As promised, we've been going out to a local restaurant every weekend (we rotate each week who gets to pick the restaurant - me, Sarah, or Simone). I'm already a couple of weeks behind in my restaurant updates (deal with it), but so far we're finding we've got some excellent restaurants within a few minutes walk from our flat!
The first week's choice went to the man of the household (that's me, FYI...no seriously, stop laughing), and I chose the South Indian restaurant Cochin. It's located at the heart of East Finchley's High Road. Indian food is the unofficial 2nd national cuisine of the UK, and there are Indian restaurants dotted all over the place. They range from take-away-only holes-in-the-wall to very nice, upscale digs. I'd say Cochin is a mid-to-upper scale restaurant. It's small but with a very nice atmosphere. The main dining room is in the basement, but it's open to the ceiling of the ground floor so you can still watch people out the windows as they walk down the High Road, which is pretty cool.
The waiter asked us if we would like to start with some poppadoms with various chutneys and sauces, to which we replied "yes"! Poppadoms are a thin, crispy flat-bread (kind of like Indian tortilla chips) - a little bland on their own but perfect for scooping up the tasty dips. I'd tell you what dips we had, but I honestly haven't got a clue - sue me. We also ordered the Vegetable Samosa, which are various veggies and spices wrapped up in a deliciously flaky pastry triangle. These were very yummy! Simone loved them so much, she ate 2 of them while Sarah and I only got 1 each - I could've eaten about 8 more. We'll definitely be ordering these again.
For my main course, I had the Cochin Chicken - "chicken pieces marinated and cooked in a mild coconut flavoured gravy". This was a mild, basic curry but very tasty. I also ordered a pint of Kingfisher, an Indian lager, which was smooth, crisp, and refreshing - a perfect complement to spicy Indian food. Simone said that she didn't think I could drink the whole thing, but I proved her wrong! Sarah won the superior entree award with the Non Vegetarian Thali, which is "an assortment of Lamb & Chicken dishes with dal, rice, poppadom, raita, and chapati served in authentic Indian style". She was brought a huge compartmentalized plate chockablock full of different kinds of delicacies...way too much food, and way too yummy.
We'll definitely be visiting Cochin again, and probably taking our friends and family when they come to visit as well!
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