Deal of the week - Jaipur
The interior of Jaipur is the perfect nod to the spices on the menu - tumerics, saffrons and a hint of pink here and there. Given the modern feel of the interior, if you prefer the stereotypes of a sitar soundtrack or the comforts of flock wallpaper, it may not be for you.
The early evening menu might seem a bit vague, at first. Starters come in two varieties and the dessert is at the chefs discretion. So, if you like to know exactly what your getting before you order it might leave you confused.
Popadoms despatched, not knowing what two thirds of a three course meal will be, might leave you a little apprehensive, but you needn't worry. Once the sites and smells of the food warm you up, you will quickly forget your reservations.
The Jaipur starter plates are colourful and well presented. Each plate holding four individual portions with a different flavour. The experience feels a little bit like tapas. Each individual portion small enough to tempt, and after a couple of mouthfuls it's sadly gone and your left wishing you could eat the same again. Then its on with the next.
On the the platter plate, there is a lime and curry leaf marinated parcel of Tilapia fish, a tandoor cooked wedge of saffron infused chicken and a proud butterfly tandoori kingprawn, all of which were delicious.
The vegetarian starter, a mix of fried broccolli, feta and baby spinach filo parcels with a portion of fried cheese with a pickle into the mix was a great mix of flavours that were the hallmark of good Indian cooking. Wonderful limes, sweet curry leaves and bursts of fresh ginger.
For the main course I will admit to being unadventurous. When it comes to curry, I love a Korma. It stops me dead, ends my menu, and is the ultimate in comfort food. I understand that it makes me look like those people who go on holiday to the same destination year after year, but I can't help myself. For my part, other than a deliciously smooth sweet korma sauce and soft melt in the mouth butter chicken on a bed of soft saffron rice, I don't have much to report.
The counterpoint to my korma on the other side of the table was the prawn murgh curry. Having whetted the appetite with the tandoori king prawn in the starter plate, the subtle spicing, smooth onion base and sweet coconut with tail on tiger prawns was quickly mopped up with a fresh, clay cooked corriander and garlic naan bread.
By the time I had enjoyed a glass or two of rose the evening was nearing the inevitable - the chef's dessert selection. I can't promise that if you go you'll get the same, but I found myself staring at what looked to be a decent warm pecan and chocolate brownie opposite me and I was treated to coconut Kulfi.
If you've never tried Kulfi, you should, it's like ice-cream without the cream or eggs. It's sweet without being sugary and is the perfect dessert for Indian food. Traditionally, when ice was at a premium, it was brought down from the mountains as the dessert of mughals although it's a bit more common these days.
At €25 per head, the prices are a little more than you'd normally expect to pay for an early bird, but on the other hand the food at Jaipur is pretty decent. The dishes have that familiar quality, the freshness and presentation makes Jaipur worth the uplift and is a good introduction to what Jaipur has to offer - a good wine list, comfortable surroundings, and fresh, subtle cooking. A good meal.
The Jaipur early evening menu is available daily between 5-7pm. Jaipur is located on South Great Georges St, Dublin 2. Call 01677 0999 to book.