Pure Indian Cooking

The Blurb

Set moments away from Putney Bridge and the gentle flow of the leafy Thames, Pure Indian Cooking has been serving up inventive, refined Indian cuisine since 2015. Owned by a husband-and-wife team; Faheem Vanoo and Shilpa Dandekar, both of whom started their careers with the Taj group, Pure Indian Cooking prides itself on creative, singular dishes that seek to put a new spin on traditional Indian cuisine. With Faheem managing FOH, Shilpa (who has also worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Michelin stared Sriram Aylur) unveils her most ambitious menu yet for 2022. West London Living went along to get a taste of her cutting-edge dishes.

The Style

The setting is perhaps not the loveliest thing about Pure Indian Cooking. Both inside and outside it looks very much like a standard takeaway venue, with a compact dining area, slightly bright lighting, hard wooden seating, and not much in the way of ‘atmosphere’. Despite its proximity to the river, the front windows look out over a busy junction, so might not be the most romantic choice of venue.

The Crowd

The night we went we got the impression the crowd were firm regulars (always a good sign), and certainly based on Google reviews Pure Indian Cooking seems to have amassed a loyal following of foodie fans. Mostly older couples and one very loud, large group of friends gave off a laid-back vibe of being at this particular restaurant for a ‘casual night out’ rather than an intimate dinner date.

The Food

The food is where Pure Indian Cooking really scores! Shilpa demonstrates her deft understanding of both French style and Indian flavours across all her dishes, with clever nods to both. There is an intriguing Tasting menu for a very reasonable £48, with such delights as grilled scallops with beetroot raw mango pachadi and pinenut podi, but we opted to go a la carte.

My starter of Andhra shrimps tossed in spicy fennel flavoured masala had delicate, moreish layers of spice and my companion’s lentil, chilli and semolina crusted chicken with coriander chutney was likewise addictive in its crispy light delicacy. My main of Kasoondi mustard panfried stonebass with mussel sauce and samphire pakoras blended the tart saltiness of the samphire perfectly with the heat of the mustard seasoning, and a serving of Zafrani paneer tikka cottage cheese marinated in saffron and spices will please fans of a traditional paneer dish. As for the superb black lentil dal makhani, cooked slowly overnight, I could happily live on it forever! Possibly the most ‘French-feeling’ dish of the night was a portion of Pistachio and pastry cream croquettes mixed berry compote and elaichi chantilly cream, which was nicely comforting.

When it comes to drinks, the cocktails also deserve a special shout out; though the menu is compact, each that we tried, from the Chilli Mango Margarita (house-infused chilli tequila Ocho, orange liquor, mango, lime juice) to the Smoking Jim Old Fashion (bourbon, orange bitter, clove smoke, orange zest) was a quaffable delight. Beyond the cocktails, the drinks menu of beers, wines and spirits is extensive and will be sure to please every pallet.

My only complaint was the wait both between courses (our mains took over 30 minutes to arrive, with little acknowledgement or apology) and having to chase staff for drinks requests on what looked like a quiet-ish night.

In a Nutshell

While not the most atmospheric dining room, and with service that verges on the abrupt and inattentive, the food certainly lives up to its singular reputation; a delightful, tasty fusion of East meets West. As they also deliver to postcodes SW15, SW14, SW13, SW6, SW18, SW19 (especially in the uncertainty of COVID times) there’s also the option to dine in the comfort of your own home if you can’t make it Putney way!

The Details

67 Fulham High Street

0207 736 2521

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