How do you make your Indian restaurant stand out from the crowd? For Nutmeg in the heart of Clifton Village it’s to feature a menu with dishes originating from all 29 states in India, while also ensuring that every single ingredient is sourced from local suppliers.
Free-range meat is from Ruby & White butchers, fish from Charles Saunders, and vegetable and grains from Bristol Sweet Mart.
Like the food, the decoration also consists of a heterogeneous mix of styles. There are many different light sources from fairy lights all around the windows to chandeliers and nude light bulbs adding a modern twist, modern wooden tables accompanying floral carpets, and bright bold patterns on the walls.
On a recent Friday lunchtime, a refreshingly calm atmosphere that gained in volume as more customers arrived was only spoiled by the incompatibility of the pop music on the stereo with the authentic surroundings.
Our waitress was incredibly engaging throughout, explaining ‘Menu 29’ to me in detail, seeming genuinely passionate about the dishes and recommending her own favourites.
Soon after arrival came an amuse-bouche from head chef Arvind Pawar featuring a delicious array of dips including a tangy mango and red onion salsa and a delightfully bright spiced apple chutney, along with bite-sized papadums.
For a starter I had three beautifully presented traditional onion bhajis that offered a good amount of spice, covered in just the right amount of smoky sauce, and finished off with grated chives that really freshened the bite. At £2.99 making it is the cheapest item on the menu yet defiantly one of the most desirable.
A saag paneer as a main arrived promptly and gracefully and in a silver dish. Large morsels of cottage cheese had been fried perfectly and were buried in finely chopped cooked spinach and lots of herbs, well-seasoned and well blended, with the heat of the dish only kicking in at the end.
Nutmeg doesn’t just stand out from the crowd. It shows just how good an Indian restaurant can be.
Nutmeg, 10 The Mall, BS8 4DR
0117 360 0288