Zumbura is a relaxed, welcoming restaurant in Old Town, Clapham with friendly staff. A large bar where guests can sit, enjoy the food and watch their cocktails being prepared takes up one side of the restaurant. Now I have set the scene I’m going to tell you about the food because it deserves the majority of this blog.
We sampled a lot of the food, and by a lot I mean nearly everything, so I will try and keep it short. The Pakora are spinach and onion chick pea flour fritters were an authentic starter which reminded me of onion bhajis but had a lighter texture and substantially less oily. Chaat is a particular favourite of mine and was served with yoghurt, tamarind sauce and a fresh minty sauce with a kick. The tamarind sauce lures you in with a sweet flavour, akin to mango chutney, before the spice kicks in; a real winner.
The way the food is prepared here is almost like a tapas restaurant, with small sharing dishes. A great example of this is the Sikkiwe grilled lamb chops which arrive 4 on a long plate and few inches across each. They have been twice marinated in herbs which give them a great flavour. The Machli ka salan, a pollock fish curry with mustard seeds and fenugreek, is full of flavour with the fish melting in one’s mouth. An absolute favourite of mine was the Ghuggni; black chickpeas braised in onion and mango powder, it was divine and bursting with flavour!
For pudding we sampled the Sooji, a buttery sweet semolina pudding. It came out drier than I had imagined but as soon as I started eating it the buttery taste came through. They have a great cocktail menu here with treats like the Fruity Wallah; Bacardi, mint, lime, apple & lychee juice stirred with chaat masala. You may remember chaat from earlier but in this case it blends in perfectly, creating a light, refreshing cocktail.
Zumbura are also doing a lunch menu which will consist of protein and vitamin rich vegetarian options with their typically flavourful north East Indian cuisine. The tapas like smaller sharing plates make it easier to curb any impulse to over indulge for those trying to embrace a healthier lifestyle after the over indulgence of Christmas!