Highly regarded by food critics, The Painted Heron is no doubt one of the best Indian restaurants in Chelsea. Located just off of the river Thames, this understated Indian restaurant feels a little off the beaten track and that’s why we’re excited to tell you why you should definitely venture there soon.
Celebrating 15 years of working together at The Painted Heron, you’d feel the chef and head chef would have perfected the classic Indian menu that we all know and love. Indeed they’ve done just that, but that hasn’t stopped them updating it with some contemporary and inventive Indian dishes – many of which we hadn’t come across before!
Nibbling down on some fresh poppadoms, which were — as you’d expect — prepared from scratch, teamed with a glorious homemade pickle tray, we perused the seriously extensive menu. The starters are divided into Sea & River, Land, and Garden. Choose from well-known classics including the Punjabi samosa and duck breast tikka or opt for something more adventurous like the ostrich mince or monk fish in Bengal mustard paste. We recommend selecting a few dishes to share: the wild pink salmon with raw mango chutney and the duck breast tikka were excellent choices.
The choice of mains, or as they call them “Curry Cauldrons”, left us feeling torn between so many delicious-sounding dishes. From lobster tail and black cod to wild boar and lamb shank, you name it The Painted Heron had crafted it into a curry dish for you to enjoy. Again, share a few dishes so you don’t miss out on any new and interesting flavours. Don’t worry — all the old classics are on the menu too! We chose a combination of classic and contemporary dishes. Don’t neglect the vegetarian dishes: the okra and asparagus fritters were an absolute treat! Unfortunately the paneer did taste quite rubbery.
If you’re feeling you’ve overdone on Indian food, you can top off dinner with some very British-sounding desserts including sticky toffee pudding and chocolate pudding with coconut cream. You don’t have to look further to clock the cocktail menu comprising of the classics Pina Colada and Whisky Sour.
Though incredibly filling and satisfying, the dishes at The Painted Heron did not feel stodgy and unhealthy. The variety of healthy options on the menu made it a really good Indian food experience. Perfect for date night, The Painted Heron truly offers something to tantalise everyone’s tastebuds and doesn’t leave those hankering for a classic curry feeling left out either. The staff, though assertive, never made us feel rushed and delivered the dishes just at the right time.