Now that I’ve taken you through a very quick tour of The LaLit London on Tower Bridge, let me tell you a little something about their restaurant, Baluchi.
If you’ve read my previous post, then you should know by now that The LaLiT used to house St Olave’s Grammar School. Baluchi is set in the old school’s assembly hall. Wait, should I say school’s old assembly hall? Did my grammar school blues just kill me?
Iiiiiiiiii wanna swiiiiiiiiiing from those chandelieeeeeeers…. those chandeliiiieeeeeeeeeeers. (Sorry, I had to.) Hanging from the ceiling of Baluchi are four magnificent chandeliers, all painstakingly crafted and put together by hand. Imported from India, each of them create a bedazzling canopy of light and lux to the restaurant below.
Our amuse bouche was a chickpea cake served with tamata ka sorba. Frankly, I didn’t know how to eat this so I just freestyled. The bread was surprisingly light but magical when dipped in the soup. The soup itself was beautiful, with its spiced tomato tang kicking in nicely. A good start.
Up next was a bharwan zucchini which was a lightly battered zucchini flowered filled with paneer. I’ve eaten many courgette flowers before, but this was possibly one of the nicest with its tangy filling and lightness. All it needed was a bit of honey drizzle and it will defo drive you off the roof. I also liked the small dish of mushroom ki galauti which, we were told, was prepped for 24 hours in advance.
We then moved on to the fish dish. Now I do have a thing for theatrics, and Baluchi did not disappoint.
Ta-daaaa! Tandoori salmon at your service!
The beautifully presented salmon was a tad bit over for my liking. But I liked that it was smoky enough and the flavour was still very strong. Some may not favour the fishy aftertaste of salmon, but I do enjoy it every now and then.
As if on cue, a palate cleanser came in form of a fennel and pineapple sorbet. I’m not a fan of fennel so I was quite reluctant about this dish, but I did enjoy this. It was tart and creamy in places and definitely perfect after that salmon.
Next up was the zafrani malai murg aka tandoori marinated chicken.
Mildly spiced, I thought this was better cooked in the tandoori than the salmon. The pieces I had were rather succulent and immediately I am transported back to sunny skies where everything you eat is grilled. The life.
Did I tell you The LaLiT has a “naanery” too? They make their own naan bread and serve it in all ways you can (or can’t) imagine. We sampled some at dinner and boy… was I hooked.
The highlight of my dinner was the baghara baingan, an eggplant served with paneer and a side chutney of some sort. My gosh, I wanted to eat everyone’s dish because I thoroughly enjoyed it so much. The flesh of the aubergine was perfect and the filling was generous enough without leaving you that stodgy feeling. So good.
Last but not the least, a plate of bhapa doi with paan ki kulfi for dessert. I’m a chocoholic at heart but I quite liked this baked yogurt curd although… I actually prefer the kulfi which was light and refreshing. We were treated to garnishes of sugared rose petals, candied fruit and fresh betel leaves.
Verdict for Baluchi
The Summer Tasting Menu at Baluchi is light and pleasant to the taste. I left the restaurant feeling comfortably full and pleased to have tried something new. Service was decent and quality seemed good. I’d like to see the place in full swing so to have a proper feel of its ambience. But overall, nice.
Those chandeliers, though… #dreamy.
The LaLiT London,
181 Tooley Street, London, SE1
We were guests of Baluchi but all opinions are my own.