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Indian Zing (Restaurant)

Picture of Indian Zing in Hammersmith, London

236 King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 0RF
Cuisine: Indian Average Price: £30
Tel: 020 8748 5959 | Email to Indian Zing | Transport: Ravenscourt Park | Write review

Indian Zing Review

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Best for: Fragrantly spiced Indian food cooked with award winning flair.

Great: Service; for serious food in the guise of warm family run local restaurant.

My love affair with the chilli pepper is a complicated one. I’ve had chilli before. Haven’t we all? I’ve had chilli in many guises, though the first truly memorable chilli I had was many years ago at Chutney Mary on the Kings Road. Three alluring prawns, entwined round one another in the centre of a very large white plate. ‘Eat me’, they said. I ventured in and they tore my head off. But isn’t that often the case in affairs of the heart?

Several years and experiences of the heart-rending kind later, I find myself, with still tender but newly resolute heart, making my way towards Ravenscourt Park tube and its close neighbour, Indian Zing. I venture there in the full knowledge that its chef and proprietor, Manoj Vasaikar, once worked at Chutney Mary on the Kings Road and may indeed have been the instigator of the aforementioned prawn experience and its violent reprisals. I am determined, however, not to be immediately seduced as before and approach with due caution, as is advisable for any romantic encounter.

The front of the restaurant is unassuming, just like its location. Phew, I feel safe. No largesse, no ostentatious seduction. And this follows through to the interior decor; definitely less Armani suit and Rolex, and more smart jeans and an ironed shirt. No scruffy creases, just clean, simple and smart. Phew, I can relax.

Caution still intact (naturally), I and my partner are then offered a little lobster bisque by way of a mise-en-bouche by the attentive waiter; a little temptation. It’s fragrant and gentle with tomato and dill. I like it. Gentle and kind on the palate but definitely not forgettable. The next course: prawn and aubergine Kharphatla. Prawns and aubergine entwined on a plate with caramelised onions, tomato and pickle masala. Yes, I hear you. Haven’t I been here before? Didn’t I learn anything? Yes, I have and caution is at the ready. But it does look good.

And it is, happily. Succulent tender prawns with accompaniments. I do like a good prawn. And the chilli? It’s toned itself down a bit. More subtle in its methods, less obvious. Though, to be fair, I did check the menu beforehand and the prawns have just the one chilli beside them to indicate a little heat, not too much.

Starters over and taking in the gentle ruminations of the other guests at every available table on this Tuesday evening, things step up a gear when we find our table replenished in full, every space laden with food. The big guns are coming out. Oh dear, should I run? Vegetarian thali comprising smoked aubergine and corn, chickpeas with dry mango, spinach and dill, plus raita, to name but half the dishes, Duck Chettinard (Barbary duck pan seared with coconut, new potatoes and spices), exotic mushrooms with madras shallots and spices, naan, the house salad, gently warm dhal.

I needn’t worry. No club-wielding caveman springs from nowhere, ready to bash me over the head in an overwhelming bid for ‘Look at me’ attention. No, the attack is much cleverer than that, much more intelligent. A subtle but definite flavoured blend of dishes, gently drawing me in. Sumptuous and juicy duck, tasty and varied thali, moist and fragrant mushrooms, and plenty of it. The big guns aren’t deafening but they are powerful.

Thankfully, however - though more at ease and fully satiated - that caution is still in check. I’m learning. After a long interval, I decide I’ve had enough seduction for one night but then my cohort decides to order the mango sorbet. I’m tempted by the Tandoori figs and organic apple muesli crumble, but restraint wins. The waiter still brings me a spoon, though, just in case. And I use it. Oh dear. The big guns come out again, this time a little louder and equally as powerful. The mango sorbet is about as good as you can imagine a mango sorbet to be. Restraint crumbles. Yes, I’ve had my fill, but when something is so very good, I always have to take just a little more. Or maybe even a lot.

I leave, head intact, resolve in check, and I don’t stay the night. That said, could Indian Zing tempt me back for another date? I would say yes. My cohort says she wouldn’t be persuaded. Being from Punjab, she says that she needs a little more heat, a little more chilli, and, to this end, devoured the oh-so innocent-looking whole chillies in my salad. But then she did choose dishes marked with one chilli rather than two. And she’s always liked the full frontal attack while I prefer a little more intelligence in any romantic encounter. A little more subtlety. A little more love. It’s better all round.

For Indian food which draws influences from all regions of India, cooked with a lot of love and served with a lot of attention, then wend your way west to Indian Zing. Prepare to be seduced. And know you’ll leave smiling.
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Customer Reviews for Indian Zing

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Indian Zing.

“Love this restaurant! It's great to have a local indian that serves seriously good food. No more takeaways for me - well depending on whether I can get a table or not.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Josie, Chiswick (6 years 8 months 25 days ago)

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Indian Zing Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Indian
  • Average Price: £30

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"A truly appalling experience. Small, burnt portions lacking in flavour Went down the road afterwards for a curry" Which venue is this?

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