Pakistani restaurant Al Mirage
215 Upper Tooting Road, Tooting
London SW17 7TG
Reviewed on Saturday 30 May 2009
Restaurant Al Mirage
After the not so great experience at Kolam we decided to go again to Al Mirage to get fantastic curry. It has been over two months since we ate there (click here for the 25 March 2009 review). What we like at Al Mirage is the modern, clean style. You have room between tables, something that cannot be said for most restaurants we’ve tried in this location. The staff are friendly and efficient too.
We (two people) were quite hungry so we saw big, maybe a little too big… As a starter we ordered the Special Mixed Grill made of four grilled chops, four seekh kebabs, four pieces of chicken tikka and one grilled fish (£12) and for main courses we chose the Balti chicken tikka massala (£6) and the Balti chicken korma (£5.50). As drink we had two sweet Lassi (£1.40 each). They provided some papadum ( thin crispy wafer) and a basic salad while we were waiting for the first course.
Salad and papadum
The Special Mixed Grill was excellent! They have the grill within the dining area behind the counter so you can see the lamb, seekh kebabs being chargrilled. It does generate some smoke but the ventilation is quite good, you can feel the wind sometimes. The pieces of chicken tikka were great, with some bits burnt giving a barbecue taste. The seekh kebabs were really good, with a nice spicy flavour and a little crispy on the outside. The grilled chops were good too but too tiny to really enjoy them. We were already starting to get full when the grilled fish included in this starter arrived. We forgot about it! The fish was excellent too. Firm enough inside and the coating was crispy and quite spicy. For just two people this starter can easily be the unique meal.
The Special Mixed Grill
In the plate
Detailled view of the chicken tikka, seekh kebab and grilled chop
We were still eating the chops, seekh kebabs and chicken tikka pieces when the fish arrived...
We were still eating the fish when the two currys and the butter naans arrived. The naans were hot, crispy on the outside and covered by butter. The currys were really good. The balti chicken korma was extremely creamy, with a delicious smooth and lightly spicy taste. The balti chicken tikka massala was also creamy but less so than the korma and also more spicy. We can clearly tell the chicken pieces were grilled before being put in the sauce. By the way there is plenty of sauce in the two meals for good use of the naans. The sweet lassi drink, which tasted a little like yoghurt, was good to fight against the hot spices.
Balti chicken korma
Balti chicken tikka massala
The naan bread and curry
Seekh kebab and fish from the starter mixed with the curry
Overview of the table
Cost and conclusion: this is the best place for eating curry in London! Definitely a better (less diner-like) surrounding and also better food too compared to the curry houses in the area and we did try almost all of them in that street! My minor complaint is about the timing between first course and main course. All the dishes arrived a little too quickly, which was ok but we would have wanted more time between them. Possibly the cook thought we were four as this starter was for four people but he could have looked at us or the waiter could have told him to wait a little. Still, all that for just a little over £26 is a very good value for money! We will be back!