Spice up your life

Surrey editor Chris Wood enjoys classic Indian cuisine served with a warm welcome at Haweli Belmont in Surrey

At the very heart of Indian hospitality lies the philosophy that visitors should be welcomed with fine food and warm greetings. This, together with the significance of the word ‘Haweli’, which means a safe and secure mansion house, led the owner of Haweli Belmont, Misbah Chowdhury, to build a reputation based on a heartfelt welcome in a cosy environment where comfort and exemplary cuisine both delight.

Tucked away in the neighbourhood of Belmont, on the south side of Sutton, Misbah’s eaterie has to be sought out, rather than catching the eye of the casual traveller, but once tried it will become a destination for many for a long time to come. Having long been a fan, I was more than happy to return to see if it was as exceptional as I remember it. I wasn’t disappointed.

I was drawn to the extensive seafood dishes on the menu. King prawn options, as starters and as mains were succulent and tasty, and colourful too, like my companion’s king prawn Bezule – crispy coated with flavours of lemon sauce and mustard. My companion followed her starter with Malabar sea bass (pictured), a couple of fillets marinated in ginger and garlic and grilled in a Malabar sauce. It reminded us of the inventive ways we can now enjoy seafood in an Indian restaurant if there is an imaginative chef on hand!

The eye-catching Lucknow lobster will have to wait until our next visit, but it’s a mouth-watering prospect, served fresh and shelled, with saffron, spices, ginger and ground coconut… Perhaps we’ll make the next visit on one of the upcoming Gourmet Fish Nights, when fish lovers can really get in the swim with a two-course meal for just £16.95.

While my companion was exploring the sea food I was delving in to the signature dishes, heritage dishes, old favourites and traditional classic curries. I found one of my own old favourites, a rogan josh, among the classics and matched it with pilau rice. Perfect!

Those new to Haweli might want to start out with a tasting menu. Available every Wednesday, this allows you to sample the finest dishes from the a la carte menu for just £16.95. What a perfect welcome!

Haweli Belmont
22 Station Road Belmont, Sutton.
www.haweliofbelmont.co.uk 020 8770 0149

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