Mon–Sat midday–3pm and 6pm–11pm; Sun midday–4pm
Colchis restaurant is named after an ancient Georgian region which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation. I was expecting this Georgian restaurant to offer simple, rustic dishes…
We started with some Georgian white wine, Orovela and Georgian water called Borjomi which tasted a little of Alka-Seltzer. We ordered the Pkhali platter (£7.50), a vegetarian medley of aubergine, spinach puree and beet puree balls flavoured with garlic and Georgian spices, which were cold and their texture was pappy. My meal champion was the Khachapuri flatbread, laced with salty white cheese (£8.50). My friend Georgia (I took her along purely for the pun of it) opted for the Georgian-style dried cured ham with figs. Again, we expected the figs to be warmed (they weren’t), but the meat was blissful (£9). Towards the end of the starter the Khinkali, Georgian dumplings of minced beef and pork showed up (£8.50). The menu warns an additional 35-minute wait for them, but we were assured they would be worth it. Unfortunately, they were overly seasoned with black pepper and lacking flavour.
For mains, I chose something recognisable; salt-crusted sea bass that was stuffed with thyme and served with faultlessly crispy roasted new potatoes (£19.50). Georgia stayed authentic and ordered the Chakhokhbili (£15), pheasant stewed in tomato and herbs served with polenta. The dish didn’t wow but the game was rich and flavoursome. We both shared a side of sautéed garlicky spinach (£3.50).
For dessert I chose the slow-cooked pear and apple (£6) stewed in red wine and served with cream and walnuts. The fruit was cold and grainy and the cream was not enough to satisfy. Georgia chose the Georgian lemon tart (£6.50). It wasn’t the typical zesty tart, but more of a custard tart with a hint of lemon, served with a shot of strong clear Georgian liquor called Chacha.
Colchis offered me a totally different cuisine. However, whether or not it is to your taste is a different matter.
Meal for two, including wine and service, around £100.