The $3 million restaurant is set in a warm and sophisticated environment as conceived by award-winning Steven Langford Architects. The interior will feature India’s timeless architectural forms, materials, colors and art blended with more familiar Western design influences. Upon entering, guests will be greeted by the exhibition kitchen complete with 3 large crimson-colored tandoor ovens as its centerpiece. There, they will see chefs flash roasting vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood, and baking their famous naan. Guests may choose to dine at tables on the main floor, private booths along the perimeter or a communal table that offers a bird’s-eye view of the Euro-style kitchen. The lushly landscaped Garden Room, complete with retractable walls, chef’s herb garden, a water feature and fire pits, will contain 54 of the restaurant's 145 seats and will also include the airy bar, serving a full range of signature cocktails, craft domestic and imported beers, and nearly 50 wines by the glass.
“We’re delighted to announce the much-anticipated opening of Tamarind of London and look forward to introducing a new take on Indian dining to the American public,” said Maneesh Rawat, recently appointed general manager, who has opened and managed notable Indian restaurants in Delhi, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. “Our U.S. culinary team, headed by Indian born Chef Shachi Mehra, has been working closely with Executive Chef Alfred Prasad, whose 11-year Michelin Star legacy at Tamarind in the UK has set the standard for elevated Indian dining.”
Her unique ability to combine Western and Indian cultures enables Chef Mehra to create dishes that successfully marry tradition with modernity. She has included foods from the varied regions of India, highlighting the flavors and techniques that make each region unique. The menu also artfully integrates California’s robust selection of seasonally fresh and sustainable foods from local farmers, ranchers and fisherman with Indian classics.
Tamarind of London will serve a variety of small plates including spice-crusted seared scallops with smoked tomato chutney; black pepper calamari with spiced yogurt; steamed mussels in coconut milk with ginger and turmeric; garlic chicken tikka; and a trio of Tandoori wild mushrooms. Salads include a coriander and fennel crusted tuna with arugula, pine nuts and avocado tossed in a coriander-ginger dressing; and the simpler Tamarind Salad with mixed baby lettuces, pomegranate and crisped rice served in a mango-lime dressing.
Among the main courses are braised lamb shank in red wine, garlic and black cardamom; a classic chicken tikka masala with a tomato honey sauce and fenugreek; and a farm vegetable curry with root vegetables, coriander and cumin. A selection of tandoor grilled kebabs include halibut with a lime leaf marinade; chicken with paprika, yogurt and ginger; and lamb chops flavored with red chile and cardamom. A number of desserts including house-made ice creams and sorbets, tropical cheesecake, carrot halwa and a 7-spiced molten chocolate cake round out the menu.
Some of the dinner items appear on the lunch menu, which also offers a variety of roomali wraps including a south Indian style spicy shrimp wrap and a grilled root vegetable wrap, both served with soup made from scratch every day. In addition, sizable toasted naan sandwiches are available including a chile paneer with black chickpeas, peppers and cilantro; grilled steak topped with cheddar and caramelized onions; and tandoori chicken in a garlic yogurt with fresh mint.
Dinner items range from $14 to $32 and lunch from $9 to $28. Hours are 11:30am to 11pm with Happy Hour from 3pm to 6pm daily. Tamarind of London is located at 7862 East Coast Hwy, Newport Beach. Visit www.tamarindoflondon.com.