Putting on a Sholay!

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A visit to this delightful restaurant was the perfect farewell to an Indian summer, writes Sammy Milton

On an unseasonably cold and miserable Wednesday evening, there really was nothing more I wanted than some hot, spicy Indian food. Luckily we were invited to try out the newest addition to Bristol’s Wapping Warf – Sholay Indian Kitchen. Located on the end of the upper terrace of Cargo 2, it was glowing like a warm, welcoming beacon through the dark drizzle when we arrived, and we were immediately enveloped into a buzzy, friendly atmosphere as soon as we set foot through the doors. 

The interior is a wonder to take in. Painted in bright colours, there is a scene from Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay on the far wall, long wooden benches and a busy open kitchen towards the back. We were seated and took a moment to take in the delightful smells coming from the rear of the room – we couldn’t wait to try as much as possible. 

The menu comprises of small plates, larger plates, sides and desserts, with a few items apiece. Wanting to get a varied experience, we went with a selection of the small plates and placed our orders and excitedly awaited their arrival. 

Sholay chaat (£3.50) was up first. A delightful mixture of fried dough, potatoes, onions and chickpeas, it was topped with a minty yogurt and drizzled with pomegranate seeds for a sweet kick. Having never tried this before, we were immediately fans and polished it off quickly. This was followed by the garlic and spinach bhajis (£4.50). Arriving in a batch of three, they were rich, garlicy and immensely comforting – everything you want from a bhaji. They came accompanied by a curious sweet and tangy dipping sauce that was absolutely delectable. My only complaint that there weren’t four – we had to fight over the last one. 

Next up was my favourite dish of the evening – Peshwari lamb chops (£8.00). Larger than the other dishes in this section, it arrived in a stunning arrangement. The two lamb chops were balanced against each other over a bed of crisp salad, with artfully organised dollops of sweet pomegranate sauce around the outside. Crisp and expertly cooked, the lamb was sweet and tender, with the spices adding a flavoursome outer coating to sink your teeth through. To say we literally stripped the meat from the bones is an understatement. They were brilliant. 

Following this was hara murgh – green herb chicken – (£7.00). Again a slightly bigger portion, the meat was soft and delicious, and the flavour of the herbs really came through – a triumph to end the main meal. 

As usual, we were easily persuaded into desserts and shared a bowl of blood orange and papaya sorbet (£4.50). What a beautiful dish. The pink scoop sat atop a bed of glowing sweet pomegranate seeds that juxtaposed wonderfully with the tangy sorbet. 

All in all, Sholay offered a very promising and positive experience. My only peeve – and I did struggle to find one – was that the Indian breads that we ordered towards the beginning of the meal didn’t arrive until the end, and came with a tiny pot of dip. They were delicious and would’ve been perfect for mopping up excess sauces. But never mind. We had a wonderful evening and would definitely return. So as the nights draw in and the winds get colder, go to Sholay for a very warm welcome. 

Sholay Indian Kitchen

Unit 17, 

Cargo 2, 

Wapping Wharf

Bristol, 

BS1 6ZA

0117 336 2845

www.sholayindiankitchen.com

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