When I’m craving Indian food but don’t want to venture far from my sofa, Indian Village on Mosque Street always fits the bill. It’s a family-run hole in the wall that always delivers on quality, good value traditional Indian dishes. Although there are a couple of tables, I have never sat down there to eat, as, to me, Indian Village was always just a takeaway place. Last summer, however, they opened an actual restaurant on Peel Street, which I have only just got round to trying.
The new(er) restaurant still isn’t large, but compared to the one on Mosque Street, it’s a palace. The simple décor, with Indian-style paintings and colourful chandeliers is reflective of Indian Village’s homely style, which it has transported into Soho. Likewise, the ambient music and friendly service adds to the casual dining experience.
Whilst we waited for everyone to arrive, we tucked in to a plate of onion bhaji. Whilst these were nice and crispy on the outside, I felt that the batter to onion ratio was a little off balance, and the fragrant onion flavour got a little lost.
The vegetable samosas, however, were pretty perfect in my opinion. They had a decent spice and generous filling, encased in a wonderfully crispy pastry that was neither too thin nor too stodgy. I like to cut my samosas in half, smother them in mint sauce and then devour, so that is exactly what I did.
Whilst some loved the fish tikka, which arrived sizzling on a hot plate, I thought it had an intensely fishy flavour that overwhelmed all of the tikka spices. I much preferred the lamb seekh kebab (also served sizzling on a hot plate), which was beautifully tender and fragrant.
We now move on to the main reason we visited Indian Village: the curries. Between us, we shared a chicken madras, a chicken makhani, a lamb rogan josh and a saag paneer. As our choices were all fairly mild, none of the curries were particularly spicy, but they were each very flavoursome and satisfyingly comforting. I particularly enjoyed the lamb rogan josh, which is always one of my favourites, although the chunks of lamb weren’t quite as tender as they could have been. The saag paneer was also surprisingly delicious, with a subtle yet lingering smoky flavour. Sides of steamed rice, roti and naan bread helped us mop up as much of the sauces as we could, although we had clearly over-ordered.
Dessert after curry is rarely ever possible. As it’s always necessary to finish on a sweet note, however, the friendly manager brought us a giant platter of sugar-coated aniseeds to cleanse the palate and aid digestion.
The total bill, with a 10% discount with American Express, came to a little over $1000 for 4 of us, including a couple of Kingfisher beers. Obviously at Indian Village on Peel Street, you’re paying for the luxury of comfy seats and excellent service, but $250 a head for a more than indulgent meal is seriously good value. Next time I want a decent curry and am content with leaving my sofa, I know where I’m going.
33 Peel Street
Tel: +852 2683 2884