Restaurant review: Chafford Hundred’s popular Indian restaurant Kushi
- Credit: Stephanie Mackentyre
Stephanie Mackentyre reviews Kushi restaurant, the award-winning Indian restaurant near Lakeside Shopping Centre.
Kushi means happy in Bengali, so I was hoping that’s how I’d feel after reviewing the flagship restaurant.
It’s easy to reach – located in Chafford Hundred just off the A126 opposite Lakeside Shopping Centre, with free parking around the back.
Inside the restaurant isn’t huge, but it is chic and modern with sleek lines. Its black and white décor is softened by the vibrant, colourful artwork on the walls. The staff were all smartly dressed in black and ready to greet us upon our arrival.
We began with crisp poppadoms served with four fragrant chutneys: an onion, coriander and tomato salad, minted yoghurt, mango chutney and a mild red chilli chutney, which was particularly good.
Starters for us was the Kushi mix, which included chicken tikka and seekh kebab and lamb tikka pieces. The lamb was my favourite, it literally melted on the tongue.
We also shared king prawn butterfly; using a whole king prawn from Bengal waters, it was breadcrumb battered and deep fried. Both dishes came with salad garnish and a fresh wedge of lemon to squeeze over the flavoursome meat and fish.
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For the main course there was a specials board with three dishes per day. There’s also a tandoori grill serving chicken, lamb, and prawns freshly griddled. The shashlik sounded particularly good, with a choice of chicken, lamb or king prawns and there was even a monkfish variety.
All dishes are traditionally marinated with spices and herbs and cooked in a tandoori clay oven with peppers, tomatoes and onions.
Despite all those tempting dishes, we decided to try the Kushi Exclusive Menu.
I had the aam mossala, which is the restaurant’s alternative to the traditional korma or masala. The chicken breast meat is cooked with sweet chilli sauce, mango pulp and fresh cream and served with a slice of fresh mango on top – a wonderfully rich and creamy dish.
My dining guest chose king prawn roshani, which is cooked with mushrooms in a garlic sauce and medium spices. I’m still licking my lips at the memory, both dishes were excellent.
The family-owned, six-strong chain of Kushi restaurants and takeaways was nominated for Best Restaurant Group, and its owner, Sharif Uddin, was a contender in the Local Community Hero category in the Asian Restaurant Awards last month. Opened seven years ago, Chafford Hundred is the flagship branch.
One thing to note is that the restaurant is alcohol-free. However, you are encouraged to bring your own and there’s no corkage fee. We were both driving so soft drinks were not a problem, although we both fancied trying one of their mocktails featured on the menu, but sadly they weren’t available on the night we visited.
Dessert-wise, there was a tempting offering of chocolate waffles served with either chocolate sauce, banana, strawberries, Oreos or Ferrero Rocher. There’s also a selection of ice creams starting from just £2.50.
Looking for a touch of spice? This could very well be the place to find it.
Address: Lakeside Business Village, Fleming Road, Chafford Hundred, Grays, RM16 6EW
Opening Hours: Dinner, Monday-Sunday 5pm-10.30pm; Lunch, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-3pm
Three more Asian-inspired experiences to try out ….
Name: Grand Trunk Road
Address: 219 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2PB
We say: Their menu is an inventive collaboration of traditional recipes and seasonal, fresh, locally sourced ingredients, offering a heady journey of aromatic spices you’ll want to go on.
Name: Maharaja Restaurant
Address: 358 London Road, Benfleet, SS7 1BG
We say: This multi-award-winning restaurant specialises in royal Indian cuisine and also lean, low-fat exotic dishes.
Name: The Gurka Restaurant
Address: 8-10 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1SN
We say: The restaurant says it provides the finest authentic Nepalese cuisine in the heart of Chelmsford. As well as good food it offers entertainment, including traditional performances of Nepalese folklore dancing!