Having wanted to visit Prithvi for ages, I almost jumped for joy when James and I received an invitation to try out their new Autumn Menu.
Often recognised as the best restaurant in Cheltenham, with it’s reputation reaching far further afield, Prithvi has gained huge praise for it’s sophisticated dining experience, regarding both the food and service.
Having only been open since 2012 it wasn’t long before the five star reviews came flooding in, marking Prithvi as the number one place to eat in Cheltenham on TripAdvisor. Which is no mean feat considering how many people regard themselves as food critics these days. Food bloggers are entirely different I might add.
Prithvi has also been voted the UK’s number one curry house, which is obviously great news for them but a little odd as the dishes we sampled were in a complete league of their own and probably wouldn’t come under ‘curry’. But I’ll let you, the reader, be the judge of that.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by Melissa who had organised the event and Jay, owner of Prithvi. We were given a choice of drinks and then went in search of a table. The room was filled with other fellow bloggers, some familiar faces and some new.
We took a seat and began to look through our tasting menu, named the ‘Prithvi Tour’. As we perused the menu, Jay made his way around the tables asking if we would like any wines or other beverages to go with the food. James and I had a glass of their white wine; which was wonderfully sweet – just how we like our wines.
Before our four course tasting menu began we were treated to an amuse bouche of crispy kale and mango chutney on top of a rice cracker. Followed by another of chickpea and tomato panipuri – this was flowing with a tamarind juice meaning you had to eat it all in one. Not a particularly big challenge for James and I.
For our first course, I had the Tandoor baked salmon with beetroot, cucumber and mango, whilst James who is not the biggest fish fan, enjoyed Tandoor baked beetroot with goats cheese.
The salmon was soft and delicate with all the spicy flavours you’d expect from Indian cuisine, balanced perfectly with the sweet, earthy beetroot and pickled cucumber. The Tandoor baked beetroot was a revelation, paired with a strong goats cheese the two flavours each packed a punch without being overpowering. The wine that had been chosen for us, was a great complement to the dishes.
Our second course was Welsh lamb, couscous and legumes. A beautifully presented plate of food, the lamb taking centre stage in both it’s wonderfully pink colouring and the incredible flavours. The couscous and legumes helped soak up the juices of both the lamb and the sauces. A winning plate of food.
The third course was another showstopper in both the looks and taste departments: Venison with butternut squash, ginger and cinnamon reduction. Still carrying those wonderful Indian flavours we’ve all grown to know and love, the meat just melted in my mouth. The butternut squash added a sweetness to the dish and whilst I was sceptical about the ginger and cinnamon reduction, it all came together wonderfully. I know, how could I doubt these guys after the previous courses!?
A side of white truffle naan bread also accompanied the dish which struck the right balance of truffle which can often be overpowering.
Our final course was dessert, a plate of passion fruit cream, mango gel, coriander and a honey crumble. I don’t often have desserts in Indian restaurants and if they’re all this good, then I’ve definitely made some bad choices in life. However, I suspect Prithvi’s take on puddings is something quite unique. This had all the makings of an A-star dessert with sharp, sweet, creamy flavours running throughout. Plus it was another feast for the eyes.
Cheltenham has a wealth of good Indian restaurants and if you’re looking for all your usual curry dishes they’ll probably suit you better. However, if you want something a little bit more special then look no further than Prithvi. A restaurant that takes pride in both it’s excellent food and impeccable service, deserves the high recognition it has received since it’s opening. The question James and I asked ourselves when we left was, when will Prithvi be awarded a Michelin star?
After the lunch we enjoyed, we can only hope and cross our fingers it’s just around the corner!
To book or find out more visit the website.