served Delhi ki chaat, a refreshing dish almost in the style of nachos, which is wheat crisp topped with a chickpea salad, yogurt, berries and chutneys.

Rajesh and Dayanshankar spent three months travelling the Grand Trunk Road to formulate the menu, and each item is rooted in a place.

“They are all completely authentic to India,” Dayanshankar explains.

“We are only using original recipes. The Delhi ki chaat is the most popular dish with middle class families around Delhi.”

Rajesh says: “The advantage of having the restaurant here is we have access to the best spices from all over the world.”

For our main course we have creamy Amritsar butter chicken, Dal bukhara – which uses black lentils, an okra bhindi masala and a variety of delicious naans.

But with out doubt the star is the lucknow Ki Nihari, lamb shanks in a spicy sauce.

The meat has been cooking for hours and just falls off the bone.

After devouring the mains, some refreshing home made sorbets perfectly cleansed our palates.

Rajesh and Dayanshankar will take you on a culinary journey, that you definitely will not want to miss.

Starters are from £6 to £12 and mains are between £14 and £22.

Grand Trunk Road is launching a summer lunch time set menu in June.

Two courses for £19.50 and three courses for £22.50.

For more information visit gtrrestaurant.co.uk.

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