Atul Kocchar was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star – he now has two to his name and it’s easy to see why. His most recently opened restaurant, Sindhu, in Marlow, showcases his talent for creating decadent contemporary Indian dishes. I visited last night for my mum’s birthday and could not fault a single thing; the service was attentive, friendly and not overbearing in the slightest but it was the food that truly stole the show.
Before our starters, we had mini poppadoms, with a selection of sweet fresh chutneys. Then we were served an amuse-bouche; a small wheat cracker with richly spiced beans and a cooling drizzle of yoghurt – bite-sized but big on flavour.
The dish I was most excited about (having spent far too long salivating over the menu before our visit) was the Jal Tarang; scallops, pan-seared and served with textures of parsnip. It did not disappoint. The scallops had a rich, caramelised crust which gave way to soft inner flesh, delicately spiced, and served on the creamiest parsnip puree I’ve ever eaten. The parsnip crisps were a nice touch, adding texture and sweetness to the dish.
For my main, I ordered Meen Moilee; pan-roasted stone bass with coconut moilee sauce, crushed potato and mustard seeds. Unfortunately, the photo came out blurry (too excited to eat to focus my camera, obviously) but it was beautiful – the skin of the stone bass was crisp, and sauce was a vibrant yellow; sweet and mellow from the coconut with an underlying mustardy heat.
On the side, we shared saag aloo and baingan bharta, a soft, deep and smoky aubergine mash. We also got a bread basket, with a selection of naans and mint paratha.
Finally, for dessert, I tried the Granny Smith apple sorbet and the coconut sorbet. This was the perfect cleansing ending to my meal; light and simple. My mum ordered the impressively presented chocolate mousse, which was revealed by pouring molten sauce on the hard chocolate shell. Like all the food, the presentation was striking. To finish, we were served some tiny sweets; chocolate with nuts, mini shortbread and pomegranate jellies. I was more than satisfied, but I could quite happily have eaten the meal all over again.
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary for a special occasion, I can’t recommend Sindhu enough; great service, picturesque views of the Thames and unmistakable Indian flavours with an impressive modern twist.