Restaurant review: India Per Se, Swiss Cottage, NW3

The scallops and caviar were a cut above your average curry house

The scallops and caviar were a cut above your average curry house - Credit: Archant

In the same way you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a restaurant by its name. While India Per Se might be a slightly pretentious moniker, the eatery formerly known as Eriki on Finchley Road serves up some very good food.

The king prawns were huge and regal

The king prawns were huge and regal - Credit: Archant

The recent refurbishment has given the place a distinctly extravagant air – solid wooden tables and chairs, intricately carved cutlery and enticing facade all hint at a menu above and beyond a standard late night Ruby.

And so it proved – the starters were entirely bereft of bhajis and tikka, so ­instead we had the excellent scallops sitting on cabbage puree and topped with caviar; and the some very ­impressive battered prawns with and apple relish.

The mains were the same – while you could get versions of kormas and rogan josh, there was much more in way of chops, seafood and fish.

From the clay oven, the kings prawns really were ­regal; five of the huge blighters served whole and absolutely inundated with dry, heady, tandoori spice.

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In contrast the tender sea bass was swimming in a sumptuous, slightly sweet, molee sauce and served alongside spiced potatoes and some deep curried ­aubergine.

This is not your normal curry house – clearly evidenced by our unordered amuse-bouche (zingy coriander laden puffed rice with rich chicken-liver pickle) - and while the prices are high enough to put off the rowdy post-pub crowd, the food is excellent and more that enough to warrant the schlep to Swiss Cottage.

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