Toomai Square, the Pan-Asian restaurant that has turned heads and changed palates in Greenwich in the few months that it has been open, has now introduced more Indian dishes to its already diverse menu, writes Michael Holland.
Owner brothers Kumar and Bhola explained ‘Customers were asking us to put certain things on the menu, which they enjoyed so they asked for more, so in the end we decided to go the whole way and now we want Greenwich Weekender to be the first to taste the new dishes.’
Myself and Mum were welcomed with warm smiles and cold beers and a catch up on all the news since our last visit. We decided to allow the experts to choose for us so Bhola returned to his kitchen while Kumar brought poppadum and pickles and teased us with tales of the Aloo Chat he would be bringing soon; a creamy, rich potato dish with spices, yogurt and chutney. But before that we were enticed with Veggie Samosas: crispy, flaky affairs with a filling with a kick that I subdued with an Indian beer.
Kumar saw we needed a break after all those starters and allowed us ten minutes before the next plate. At this point I was already telling myself I shouldn’t have had that last samosa. After a decent interval four Kashmiri Lamb Chops appeared with salad and dip. I cut into one and knew it was excellent meat, and too good to pussyfoot around with so we both picked them up to have a good gnaw to ensure no meat was left on the bone. Silence set in as we ate, broken only by an occasional ‘Hmmmm’.
Next was the Ajwain Jhinga, a shoal of grilled prawns. But not just prawns, these were giant prawns that were meaty and meant business. Prawns that I’d back to beat sharks in a fight. I thought our feast peaked with these dishes.
I loosened my belt by two notches and sat back to relax with a Cobra – The beer was a good way to finish off. Me and Mum both had looks of contentment as Kumar came to the table and asked how spicy we liked our curry! More? I almost pleaded with him to stop, but I heard ‘Rogan Josh’ and all thoughts of retiring went the same was as the prawns and chops. ‘Medium hot,’ said Mum. ‘But give us a few minutes before you bring it.’
Fortunately, Kumar left a while for us to prepare for the next round but once again the table became laden with a fall-off-the-bone Lamb Shank Rogan Josh and an exquisite Butter Chicken. And this was when they really peaked.
With the rice and bread it was all too much to finish so I returned home with a full bag of Indian delights.
Toomai Square is different. Toomai Square is big, bright, on trend and more like a cocktail bar and diner than an Asian restaurant. But that is not its USP, it’s the cooking and service that brings people back again and again.
The restaurant is planning to start an exclusive Kids Zone during afternoons, with a separate Kids Menu. An all inclusive express lunch menu (£5.99) will also be unveiled soon.
Toomai Square, 5-6 Lambard Square, Greenwich, SE10 9GB
12pm – 11pm
0208 066 1199 – www.toomaisquare.co.uk
Food 4 Stars
Value 3 Stars
Ambience 3 Stars
Disabled Access Yes
Disabled Toilet Yes