Lucy Self dines on exquisite Indian at Sindhu restaurant in Marlow
Despite curry being as integral to the UK’s food identity as corned-beef sandwiches, there’s a surprising lack of Indian hotel restaurants. Not to say the concept doesn’t exist in this country – just far less so than you would expect from a nation that loves Rojan Josh as much as roast potatoes.
One spot that is adding a little spice to its hotel offering is the Macdonald Compleat Angler in Marlow – with its restaurant, Sindhu.
Before we get to dinner, let’s start with the hotel – housed in a charming cluster of buildings nestling the River Thames. We arrived after dark on a Friday night, giving us a first impression of twinkling lights and guests dining overlooking the water as we crossed the bridge.
Our room, accessed via an outbuilding across the car park (minus point) was huge and sumptuously furnished (plus point). Extra props for the gleaming white bathroom and tiny balcony.
So to dinner at Sindhu which, much to our delight, was fit to bustling with hotel guests and loyal locals. Not permanently at the stoves but hugely involved in the menu concept, is award-winning chef Atul Kochhar (the first chef ever to win a Michelin star for Indian cuisine) – which might have something to do with the full dining room. Either way, when the waitress suggested we sample the tasting menu with matching wines, which she promised would take us on a tour of Atul’s beloved south west coast of India, we happily agreed.
We kicked off well with a wooden box – opened to reveal tiny, perfectly round poppadoms and a row of tongue-wincingly good chutneys. Starters – a take on aloo chaat with two types of potato smeared with sweetened yoghurt and baby scallops with ‘textures of parsnip’ – were good; but the murgh do roopiya, tender chunks of chicken dusted with herbs and saffron, was by far the best dish of the evening.
Then a rack of lamb with chettinad spices so delicious we found ourselves knawing the bone served with an exemplary trio of black lentil dahl, jerra pulao and naan sides. Throughout wine pairings were cleverly done, particularly the Hungarian dessert wine served with the dome of chocolate mouse to end.
At £43 per person for the tasting menu (£83 with matching wines) and main dishes on the A La Carte topping out at £24, Sindhu’s prices are on the higher end of the dining scale. And, if I’m being totally honest, I’d question if the quality verses price point means that Sindhu is worth the trip to Marlow alone. However, with Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers up the road, plus a bevvy of other gastro options in the area, it would make a winning addition as a ‘treat yourself’ food-fanatical weekend.
Sindhu Restaurant The Compleat Angler, Marlow Bridge Marlow SL7 1AG
A double room for two sharing including full English breakfast is priced from £155 per room per night. To book a stay at Macdonald Compleat Angler visit MacdonaldHotels.co.uk