3-7 Milsom Place, Bath BA1 - 01225 300600 - www.bandookkitchen.com
This week we were invited to visit Bandook in Milson Place for an Indian street food feast. A wet evening, we arrived between showers and were so pleased to see there was outside covered seating, so we could sit out and keep dry and cool. We were welcomed by Joanna the manager who talked us through the menu, and we chose some cocktails whilst we looked at the extensive range of dishes on offer. On Joanna's advice, we went for the chef's selection of dishes to showcase the menu. The cocktail menu is really varied and covers all tastes, offering a 2 for 1 at £8.50 which is a great price for the centre of Bath.
Our first two dishes came out and were so pretty as you can see. The Kale Pakora Chaat (£6.50) was delicious, crunchy fried kale, served with onion, tomato, chickpeas, vermicelli and a mint glaze. We were so pleased to see the Pani Puri (£4.50) which we loved from our Mint Room visit, puffed semolina shells served with jal jeera water. You pour it into the shells and eat in one go!
Next up was the Crispy Chilli Squid (£7.50) nicely spicy with fresh chillis and onions - really tasty and the Bombay Prawns (£8.50) were really good, king prawns marinated in caraway, peanuts, sesame and tomato salsa, sprinkled with coconut. Really juicy and flavoursome, we liked these a lot!
Next on the showcase was Keema Pav (£6.00) soft buttered brioche buns with curried minced lamb - these were so moreish and a firm favourite from our evening. The Delhiwale's Pocket Kebab (£8.50) was another tasty treat, layered paratha (so good) stuffed with chicken and spicy veg. The highlight of the evening for us was the Taco Dosa (£12.50) South Indian pancakes made using fermented butter from ponni rice & black lentils served with drumstick sambar and the most delicious tomato chutney. Ours came with chettinad pulled duck, which was so tender and full of flavour - one we will be ordering next time we visit for sure.
Our last selection of dishes did not disappoint. We were very full at this point but still had to try all these amazing mains that came out. Railway Lamb Curry (£14.50) an authentic lamb curry full of flavour, not too hot was super tasty and the Keralan Moilee (£11.00) a gently spiced coconut milk sauce with aubergines was an interesting combination of flavours and textures. We had sides of Kurkurit Bhini (£5.00) crunchy fried okra which was a real surprise as neither of us like okra but this was delicious. Pilau Rice (£3.00) and a Bread Basket (£5.50) with roti, naan and a garlic naan were also fantastic.
We were way too full to try desserts, so we will have those next time we visit. We do plan on returning as paying customers as the flavours and range of dishes were so good. Joanna was charming and really took the time to chat with customers (including us) to make sure they (and us) had a great dining experience. Service was quick and efficient and lots of walk in's were accommodated whilst we were there.
Located in the centre of town, it's a great place to meet with friends and family for an informal relaxed evening.
In summary, we recommend Bandook - its a hidden gem that you really need to try!
Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB - 01225 446656 - www.themintroom.co.uk
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to the Mint Room. We've not been for years, so were really exciting to visit again. Reviews are really good, so we had high expectations.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by Adrian, who talked us through the tasting menu we would be sampling. Everything sounded delicious and we could not wait to start.
The tasting menu is called "A Tour of India" and includes multiple courses and flavours for just £39 per person. This is really great value and something we would most definately do again. To go with the food we ordered the recommended Wine Flight at £21 per person. The menu takes you on a tour of the Indian continent offering flavours and spices from rich tomato meat dishes to coconut and fish dishes with gorgeous sides in between.
Our first course was the Indian Street Food. Three fantastic pots of delicious flavours, and a fun start to events. Our waiter was extremely knowledgable and talked us through the dishes and how to eat them. Crunchy puffed rice with toasted nuts was like a very tasty and upmarket bombay mix. The deconstructed punjabi samosa with chickpea masala, seasonal salad and pomegranate seeds was perfection - light spicy fresh flavours with every bite. The third dish was also brilliant, crispy pastry balls with spicy chickpeas, diced potatoes, pomegranate and mint and tamarind water. You pour the shot glass into the crispy shell and eat in one mouthful - really good fun and tasty too! We had a glass of Piper-Heidsieck champagne with this course and it worked perfectly.
Next up were the Rajasthani Lamb Chops. Free range Welsh lamb marinated with Kashmiri chilli, yoghurt, cloves and cardomom with a sweet potato shami (spiced sweet potato patty with ginger and green coriander chutney. The lamb (all sourced locally) was so unbelievably tender and flavoursome, the chutney just right, and the potato patty was gorgeous. We especially loved this dish, which was served with a Viognier from South Africa.
Next was the Keralan Seabass Moilee, a pan fried fillet, served with a spicy creamy coconut sauce tempered with mustard seeds and red chillis. Such a rich and moorish dish - this left us craving for more. Accompanied by an Albarino, this cut through the richness of the sauce perfectly.
After the fish course we had a lovely lemon sorbet to cleanse the pallet - just right.
The next course was Beef Chettinad, gorgeously tender 8 hour marinated blade of beef, served in a rich spicy coconut and star anise sauce with curry leaves and spicy mash. This was utterly delicious and a firm favourite. Served with a Rioja Crianza - perfect with such a rich dish.
Next up was a delightful platter board that had Dehli Old Style Butter Chicken (tandoori chicken tikka) in a lovely creamy tangy sauce. Served with Saffron rice, vegetables and fresh bread. This was more of your traditional curry, and the ultimate comfort food - we loved this!
For dessert, we were invited up onto the roof terrace for a look around. It really is great up there, perfect on a hot evening. They have really decked it out nicely, with a tropical feel due to all the plants. We ate Gulab Jamun for dessert, served with chocolate mousse, and ice cream - a perfect way to end a perfect meal. Dessert wine in the form of Sauternes worked perfectly against the chocolate in the dish.
In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at the Mint Room and will be recommending it to everyone we can! The Tour of India menu was a true delight, and something we would return for again and again. The restaurant was really busy, so booking is most definitely advised. The staff were all so knowledgeable, helpful and professional, which is always so nice to see - a real credit to the restaurant.
Thank you Mint Room see you soon!
Francis Hotel, Queen Square Bath - 01225 473351 - www.bohomarche.com
Last week we were invited to dine in Boho Marché, the restaurant in the Francis Hotel. A Moroccan inspired menu with a twist of Mediterranean, we were looking forward to seeing the decor and sampling the menu.
Whilst we looked at the menu we ordered cocktails, a Rapsberry Spritz, (£9.50) and a Bloody Mary (£9) - both were delicious and arrived promptly.
The decor is really beautiful with so much to see - there are lots of little booths and hidden tables for dates, as well as a private dining area for groups.
For starters we ordered the Spicy Salmon Crisps Toastados (£11), which was a lovely combination of yuzu cured salmon, avocado, red onion with BBQ mayo and fresh herbs and the Five Pepper Squid (£9) served with a spicy ginger sauce. Both were really tasty and we would order them again.
For the main course we went for the Fillet of Hake (£21) - pan roasted and served with confit rosemary onion, cannellini beans & ras el hanout roasted tomatoes. This was tasty but a little dry. I had a side order of Brocolli (£7.50) which came with a delicious soy and yuzu sauce, which I poured over the beans - and that was delicious. My husband chose the Ox Cheek (£22) - Slow braised and served with smoked creamy mash and red wine jus, very tender and tasty.
For dessert the Sticky Toffee Pudding (£7) was my husband's choice, which he said was really good but it could have done with more ice cream as it was a very small scoop. I went for the Deep Fried Ice Cream (£6), which was gorgeously crispy with a melting vanilla middle - fantastic.
In summary, we really enjoyed our meal at Boho Marché. Pricing is on the high side, but it is a hotel restaurant and it is in a very central location. There are some lovely outside seating areas for Al Fresco dining, and they are open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breakfast & Brunch 9am-12pm – breakfast bookings essential
All-day dining à la carte menu 12pm-10pm
Saturdays & Sundays
All-day dining à la carte menu 4pm-10pm
We will be back to try the breakfast next!
Husband & Wife living in Bath for over 20 years. All views are our own although we do get freebies along the way, which we will always tell you about.