On today’s lunchtime visit, I was joined by Danielle, who is quite the avid fan of Indian cuisine, particularly following on from her visit to Kerala, last year.
Our attentive waiter ran us through the way that the restaurant worked, suggesting that we order three or four dishes each, as the portions were along the lines of tapas. Having ordered lassis, to drink, we contemplated our choices, eventually deciding that five dishes between us would probably suit our lunchtime needs.
We opted for papri chaat (crispy wheat biscuits with potatoes and chickpeas), chicken lollipops (Keralan spiced chicken wings), Bengali fish cakes, a “Frankie” (a spiced vegetable wrap), and “railway station” lamb curry.
The place has a nice, positive vibe to it, with the informal layout promoting a sense of the place being fresh and exciting.
The food was soon on its way, with dishes arriving as they were ready. The “Frankie” was probably the best item, as the spicing was warm and the texture soft and comforting. The chicken wings and fish cakes were fine, if a little characterless, and papri chaat was served cold (although I’m now reliably informed that this is correct, as it’s a room temperature dish), which was fair enough, but it was more interesting than wholly successful. The lamb curry, featuring on-the-bone lamb cooked with spinach was good, but lacked star quality.
The overall impression was of a place that was still somewhat finding its way, and lacking a whiz-bang standout signature dish. Perhaps such as dish does exist on their menu, but we weren’t lucky enough to find it, on our visit. The lassis were excellent, with my salted version a refreshingly savoury treat, but I’m not sure that they’re a strong enough selling point, on their own.
So Tuk Tuk is worth a visit, but I’d be surprised if you’re blown away by what they have on offer. The idea is a good one, but the quality and/or originality needs to be cranked up a notch if the place is going to put broad grins on the faces of diners. For now, it’s quietly pleasing, which is quite a good starting point. I look forward to visiting, later in the year, to see how the menu has evolved and how they’ve developed their offering.
Blythe scores Tuk Tuk
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s questers were: Danielle, Blythe
We ate: papri chaat, chicken lollipops, Bengali fish cakes, Frankies, railway station lamb curry
We drank: salted lassi, mango lassi, water
We wore: black boots, black suit
Total bill: £26.90