If Sharwood’s is to be believed, whipping up a tasty curry takes 20 minutes and one pan. At Imli they have the same philosophy, but a very different method of going about it.
For a start, most of the menu is in the form of tapas. It is full of small, varied dishes that work as much as a map of India as a three course meal. It takes influences from all over the country, rather than the south-India dominated cuisine served in most curry houses.
Our platters cost around £8, which is brilliant value. It included several sides, a main curry, a field's worth of rice and, of course, a main curry dish. Being the sister restaurant of Tamarind, a certain quality of ingredients and cooking is to be expected, but I was blown away.
Every dish was unlike any other curry dish on any menu in any other curry house. The Papdi Chaat, a sweet yoghurt and wheat crisp salad, was worth the price alone. The lamb fell apart on the fork and the potato and coriander cakes were refreshingly light compared to the heavier dishes.
Combining the philosophy of tapas and Indian food may seem unlikely but, as the head chef Samir Sadekar explained: Indian cuisine is meant to be diverse, and always shared. Although sharing is the last thing on my mind as I tucked in to our lunch platter, the point about having variety on your plate was well made.