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Dinner & book launch with Atul Kochhar at Indian Essence, Kent

Myself and my food fanatic Brother-in-law David were VERY excited at the prospect of attending Indian Essence, Atul Kochhar’s latest venture in Petts Wood, Kent. Kent you may say? Well the location is actually one of the many things so cool about this place, it sees his progressive Indian cuisine adapted to a neighborhood setting. If you didn’t know, TV chef personality Atul is a bit of a Michelin-starred legend from Saturday Kitchen, a mean Indian cook. We were attending his book launch ‘Curries of the world’ where we would be cooked for by Atul, from a dribble-inducing 6-course tasting menu paired with wines and cocktails. Element.

On arrival we were greeted with a passion fruit and chutney bellini. Incredible, my first time trying a spicy cocktail and it really was delicious, a perfect mix of sweet and spicy.

This was followed by a small aubergine Amuse Bouche before the first course arrived. We looked on excitedly at Atul in the kitchen as he cooked up a storm…

A Laotian scallop with prawns and pineapple curry landed in front of us paired with a gorgeous baked apple sweet Gewurtztraminer white wine (Atul’s signature wine) The flavour of the prawns surprisingly won over the scallop, which too was beautifully cooked.

The Tamarind pork ribs were up next, paired with the ‘Fat Bastard’ red, which David & I both agreed was a great match to the pork that was falling off the bone.

The main of Sumatran lamb korma main was beautifully cooked, the sultana pilau rice a welcome treat to the previous carb-free courses, this is where we got full pretty quickly! Something I was glad of, I like to leave a restaurant with a full belly, the food needs style and substance, which this did.

Finally for dessert it was an Indian take on a cheesecake- something Atul is famous for, putting British twists on his bold, Indian flavour combinations. The orange scented Bhapa Doi dessert was like putting your head in an orange plantation, paired with the chocolate sauce it was a chocolate orange delight. Not only this but the pairing with the Tokaji dessert wine, we agreed was the best match of the evening. The flavours of the wine complimented the orange dessert beautifully.

On leaving we were all treated to a copy of Atul’s new book, of which I will be reviewing shortly, along with the team at 60secondreviews.

Bellini
Amuse
Scallop
Korma
Bhapi

Square Meal

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