Since its opening in 2016, the Navadhanya restaurant in Haymarket Terrace has gained a loyal following of diners looking for authentic Indian cuisine served in new and exciting ways. We both enjoy Indian cuisine but sometimes leave feeling a bit disappointed in uninspiring food that looks and tastes a bit samey. We had high hopes for Navadhanya and were looking forward to enjoying their award-winning chef’s menu.
On arrival, diners are greeted with a warm smile and a welcoming dining space. The well-spaced tables are dotted with candles, and along with the stripped floorboards, this makes for a relaxing place for couples and groups alike. It was early Tuesday evening in December with major roadworks on their doorstep, and the restaurant was almost full. A mixture of locals and tourists made for a jolly atmosphere with attentive staff enjoying the buzz.
The menu offers a few set menu choices including a 2 or 3-course business lunch for £9.99 or £12.99 respectively. There is also a 7-course tasting menu for £39.99 and a 3-course party menu for £28.00 (8 guests and over). The à la carte menu has lots of interesting dishes, and they all sounded terrific making it difficult to choose..
Decisions eventually made, we were presented with a golden nugget of mixed vegetable kebab served with a swoosh of sour tamarind sauce and a dollop of a sweet tasting orange sauce, compliments of the chef. It’s a nice little bite to kick things off.
Our starters arrived a few minutes later, and my Maysor Dosa consisted of a crispy rice flour crêpe filled with warming spiced potatoes, coconut chutney and a rich, spicy dhal. The pancake was on the well-fired side which slightly overwhelmed the rest of the flavours which was a shame. Donnie’s starter was perfectly char-grilled pieces of chicken that had been marinated in ginger, garlic and cumin. These were served with a fresh-tasting mint and coriander relish – delicious.
Main Course at Navadhanya
For mains, I went for the Chemmeen Jumbo Prawn dish that had sweet juicy crustaceans smothered in a rich onion, chilli and ginger sauce. The earthy flavour of turmeric helped to balance the peppery sweetness and made for a very moreish dish that I can’t wait to try again.
Donnie had their signature Railway Lamb Curry dish that harks back to India’s colonial past – mildly spiced mutton traditionally served to Brits on long train journeys. This version is made with lamb slowly braised in a flavoursome spice mix with a sharp tang of tamarind. It’s a fantastic choice if you prefer a less fiery curry. The light naan bread is perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce.
Railway Lamb Curry finished with classic southern spices £15.95
Room for dessert?
Desserts and Indian cuisine aren’t always a great combination, but we decided to try their taster platter. The sharing plate is an excellent way to sample the delicious chocolate mousse, homemade kulfi, tandoori pineapple and gulab jamun, saffron and cardamom infused doughnut. It’s a colourful combination of sweet treats that is nice to share and an enjoyable fun way end to the evening.
We loved our visit to Navadhanya and there are lots of intriguing dishes on the menu that we are looking forward to trying on our next visit. The unfussy service and relaxed atmosphere also make for a pleasant evening out exploring new and exciting flavours.
88 Haymarket Terrace
Thanks to Navadhanya for inviting us along to experience their cooking.