If you’ve read my previous review or follow me on Twitter you will probably be aware of my love for Purple Poppadom. I think chef Anand George is a genius with his interpretation of Indian Nouvelle cuisine, turning Indian food into fine dining with a touch of fusion.
You can imagine then, that I was more than happy to sample the new Deep Blue Taster Menu when I was invited recently. Purple Poppadom’s menus change with the season and Deep Blue is their summer offering featuring a range of fantastic fish dishes.
The menu is extensive and I wanted to try everything so I love the idea of a Taster Menu. With this menu, we had the option to pair it with beer which was a great idea. A different beer came with each course and they really did compliment the food perfectly.
Our first course was a trio of starters; Salmon Mel (Salmon marinated with mustard, honey and cooked in tandoor), Golden Green (Cubes of mango and avocado with lamb lettuce and baby spinach with a passion fruit and chilli dressing) and Tune Pillow (Delicately spiced pattice of tuna, encased in crispy breadcrumbs).
The Salmon was amazing! It was beautifully cooked in a sweet sauce and worked very well with the other two starters on the plate. The Tuna Pillow was crunchy on the outside and sot on the inside, housing some delicate flavours. The sweet mango salad was also excellent. All of this was accompanied by Brooklyn Lager from the USA.
Moving onto the middle course, we were presented with Spirit Of The Sea (Swordfish loin marinated with coriander, mint and spices, grilled in tandoor, accompanied by a South Indian style risotto and a chilli garlic oil) paired with a Beer Lao bringing back memories of my travels through Laos.
This was a lovely dish. The swordfish was meaty but still beautifully tender, soft and moist. The coriander flavours were wonderful and worked well with the subtle tasting risotto which was beautifully soft and creamy with a welcome crunch of onion. This was my favourite course.
After a deliciously refreshing Green Apple and Chilli Sorbet, we were presented with Petits Filets and Kalamari (Pan fried Kerala style marinated sardine fillets on salad leaves, tomato and mustard dressing served with golden crispy battered squid) paired with a Cwrw Celt Welsh beer.
This was a light refreshing dish with a perfectly cooked sardine with a nice crispy skin. For me, this was the weakest dish but still perfectly lovely. The salad and the dressing had more of a mediterranean flavour than an Indian feel to me. However, the Calamari was cooked perfectly. Often like a rubber band, this was nothing of the sort. Tender, and beautiful, cooked in the most delicious batter! I’m not sure it really belonged with the sardine dish though.
For the main, we had The Halibut Islands (Tender white halibut supreme) which came with a choice of sauce. We chose Alleppey Sauce, a blend of raw mango and ginger. Ginger and Mango are favourites of mine so I knew this was going to be good. Again, the fish was cooked to perfection and the meaty fish was complimented by the sharp mango and heat from the ginger. It was delicious and the colours were beautiful.
The main was accompanied by a fresh and crunchy Stir Fry Vert (Asparagus, baby corn, mangetout, french beans, cashew nut and coconut tempered with mustard and curry leaves) and basmati rice. The beer for this course was an Erdinger Weiss which really brought out the fruity flavours of the curry. My only niggle here is that it would have been nice to have some naan bread with this course as there was plenty of sauce.
Finally, we were presented with a very eye-catching selection of desserts. Tandoori Pineapple, chef’s signature dish; a Chocolate Filled Poppadom on a Caramalised Banana and a Mango Brulee. The previous menu included a Rose Brulee which was one of my all time favourite desserts so I was interested to try the Mango version. It was delicious and definitely the stand out dessert for me but nothing is going to touch the rose one in my opinion.
The Chocolate Poppadom was very nice and the flavours worked well with the banana and the Tandoori Pineapple had a very unusual flavour but I’m not sure it was really for me. Overall though, I was impressed with dessert, they are always very innovative.
The thing that always strikes me with food at the Purple Poppadom is the outstanding presentation. Everything is beautifully designed and every plate looks the same. Each little Taster was exactly the same size and shape on both mine and Mr V’s plates throughout the night and everything was cooked to perfection.
The Taste Menu is £39.95 per person or £47.95 with beer. For the quality and volume of food included, I think this is a fair price and in my opinion, the Taster menu is definitely worth doing because you get to try so much. However, if the Taster Menu’s not for you, there are plenty of other options and they even do Take Away.
Aside from the food, the experience is heightened by the staff who are clearly very proud of the success they are having. Manager Ramon is a fabulous host and makes everyone feel very welcome. We dined on a Friday night at 7pm and it was already full to bursting. I can understand why and if you haven’t been yet, why the hell not????
My Last Mouthful was: Spirit of the Sea
Atmosphere and Decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-