No 7 Temple, Queens Road, Weybridge KT13 9DL - restaurant review
PUBLISHED: 11:06 21 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:40 23 September 2014
Popular Surrey restaurateur Shiraz Ali has been promising something a little special with his new Weybridge venture. Matthew Williams visits No 7 Temple to find out if his latest Indian restaurant lives up to the hype
Reviewed: No 7 Temple, 7 Temple Market, Queens Road, Weybridge KT13 9DL: 01932 849847
What we ate:
Poppadom and pickles, £2 per person
Lamb samosa, £4
Prawn chaat puri, £6
Railway lamb tava, £11
Chicken dhansak, £9
Slow-cooked lamb shank rogan josh, £14
Bombay potatoes, £4
Steamed basmati rice, £3
Garlic naan, £3.50
Gajar halwa tart, £5
Pimpala Road Shiraz, £5.50 a glass
Lychee juice, £2.50 a glass
REVIEW: Over the years, I’ve reviewed a few Indian restaurants as part of my foodie wanderings around Surrey. Already known as a place for trendsetters, with the likes of Enam Ali’s acclaimed restaurant Le Raj in Epsom, Surrey’s top curry houses have never been the kind you head to after a night at the pub, but rather the sort where you go to enjoy the finer things in life.
And so it is that we find the latest, No 7 Temple in Weybridge, which is promising Indian gastronomy as its very best. Newly opened under the helm of restaurateur Shiraz Ali, who has already had a hand in successful establishments in Addlestone and Cranleigh, it aims to show just how far British/Indian cuisine has come today.
As you make your way past the celeb- trap Queens End road of Weybridge – with the likes of the Red Bar, Boho tea shop, the long-established Indian restaurant The Gaylord and The Vineking wine shop – you find an unassuming parade of shops opposite Weybridge Green. Once the home of The Bengal Clipper, this is now the setting for No 7 Temple’s tasteful, muted tones.
We arrived midweek, a month or so after the opening, to find a spacious, stylish dining room with extremely well-spaced tables and enthusiastic owner Shiraz Ali, who tells us he’s hoping his young and fresh team can emulate recent high-end Indian restaurants in London. If all goes to plan, he’s aiming to open further sister restaurants in Esher and Barnes.
As poppadoms and pickles found their way to our white-linened table, I opted for a glass of Shiraz (not always the best juice with spicy food, but maybe the proprietor had stuck in my mind), while my wife Sylviane picked a glass of lychee juice off a well-stocked drinks menu. We could have opted for some thirst-quenching cocktails if thoughts of hitting the town had prevailed.
The waiter recommends...
Picking a couple of starters to get a flavour for things, Sylviane opted for an excellent lamb samosa while I went with our waiter’s recommendation of prawn chaat puri – I’m very glad I did, as it was a real winner. It was one of those dishes that really gets you in the mood for what might be to come.
Already the room around us was beginning to fill with expectant diners and the mood seemed relaxed with chilled music playing in the background.
For the main course, I settled on the railway lamb tava, which was a deliciously spicy lamb dish usually served on first class train compartments in India – or so I was told. It was the perfect mix of heat and flavour, accompanied with steamed basmati rice and a garlic naan.
Sylviane’s chicken dhansak was moreish and I may well have used the last of my naan bread to mop up its delicious sauce.
We were also served a little extra surprise, the restaurant’s slow- cooked lamb shank. Not necessarily the first thing you’d think of ordering at an Indian restaurant, but the meat fell of the bone and was beautifully cooked in its tomato and onion stew. A real surprise and definitely something I’d consider ordering again.
Each dish, including our Bombay potatoes, managed to hold its own and each mouthful was a delight. With stomachs fully satisfied, we were going to skip desserts but our waiter managed to talk us into a gajar halwa tart – an Indian variant of carrot cake I suppose – with vanilla and cardamom ice cream, and a mango and mint smoothie on the side.
It proved a real treat, with intriguing and light flavours dancing around our palates to provide a fitting finale to our feast.
All in all, No 7 Temple proved to be an extremely pleasing way to spend the evening. They obviously aren’t scared of trying something different either. Shiraz’s wife Farah is set to launch a tea room as part of the restaurant in the autumn. Expect exotic and Eastern infused chais, alongside hot and cold pastries from their pastry chef. High chai, if you will!
PS For a bit of further exotic exploration around Surrey...
I’ve been lucky enough to eat at two other slightly unusual restaurants in the past month and wanted to give both of them a quick commendation.
In New Malden, good friends took me to Han (0208 949 7730) for a wonderful Korean barbecue – fortunately I escaped without witnessing any karaoke, which I’m led to believe is a separate but extremely popular enterprise at the restaurant.
The second is closer to my Redhill home, in a rather unassuming old pub. Found opposite The Belfry shopping centre, Everest Spice (01737 789599) serves stunning Nepalese in ‘quirky’ surrounds!
3 more great Indian restaurants in Surrey
211A Fir Tree Road, Epsom KT17 3LB: 01737 371371
Gone are the days when a curry was regarded as a bit of lads’ night decadence. Today, Indian cuisine sits comfortably alongside the finest dining in the foodie guides – and it’s fair to say Le Raj had a hand in this.
19 Anyards Road, Cobham KT11 2LW: 01932 865005
Voted in the top three Indian restaurants in the UK by curry bible, the Cobra Good Curry Guide 2013, Massala specialises in cooking authentic Indian cuisine using ancient recipes.
The Indian Tapas
282 Ewell Road, Surbiton KT6 7AQ: 07776 611663
In a bid to ensure that guests get to taste as many of the flavours of India as possible, this popular restaurant operates tapas style with loads of great street food options to try.