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Rimjhim Review
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Rimjhim Lamb meal

Rimjhim – We arrived around 8pm on a Tuesday evening to enter a superbly lit, immaculate restaurant that is a feast for the eyes. Rimjhim is spacious with modern decor and seating that effortlessly creates a different look and feel at every corner. Sections of the restaurant are open, some more intimate, and there is a discreet bar area – perfect for groups, couples and family dining.

Wine – The wine list offers a mix of Old and New World with a Cellar selection that includes Puligny Montrachet, Premier Cru Chablis and an interesting selection from Lebanon. An extended Cellar selection 'off list' provides further choice. To start our evening we enjoyed a glass of Merlot which is strong in tannin and livened up the palate nicely. To follow we opted for the Rose Brut Prosecco which gave a reassuring pop, fizzed up well and tasted very pleasant.

Decisions – Rimjhim aims to serve Indian cuisine typical of that eaten in India. The A La Carte menu offers dishes we all know and love as well as Quails Tikka, Lobster, Rack of Lamb, Duck Curry with Orange, and much more – suffice to say this is not your typical Indian restaurant menu. We decided it would be a shame not to try something different and requested, with confidence, that the Chef choose for us (with one minor stipulation that something for 'The Suit' in the gently spiced department could be provided).

Photographs of the dishes we enjoyed accompany this review.

Rimjhim Madu Murgh dish

Popadums – Delivered delicately halved and encased in a chrome cage that added a certain 'something' to presentation – much nicer than whole ones on a plate. Each was light, bubbly and crisp without any trace of greasy taste or texture.

Accompaniments – The chutney, mint sauce and onion salads were fresh, colourful and teased the taste–buds perfectly in preparation for our starter course.

Starters – A beautifully presented selection of three different delicacies arrived. Monkfish Tikka infused with crushed coriander seeds, chilli flakes and grilled in a wood-fired tandoor. Sheek Kebab – juicy lean minced lamb with coastal spices. Chicken Sheek Kebab – fillet of chicken breast minced, dusted with cardamom and coastal spices.

Each portion of the starter combination looked succulent and tasted delicious. The Monkfish was the biggest hit with its delicate, mildly spicy exterior and slightly sweet tasting meat.

A delicate pattern the length of the oval plate the starters were presented upon – a green and red undulating design, was so perfect I wasn't sure if it was ceramic or sauce, a tentative dab with my index finger soon confirmed that the artistic touch had been provided by the Chef and not a potter!

Indian musical instruments

Main Course – 'The Suit' was presented with the Madu Murgh (mild and creamy). The dish brings together tender chicken breast strips which are marinated in yoghurt and then cooked with coconut, mild spices and dried fruit. A final garnish of sweet crispy parsnip sets it off and adds a bit of crunch to a predominantely creamy texture. We can both highly recommend this as a perfect alternative to Chicken Korma if you would like to try something a little different.

Lamb Tawa Masala (spicy and hot) combines tender morsels of lamb sautéed with fresh green chillies, ginger and coriander cooked in a stone vessel and served garnished with delicately shredded salad. The sauce is hot, spicy, luxuriant and flavoursome yet does not overpower the lamb. As the evening progressed (and the wine flowed) 'The Suit' – known worldwide for his fear of even mildly spicy food – plucked up the courage to try some. He expected it to awaken his taste buds – but not with a 92 piece Orchestra!

Side Dishes – Saffron rice, Sagaloo and Peshwari Nan (with coconut and almonds). The rice was perfectly cooked – all individual grains and not a clump in sight. The Sagaloo was spicy, the baby potatoes perfectly complementing the spicy spinach. The Nan was slightly salty on the outside and sweet on the inner; a nice contrast.

Desserts – We were presented with a triple layered chocolate creation which we both agreed tasted as good as it looked. The dessert was delicate and light – a perfect end to our meal.

Verdict – Rimjhim lends itself to those who like Indian cuisine with finesse, civility and a very decent wine list. Dishes are generously portioned, beautifully presented, cooked to perfection and excell in tenderness and flavour. We can highly recommend every dish for freshness, combination of flavours and wonderful textures.  Click here to view the A La Carte menu (pdf 864kb).

This innovative way of sampling the finest in contemporary Indian cuisine promises the ultimate experience in Indian dining. The Chefs are food artists who use the finest natural ingredients and traditional cooking techniques to bring out the unique, dazzling flavours. The food was memorably sub–continental; tradition with a twist – if you can't make it to the sub–continent and you fancy something from India that's unusual and exquisite – dine at Rimjhim, or have a meal delivered. As well as Winchester, there is one further Rimjhim restaurant located in Colden Common. Click to visit the Rimjhim website

Our thanks for a superb evening's dining in beautiful surroundings with lovely people are warmly sent to everyone at Rimjhim – together with our compliments to the Chef.

Rimjhim Contemporary Indian Cuisine
1 City Road, Winchester, Hampshire.
Tel: (01962) 868352

Review by Paula and Richard 'The Suit' – June 2010