As our search for a new favourite Indian restaurant continues, we decided to give another one a try. There is a huge number in the Tooting area, we really are spoilt for choice, but following a recommendation from a friend, Radha Krishna Bevan was our next destination. We had visitors with us so we booked a table for 4 at 7pm on Saturday.
The restaurant is located not far from Tooting Broadway station and, to be honest, doesn’t look anything particularly special from the outside. It does however look clean and modern and the tables are pretty well spaced inside meaning it didn’t feel cramped once it got busy, which is did later on.
The menu includes a range of the usuual specials and dishes that you would expect to find in an Indian restaurant such as a chicken/lamb masala, khurma or rhogan. Whilst we were perusing the menu we were bought some poppadoms (a mix of plain and spicy) and the pickle tray.
The pickle tray included an onion chutney, a coconut flavoured dip, a rhaita and mango chutney.
We decided to order 2 portions of onion bhaji to start with, and then a chicken masala, a butter chicken, a chicken Malabar and a chicken dupiaza for our mains. We also opted for a pilau rice, mushroom rice, coconut and garlic parathas and a portion of cauliflower Manchurian.
The onion bhaji were served quickly and each portion had 4 balls, slightly bigger than golf ball size. They were tasty with a bit of heat and came with a bowl of rhaita. A good start.
We waited a short while for our main meals to be served. The dishes were served in individual china bowls but the portion sizes were perfect for one. The butter chicken was creamy and really tasty although probably highly calorific. It came in a rich, orangey sauce with several chunks of chicken.
The masala was drier than a tikka masala but was rich and tasty. My sister, who is a tikka masala fan, was impressed with it and enjoyed it immensely.
The chicken Malabar was a surprise. I haven’t tried this before and would describe it as a spicier version of a korma. It wasn’t really hot and spicy but was really tasty and had the coconut flavor to the sauce.
Finally, the dupiaza with its generous chucks of chicken along with cooked onion and crispy onion on top, with a gentle spicy heat to it, was very good.
The knockout dish here though was the cauliflower Manchurian (seen above, to the right of the dupiaza). This was hot, spicy and full of flavor and it was declared “the best thing I’ve ever had in an Indian”. In fact, it was mentioned over and over for the rest of the evening. In case you’re not familiar with it, it is a cross-over between Chinese and Indian cooking, with a sweet but very spicy sauce over batter coated cauliflower pieces. Highly recommended. No naan bread again, but the paratha were nice, and do almost as good a job mopping up the sauce.
Service was friendly and polite. They were quite quick to clear up when we finished, with a fair number of people waiting for a table, they were doing their best to accommodate them. The meal for 4, including 3 Cobra beers, a G&T and a vodka and Diet Coke, came to £75.
By the time we had finished, the place was packed, which is always a good sign, and having tried the food we could see why. Compared with Vijaya Krishna, which we visited a couple of weeks ago, there were a lot of similarities but a fair number of differences too. Vijaya Krishna is a nicer restaurant in that the interior and layout is perhaps more pleasant, relaxing and a little quieter. The service there was also a bit more relaxed. The food was very good in both restaurants and it would be hard to seperate them in that regards, although the cauliflower manchurian definately stood out as a fantastic dish here. If I had to chose out of the two, then it would probably be Vijaya Krishna, but there isn’t much in it, and we’d definately go back to Radha Krishna Bhavan without hesitation.