If you like your Indian food modern, well-presented and imaginatively cooked then this sassy Indian eaterie just off Oxford Road (near the Old BBC) is the place to head.
Occupying a large corner site on the fringes of the city centre, this modern double height ceilinged restaurant feels very cosmopolitan and chic with a neat runway of tables for two down one side, a mezzanine floor above its busy kitchen and clusters of cosy banquette type seating for larger groups. Airy, modern and contemporary, this is designer Indian fare but not necessarily with a designer Indian price tag. I’ve paid more for places with much less style and far less competent cooking. It’s not cheap either – it’s just feels like a quality restaurant with a fair tariff for quality food.
We turned up early one Saturday evening for starters and a main course. Service was swift, efficient and exemplary with our waiter taking time to talk through the menu and the specials. For those who like the traditional staples of an Indian menu Zouk does these down to a tee, albeit with its own creative variation. However, this is the kind of place worth venturing off piste with their daily specials which show the extent of their cuisine.
All the usual things you expect from a good Indian restaurant are delivered with aplomb and a sense of theatre. The popadums are light and airy, the chutneys are fresh and aromatic and the pilau rice light and fluffy. My main course, their version of a Madras, was beautifully cooked with tender pieces of chicken in a sauce that took its heat as much from its herbs and vegetables as spices. Perfection.
We went when the place was just getting busy and were served promptly so I suspect when it gets busy you might have to wait. I’m guessing it has around 100+ covers.
However, the staff are supremely professional and very hospitable – and swift on their feet too.
By the way, there’s also an outside area under a canopy for those who want alfresco dining and the chance to smoke on a Shisha pipe. Every taste catered for in a very confident and professionally run restaurant. Great for people watching too.
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