When you’ve been around the block for fifteen years, it takes a brave chef to close down the old concept, refurbish the whole venue and completely revamp your menu, but Yogesh Datta has always been a trendsetter instead of a follower.
The decor of TPH of Chelsea feels less formal and austere than before, no doubt this was carried out to match their more accessible new menu.
An extensive section of their menu is now dedicated to vegan dishes and even their meat is from ethically run farms and grass-fed animals, whilst seafood is from sustainable stocks. The provenance of your product is quite often a key deciding factor for whether customers choose to visit your establishment.
The mushroom roll masala was packed with umami-goodness wrapped in a thin, warm naan pastry wrap. Prices might be marginally high here, but you do pay for the quality you get. Every mouthful is packed with premium-quality flavoursome mushrooms. The same applied to my guest’s crabcake starter: I’ve never seen more actual crabmeat used than this version from TPH of Chelsea with a beautiful crab claw garnished on the top and imbued with vibrant chilli flavours to give the dish an added kick.
Main courses included popular classics, newer vegan dishes and grilled dishes using their newly installed Josper grill. I would like to describe my guest’s free-range chicken tikka in almond and tomato curry as buttery and not overly heavy; however, that would be doing the dish an injustice given the fact they no longer use butter in their cooking. For that matter, they’ve stopped using ghee, cream, milk or any other dairy products in their cooking process.
Despite their new relaxed style, you can indulge in extravagant treats such as their king crab leg, mix seafood masala khichdi and aubergine chutney. Masala khichdi is very much a home comfort food cooked in almost every Indian household using mostly rice and yellow lentils. However, the version at TPH has been given a high-class upgrade with meaty flakes of top-notch fish and the king crab meat just adds that touch of sweetness that lightens up the masala dish. The shell is easy to crack and the meat not a challenge to extract.
It might be a weird recommendation, but do not miss their lemon cake, coconut sorbet dessert. Perfectly moist, not overly sweet, it’s been given an Indian makeover with the exoticism of the accompanying coconut sorbet.
TPH of Chelsea isn’t easy to find, but one hidden gem in Chelsea you should definitely seek out.