Fifteen of the Greenwich Curry Club descended on the newish Mountain View restaurant with recommendations from numerous people still ringing in our ears. The Nepalese recently replaced the Mehak along Trafalgar Road and although its predecessor was pretty decent the Mountain View has raised the bar.
We arrived on what we thought was banquet night only to be told that offer no longer was being run. The Curry Club’s chief grumbler suspected it was because we had turned up en mass but frankly I suspect the offer has been withdrawn because their reputation has grown so quickly they simply don’t need it to attract customers. On the night we visited (Wednesday) the restaurant was packed with a great buzz about the place.
The food was top-notch and the table heaving with different dishes. Lets start, as so many meals do, with the popadoms. In all my years of visiting and reviewing Indian food the normal process has been for people to break off a bit of the giant crisp, load it up with pickles and fill up their mouths to stave off the hunger pangs before the starters arrived. This is the first time I have ever heard anyone, let alone more than one person comment that they taste so good. I’m not a big fan of popadoms myself and thought they were just a way for the restaurant to add a few sneaky pounds to the bill. After all, who says no to them?
Then came the Lamb and Vegetable Samosas (both £2.45 for two). Well, in actual fact, then came an array of starters but it was the humble samosa that took centre stage. Super plump and well-filled, the samosas are crisp to the bite and the pastry not too thick – the perfect combination.
Well, if a restaurant can get plaudits for its popadoms and samosas then the curries are likely to be a walk in the park. I can’t personally confirm this is the case for one classic dish because our newest (Canadian) member, unversed in the sharing ways of the Curry Club, swiftly tipped his Chicken Tikka Masala onto his plate before you could say, “Where’s the rice?”. But from his clean plate at the end I think we can assume they were as good as other classics such as Lamb Vindaloo (£6.25), Chicken Madras (£5.95), Lamb Dhansak (£6.95), Lamb Biryani (£8.95) and the Lamb and Chicken Jalfrezis (both £6.95), which it should be mentioned were a touch hotter than you’d find in other restaurants but carrying a lovely blend of spice and heat.
Meanwhile the Malabar Fish Curry (£8.95) has made me completely revise my view of the Bangladeshi freshwater fish tilapia. Normally dry, this was tender and smothered in a delicious coconut-based sauce. And finally, for fresh veg lovers the Diwani Handi (£5.95) will hit the mark; crunchy asparagus, baby corn and green beans in dark, dry sauce.