Walking into Kohinoor, as the staff affectionately call it, every table was full and the atmosphere was lively. Soon there were groups queueing at the door.
And little wonder, because Kohinoor is worth queueing for. The staff were very polite and attentive and within minutes we were given our drinks.
Our freshly-made, crackling papadums arrived soon after. With these were a selection of dips including mango chutney and a curious homemade lemon pickle. The pickle packed a punch, but was just about bearable combined with the other dips.
Our main courses were chicken kuruma, munnar chicken and lamb rogan gosht. And what good choices they were too.
The meat was beautifully cooked and the lamb was especially tender. The portion sizes were very generous with large chunks of meat in each curry. The munnar chicken had a strong garlic flavour so if you’re a fanatic I certainly recommend this one.
However out of these three, I certainly place the rogan gosht as the best. The sauce was a skilful blend of herbs and whole cherry tomatoes, and with the addition of such succulent lamb, it made for a filling and sumptuous feast.
With this we ate garlic naan and rice, portions were generous and one of each between two or three would suffice. Upon the chef’s recommendations we also ordered baratha bread which was light and flaky.
It balanced the heavier aspects of the meal delightfully and it’s a gem I’ll order again and again. It was clear each savoury dish was made freshly and attentively, and I could not fault them.
A third year student claimed it to be “full of taste, clearly using good quality meat”.
On offer were two homemade desserts and the rest were prepackaged ice creams dishes.
Unfortunately on the “mango glace” the fruit was frozen and they’d forgotten to take off the bottom layer of packaging. It was zingy and creamy enough but it’s clear their focus is on their savoury dishes.
For me, this is fine. With starters and mains of such good quality I wouldn’t want their focus to shift.
The prices are reasonable with starters mostly under £5, mains mostly under £10 and desserts mostly under £4.
If you haven’t booked and aren’t willing to queue for a table, then pick up a takeaway menu and take this South Indian cuisine home with you. I think you’ll be happy you did so.
We’re working our way through the curry houses in Portswood, read our review of Gandhi here.
Have you been to Kohinoor of Kerala? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!