It was a cold, wet and windy evening as we drove to Haveli. To make it worse, traffic was terrible. I knew we were going to arrive later than our booked reservation. I gave them a quick call. A friendly voice greeted me on the other end and said “no problem”.
When we arrived, the door was opened for us and we were shown to our seats. My first impression was that I loved the minimalistic but stylish decor. The room was quite vast but the arrangement of table and chairs made it feel like you were in your own dining space.
Our waiter for the evening was attentive and helpful. We were given some poppadoms with three dips to nibble on while we looked through the menu, and he explained each of our dips before giving us a big smile and going to the bar to get our drinks.
It took us a while to decide what to order. We had to ask for “2 more minutes” about three times. I chose the Mahi Takki (crab and fish cakes served with tomato and mustard chutney) while my dining partner chose the Shikampur (‘melt in your mouth’ minced lamb tikki stuffed with yoghurt, raisins and royal cumin). They were both presented beautifully and absolutely delicious!
After tasting our poppadoms and starters, we started to get excited about our main courses. We ordered the Bengali Style Chicken Jalfrezi and Murgh Makhani (Old Delhi style butter chicken in a mild smoky tomato fenugreek sauce). We weren’t sure whether we should order individual portions of rice or naan bread, so asked our lovely waiter. He explained that one portion of rice and one portion of naan bread was definitely enough for us. We got pilau rice and a peshwari naan, which our waiter explained was full of coconut, nuts and spices – it sounded so delicious we ordered it right there on the spot!
When our dishes were brought to us, they came out from the kitchen on a thick wooden trolley. It looked so elegant and also stops you worrying about someone dropping a dish!
Our dishes were excellent. I don’t often eat Indian cuisine, and I don’t know why because I enjoy it every time I do. The curries weren’t greasy or oily at all, the chicken was of a high quality, and the peshwari naan was out of this world. It was so delicious! I could have eaten a meal of just that by itself. The sweet nuttiness wrapped up in the soft naan bread was just stunning.
Although we had only ordered one side of rice and one naan bread, it was a struggle to finish our meal, but we did – just about.
Of course, our dessert stomachs were raring to go, so when asked if we wanted the dessert menu, we responded with an affirmative “yes”! I chose to go for the Phirni (a traditional Indian rice pudding with almond and saffron) and my friend ordered the Mango and Cardamom Crème Brulee.
As we waited for our desserts, one of my favourite songs played in the background. I loved the relaxed ambience of the restaurant and thought the lighting and atmosphere was spot on.
My rice pudding was lovely. It’s served cold, which I didn’t know if I’d enjoy, but I really did. The hint of almond and saffron lifted the dish and made it sweet and light to eat. The creme brulee was also very impressive and served elegantly.
As our dining came to a close, we looked at our watches and realised we had been there for nearly three hours! THREE HOURS! That just shows you how relaxed we were!
If you’re after sophisticated and delicious Indian cuisine, Haveli is definitely the place to go. We’ve eaten in a fair few Indian restaurants and this one definitely tops the list. We will be back!
We would like to point out that we were invited to Haveli to review their restaurant, but as always, with our lovely readers, we only give full honest reviews of our experience. It was brill. You should go (and order a peshwari naan for definite!)
They also do an Early Evening menu and takeaway!