Ushna

Things have improved drastically at this Madinat Indian restaurant, and that’s not just because they have turned their attention from fusion to what they should know best: straightforward Indian dishes, sometimes with a contemporary twist. Sadly, even a vast improvement hasn’t brought them up to scratch on the starters front. The sweet and sour elements of the murgh chatpatta, (tandoori chicken, onion, bell peppers, mint and coriander in a poppadam-like shell), seems a little forced, and the ample helping of gooey spicy sauce is just, well, too ample – and seems to appear on every other dish. Deep-fried mushrooms stuffed with cottage cheese and cheddar lack character and flavour. One of the better main course choices is the dal makhni, a thick, creamy and garlicky lentil dish, and another is the murgh makhni, tandoori chicken in tomato sauce with fenugreek. Shame then that the chunks of lamb in the gosht khada masala are too large, dry and chewy and comes with an unexceptional sauce. For dessert, the kulfi is your best bet; not a showstopper but a respectable take on the cardamon infused favourite. So Ushna has found some redeeming points, with other positive assets including a gorgeous, giant swing strewn with colourful cushions; a great terrace; polite and efficient service; background music that’s gentle not loud and a charming ruby-coloured boho décor; but the quality of its food still doesn’t warrant the relatively high prices.

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