The food and drink at Vivek Singh’s fourth London venue purport to be inspired by the flavours of the ancient spice routes of the world. Apart from a nod to the South African producer, Spice Route, we don’t see TOO much evidence of that on its modest list.
It can’t be easy to create a wine list for an Indian restaurant, particularly one so eclectic in its food offering. So many spices, so much chilli – that counts out a lot of reds (tannin and heat are natural enemies) and any wine whose charms are of a subtle or delicate sort. If you’re going for a red, soft and fruity would be my advice, or maybe a chilled Beaujolais.
This looks like a wine list that’s heavily weighted towards one supplier, namely Liberty Wines, but there is definitely a smattering of interesting bottles here – how about an Areni Noir from Zorah in Armenia? Or the ‘Chakalaka’ red blend from the aforementioned Spice Route (picked as much for the winery name as anything else but a good wine nonetheless).
Whites might be your best bet for refreshment however – Domaine Laroche Chablis is a welcome sight (its ‘St Martin’ 2015 is on by the glass), as is Fred Loimer’s ‘Langenlois’ Grüner Veltliner. As with the Armenian flavour, you’ll find hints of the exotic among the whites too – a dry Slovenian Malvazija, for example. On the fizz front, handily, two Proseccos (Ca’ di Alte Extra Dry and Rosé Extra Dry) and two Champagnes (Sophie Baron Brut Grand Réserve and Devaux Cuvée Rosé) are also on by the glass.
Of course, you don’t have to drink wine – there’s a good selection of lagers, Pilsners and hipster pale ales, and not forgetting the pretty little menu of bespoke Cinnamon Bazaar cocktails, a collaboration between Vivek Singh and in-demand mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan).
By Darren Smith