Being a ‘North London’ girl, I have to admit I don’t know Clapham very well. For a couple of months, while I was working with an artist who had her studio there, I came to Clapham Junction daily but I admit I never stopped after 6 so I couldn’t enjoy its nightlife or restaurant scene.
A week ago I went to Zumbura, a new Indian restaurant opened in Clapham Common. I had heard many good things about its ‘tapas-style’ Indian cuisine and I was really eager to try it.
I love proper Indian, especially if it’s of great quality like this one. Director Aamir Ahmad says these recipes have been handed down through his family for generations, and apparently they still cook like this everyday.
I appreciated Zumbura’s unique style: as you can see from the pics it does not look like the typical indian restaurant at all. It’s cozy and stylish at the same time, with brick walls, turquoise colors and a quirky peacocks wallpaper on the ceiling. I especially loved that one, and the coloured classroom-style chairs.
The whole point of Zumbura is to share the experience of food and flavour: you get plates which are the perfect size for sharing. We started with a couple of amazing signature cocktails: the Molly moo moo : Stoli Vanilla, Stoli Raspberry, Limoncello, fresh raspberries, apple & passion fruit juice (soo sugary but so good!) and the ‘Indian Mojito’ fruity wallah with Bacardi, mint, lime, apple & lychee juice stirred with chaat masala.
They were quickly followed by our appetizer: the chaat – yoghurt with crisp breads and tamarind sauce, and the pakora – spinach and onion chick pea flour fritters. The mix between the crispy chips and the creamy yoghurt was just amazing and the fritters, omg I still dream about them: the perfect kick off for our dinner.
We then tried some of the mains: the murghi ka salan – home-style chicken curry cooked on the bone for a rich sauce, which – I can’t pretend I know Indian grannies BUT – tasted like it just came out from the kitchen of an Indian granny. Then the chapli kebab – beef flat kebabs with garlic, ginger and spices, with a whole, spicy flavour. All with some delicious brown rice on the side.
As I am a big fan of veggies, I also tried ghuggni – black chickpeas braised in onion and mango powder and the parval – braised pointed gourd with crunchy seeds. I liked especially the first one, the onion and mango really gave a kick of flavour to the chickpeas.
All the dishes were delicious: hearty, warm, nutricious. Exactly what you want from good food. No wonder why this restaurant is rated four star on almost any review website.
We ended with some dessert, I chose the gajjar ka halwa, a warm, buttery pudding of carrots with pistacchios. It tasted so good, it made me want to try making a carrot pudding at home!
I was so satisfied of my dinner. Zumbura’s flavours are vibrant and hearty. It really tastes like the food someone would prepare especially for you, with great care.
Dinner was offered by Zumbura. Opinions are my own.