Diamonds are forever

Urban Kohinoor

The rumours are true – this is Bristol’s best curry, writes Sammy Milton

If you’re a fan of curry, then you’ll have heard of Urban Tandoor. Based down on Small Street, they opened in 2014 and have slowly but surely been climbing their way to the top, bagging multiple awards along the way, and are known as one of the best restaurants in the UK. No small feat, we think you’ll agree.

The team behind Urban Tandoor have been doing so well that they’ve opened a new restaurant on Whiteladies Road. Urban Kohinoor takes its name from the world’s most renowned diamond, ‘Koh-i-noor’, and features the same incredible food and service. It was always destined to do well, and has received rave reviews around the city. Wanting a piece of the action, we headed up there a couple of weeks ago to try what is said to be Bristol’s best curry.

First things first, we couldn’t have been more welcomed. We were greeted at the door with smiles and handshakes, and quickly led through to the dining room. Subtly lit with a mirrored back wall, it was both classy and calming, and the presence of a few midweek diners showed they are already gaining popularity at their new site.

We dived right in. We shared some poppodums with a range of pickles and chutneys – which were, of course, delicious – and for our starters we went with a portion of the soft shell crab and a couple of the onion and spinach bhajias (can you have Indian food and not order these?). These arrived promptly and were very
well received.

The crab, much like its Chinese cousin, was served whole, deep fried in a spicy batter of cornflour and basin flour and was full of rich, fragrant spice. Delicately fishy, it worked incredibly well with its accompanying tomato and red pepper chutney. The bhajias were excellent also – not overblown and intimidating like some can be, but modest in size and cooked to perfection.

For our mains we decided to share two curries. From the Urban Kohinoor specials, we went with a Malabar tiger prawn curry. A sizable portion, it arrived piping hot and full of juicy, fat prawns. No scrimping on size here, we’re happy to say. These prawns were swimming in a thick, glossy sauce of coconut, exotic spices and hung yogurt, which was rich and satisfying. Even more so with keema naan and basmati rice we ordered on the side to mop it up. Utterly delectable.

As well as this, we ordered a classic Kashmiri lamb rogan josh. Always a favourite, it’s great to see how different places put their twists on traditional choices like these, and Urban Kohinoor went above and beyond. The meat was tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth, in a beautiful ruby-red gravy of spices, shallots, chilli and tomatoes. There was enough kick from the chillies to keep you on your toes, but not overwhelmingly so – the perfect level of spice.

Along with the naan and basmati rice (both first-rate accompaniments), we ordered a dish of saag paneer. My particular weakness, it was everything I hoped it would be – the spinach was creamy but light, full of flavour and the paneer was lightly coloured on all sides, adding a satisfying bite.

By this point we couldn’t even finish what we ordered, so we skipped on dessert. However, they have a very intriguing sweet section that shouldn’t be ignored.

I could go on and on, really. It was, without a doubt, the best curry I’ve had in Bristol, if not ever. And I mean that. You can stop looking now, this is it. Go now before everyone else hears about it.

Urban Kohinoor

211 Whiteladies Road, Bristol


0117 973 1313

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