Absolutely reviews Chandni Raja, East Dulwich’s consistently delicious Indian restaurant
Words Paola Peralta
No place is complete without a truly reliable Indian restaurant, and Chandni Raja is East Dulwich’s answer to one of Britain’s staple foods. Our evening begins as we’re led to our candlelit table, complete with beautifully arranged cloth napkins and a delicate centrepiece. Soft music plays in the background, quiet enough so as to not be distracting but just loud enough to set a soothing tone for the evening.
Before we begin mulling over the, quite frankly, enormous menu, our waiter hands us the drinks menu from which we choose a crisp Sauvignon Blanc – when in doubt, it’s always safe to go with a classic, and we are in anticipation of the huge amount of food we are about to consume.
For our starter, we choose the samosas to share, and when faced with the decision between the beef and vegetable, go in for both. Neither of them disappoints. The exterior is crisped to perfection, and it’s filled to the brim inside with a truly delicious filling that contains both salt and just enough spice to make every bite just as flavourful as the last.
The main selection has everything from kebabs to just about every sort of curry you could think of, with different kinds of rice to complement your meal, as well as the classic sides that come with an Indian. After half a glass of wine and a lot of contemplation, I decide on a mild chicken tikka masala and Pilao Rice while my more adventurous dinner date orders a spicy chicken curry with coconut rice.
Both dishes arrive quickly and are presented beautifully, garnished with herbs. As suspected, there is a huge amount of food, and soon the table is laden with dishes.
Not being one for spicy food, I am extremely pleased with the sweeter undertone in the Tikka Masala, which goes delightfully well with our wine selection, the sauce soaked up by the fluffy rice. And although the curry is definitely a favourite among spice lovers, the flavour is so well balanced that even the most sensitive customer – like myself – can enjoy.
Whether you’re dining in or taking out, Chandni Raja is a foolproof selection for any occasion. The friendly staff and heavenly food will successfully fulfil any and all Indian cuisine cravings.
134A Thurlow Park Road SE21; chandniraja-dulwich.co.uk