Having a week away, Internet-less, really got me out of my blogging vibe yet I have so, so much to write about.
June is always a busy month. In addition to Glastonbury, it’s my birthday which usually leads to some fun and exciting things courtesy of my husband and the rest of my family. So although I was planning on having a quiet birthday this year, I knew my husband would plan to take me somewhere special for dinner and he did.
Ever since I first went to India, I have been obsessive about Indian food and culture so my husband, Alex knows that taking me to an indian restaurant will always be a winner. As it was for a special occasion he went to a real effort to find somewhere special and discovered Roots at N1.
Set in a restored pub just off of Caledonian Road in North London, Roots at N1 prepares Indian food with a modern twist. The restaurant was started by friends who hailed from North India. Between them they have experience of working in the kitchens of the prestigious Indian hotel chains, the Taj and the Oberoi, as well as the Hyatt and the Ritz London. With this collective experience, you just know the food has to be good!
We arrived at the restaurant having booked a table. Although it was mid-week, the restaurant was quite busy and it is only a small restaurant so we were pleased to have booked. We were greeted with warm smiles and served a refreshing drink to get us started. This was a nice (and tasty!) surprise.
The surprises were not yet over. Once we had ordered our starters and main courses we were brought a delicious and mildly spiced soup in a cup. It was tasty and even Alex ate it and he usually isn’t a soup fan,
The menu, although not packed with hundreds of different dishes, had an extensive selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes to choose from. For starter we decided to share. We opted for the chargrilled minced duck and ginger skewers along with a delicious dish of garlic tomato chilli tossed mushrooms with peas and crispy lentils.
For main course, I had a vegetarian dish of Paneer, pea, leek & spinach, Tomato Coulis ‘Pacchetti di verdure’, while Alex selected the chargrilled corn-fed chicken thigh butter chicken. Both dishes were delicious- the spices were well mixed creating amazing flavours which helped to make the dishes taste very ‘Indian’ Indian rather than ‘British’ Indian. I just loved the authenticity of it all.
When we visited Kerala, we went for a walk round Cochin and came across a little boutique hotel. We stopped for a drink and got talking to the bar man who taught us all about Indian wine and the various vineyards across the country. Ever since that day, I get really excited if we see Indian wine on a menu in the UK, so I was thrilled to find it at Roots. Although Alex is more of a red wine drinker likening white wine to Apple juice for its characteristic of being far too easy to drink quickly, as it was my birthday, we selected a bottle of the Indian white wine and even he was impressed. He commented on how it had some really interesting flavours and more to it than your usual bottle of white wine. I totally agreed but then I need little convincing to drink white wine!
After our main courses, we were brought a palette cleansing sorbet before being shown the dessert menu. The desserts sounded delicious but we were so full that we sadly couldn’t manage one. The staff had however, picked up on the fact that it was my birthday and brought me a lovely little cake. Luckily we managed to find space to eat it (between the two of us – there was no way I had room to eat it all myself!) as like all the other food, it was delicious! I was quite pleased for the walk to the station afterwards to burn off some of the food I had eaten!
Overall the meal was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer place to celebrate my birthday. There are so many restaurants in London to chose from but this is one I will definitely be returning to in future. These guys are surely due a Michelin star very soon too – it would be madness if not!
Nearest station: Caledonian Road & Barnsbury (London Overground)
Approximate cost for two: £90