The other night we watched a program about our nations love of curry. Turns out we can’t get enough of the blooming stuff. Although we were pretty disappointed to hear that the favourites apparently include chicken tikka masala and the korma! In our opinion, perhaps the blandest of the two and the least authentic. Each to their own but James and I like our curries with a bit more pizazz and a lot more heat.
We were recently invited along to Sholay Kitchen, one of the shipping containers at Wapping Wharf, to sample their new menu and enjoy some of their staple dishes. The menu is short and sweet, with dishes to keep curry fans happy, along with some traditional street food items that you will struggle to find in any other curry house in Bristol.
We started our meal off, as we do most meals, with some refreshing cocktails. James was on the Keralan Paanch, a mix of coconut rum, blackwell rum, coconut cream, sea salt, pineapple juice and cardamon butter, whilst I sipped away on a thirst quenching Sholay Mojito, made up of blackwell Jamaican rum, passion fruit, lime, mint and sugar syrup. Delish.
For our starters we could not resist the chilli paneer, because we’re both chilli and cheese fiends. And oh.my.word. What a dish. If nothing else in this blog post will convince you to go to Sholay Kitchen, you MUST go there for the chilli paneer.
I’m salivating as I write this, purely just thinking of it. Order it. Twice. You won’t regret it.
It has a wonderful level of medium heat, with a sweetness that even those with a sensitive palette (the korma eaters) will be able to handle it.
Next up, another veggie dish. The hara bhara kebab. Now, don’t judge a dish by it’s photo – this was another banger.
I know it resembles some sort of bird feeder, but the flavours and spices released once you bite into this wonderful creation are the bees-knees. James was sceptical when I suggested ordering it but was completely won over after tucking into it.
To serve our curry needs, for mains we went for the tawa murgh. Tawa named after the grilling technique, with locally sourced chicken, served with bell pepper sauce. A succulent piece of chicken, layered on a bed of this chunky peppery sauce that I definitely had more than half of (James and I were supposedly sharing). I love a thick sauce.
We also ordered the grandma’s curry, and according to Sholay Kitchen, this is what Indian cooking is all about. I’ll take their word for it having never visited India (yet). Medium spiced, plenty of sauce and comes with the ingredient of the day – which happened to be chicken. Unfortunately it was chicken on the bone so it was a little tricky to eat but we still mopped it up.
Speaking of mopping up, we accompanied our curry dishes with rice (of course) and some masala chips (because I can’t resist chips if they’re on the menu). The latter had a good coating of house blended spices making chips even more irresistible to me than normal.
Pudding was an exciting revelation, there are a couple of options but all you need to know is that Kulfi ice cream is the bomb. I opted for the vanilla and James went for the honey rose.
I’m not usually a big ice cream fan, however I used to have one particular favourite as a young’un: mini-milks! You’ll never guess what? The Kulfi vanilla ice cream tastes just like them and transported me right back to my childhood. I don’t even know if you can get mini-milks anymore, but it no longer matters now I know I just have to pop to Sholay for my fix.
You have the option of sitting outside if you’re lucky enough to 1. Have the sun shining and 2. Be able to get a seat, the place was pretty busy when we went on a Tuesday evening but they welcome drop-ins and you can also book. We enjoyed a seat outside on our visit whilst the sun was shining but retreated to the warmth of the inside when it dipped behind the MShed.
Sholay Kitchen is not your average indian, it’s something a whole lot more special. With authentic dishes, full of those indian spices we all love but shown off in a completely different way.
Now, who’s going to come with me to eat my weight in chilli paneer?