The Painted Heron stands proud on the corner of Cheyne Walk and Riley Street, overlooking the river Thames. An area which is mainly residential, has the delight of having its own exclusive contemporary Indian restaurant. When I say exclusive, I mean more that it has a select crowd of locals and regulars. That said, it does not mean you are not welcome, you very much are!
The team behind Painted Heron are well versed in the cuisine that they offer, making it a very authentic experience. on the evening we dined there, it was to enjoy a showcase of new menu items. Let’s start with the interior, on arrival there is a small bar. Work your way past this and there is a hidden labyrinth of space with tables neatly spaced out for couples dining or small groups. The space is very modern, with no hint of the normally garish textures and loud colours which normally frequent Indian restaurants. Just a calm, neutral area with the creative focus being firmly on the food.
Once sat at our table, there was some tweaking of the air-conditioning to get it right. It was extremely warm outside, so it was great that they had this, but sitting right underneath the main vent made you feel like you were in Greenland. The staff were helpful and we finally found a happy medium.
The menu was introduced to us with three courses on offer, kicking off with a specific starter choice, followed by a selection of dishes for mains and a dessert of your choice to tantalise your tastebuds. Having put extreme effort into not wolfing down the popadoms with the dips, I started with the meat selection which included Spring lamb tikka, grilled lamp chop and wagyu beef kebab. Prisca had the seafood selection with pollock fish tikka, tandoori black tiger prawns and soft shell crab. What a delightful medley of well seasoned and cooked fare. The wagyu beef in particular was so delicate and tasty.
Following the starters there was an avocado lassi. A strange concoction but it totally worked. It weirdly cleansed the palate. Next up was what seemed like a nevery-ending flow of dishes for us to share. Chicken tikka sweet chilly, Black tiger prawns with hot and sour goan spices. Rose veal sir fried and griddled with red onion and chilli powder. Bold choice for such a gamey meat to be served in the Summer! Lamb shank in a super hot curry. Hot being the key word here, it was a case of downing some water to save face.
As if that was not enough, the sides arrived with broccoli, cauliflower and sugar snap peas poriyal (a sauteed dish). crispy asparagus okra and sweet potato. Yellow lentils with spinach, raita with yoghurt, cucumber and pomegranate. Lastly, watercress, mango and sweetcorn salad. The mango was ripe and sweet which is worth mentioning, as there is nothing worse that rock hard tasteless mango. Literally all of the dishes, whilst in its normal form being served solo, complimented each other perfectly. My eyes were definitely bigger than my belly and I over indulged on the mains. It was mainly because I wanted to check every dish! I honestly could not fault any of the dishes. The menu is well structured and interesting enough for anyone with a love of Indian food to enjoy.
The Painted Heron is a must visit for a fine dining and experimental experience. Whilst many of the dishes were traditional in its base, some of the ingredients were curve balls to redefine your thoughts on a normal curry house encounter.
The Painted Heron
112 Cheyne Walk
London SW10 0DJ
T. 020 7351 5232