60 Upper Tooting Road, Tooting
London SW17 7PB
Reviewed on Thursday 28 May 2009
Kolam Indian restaurant
We had intended to go to to Al Mirage since it has been a long time since we were there. On the way, we noticed Kolam and its promotion of £15 for two for two starters, two currys, two bread or rice, and a bottle of wine. Actually it is the bottle of wine that caught our attention since many restaurants in this area are Pakistani and alcohol free. So can we eat well for a little over the price of two fastfood menus?
Outside, the restaurant looks small but inside it is pretty long to the point to waitress has to walk to come near your table to check everything is all right. It is decently decorated. It does not look like an ordinary curry “diner” but more like a comfortable restaurant (with tablecoths, etc). For the starters the requirement from that £15 deal was to take a South India starter. The menu is quite extensive so the choice was in no way restricted. We chose a dosai masala and a dosai “special” masala. A dosai is a crepe stuffed with potato curry, onion and for the “special” masala it also had some chicken. It is a meal that can be eaten for breakfast too, apparently. They were both good, with crepes that were crispy on the outside. They were surprisingly spicy, and even hot. The two sauces were good too. The green one was served cold while the other one was warm. I do not know enough about Indian food to tell what they were exactly. It is a very filling meal. Seriously, after eating it we wondered how we were going to eat the main course! As main courses, we had to choose between currys and we decided on the spicy chicken vindaloo curry and a chilli chicken curry. We had a problem with them: they were both very spicy, which is fine as we are both into hot spices, but they were WAY too salty. The vindaloo was salty but could be handled. The chilli chicken was just too salty. It was more salty than spicy (and it was seriously spicy, so that tells you about the amount of salt). The two currys looked similar but had different taste in case you wonder about it looking at the photos below. The naans could not soak up the salt. They were on the heavy, dense kind of naan. They could be good if things were not that salty. The wine included in the menu was a bottle of Marcel Hubert dry red. It is of course a cheap wine that costs around £3 but it was not too bad. If you do a search for that wine you can find other restaurants charging about £10 for this same wine!
Marcel Hubert red wine included in the £15 menu for two.
Not too bad for a cheap wine
Inside the dosai
The sauces served with the dosai
Naan and vindaloo curry
Chilli chicken curry
Details of the vindaloo curry
Cost and conclusion: two starters, two main courses and a bottle of wine for £15. Hard to beat it! Just too bad the currys were so incredibly salty because the surrounding was pleasant, the waitress very nice… Without that problem (which completely ruined the meal), it would be a good value for money and we can only think and hope it was a one time mistake. In the area, you have Al Mirage if you are into curry (2 minutes walk toward Tooting Broadway) and the Kings Head if you are looking for a pub (same way as for Al Mirage but it is closer).