A review of South Woodford’s Grand Trunk Road
Location: Grand Trunk Road, 219 High Road, London, E18 2PB
Grand Trunk Road based in the vibrant city of South Woodford is a homely restaurant specialising in authentic Indian food. The namesake restaurant is inspired by the longest road in Asia, which was built in the 16th century for traders who travelled through several regions connecting Bangladesh to Afghanistan. From here the traders swapped things such as: ingredients, recipes, spices and techniques in order to educate and preserve the authenticity of each dish, and with Grand Trunk Road this is no different. Their executive chef, D Sharma shared the importance of consistency with me as he explained every dish.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by an impeccable team of staff who paid the upmost attention to me and the other customers in the restaurant. The first thing I noticed apart from the interesting Asian inspired décor, was how well attended each guest was, everyone was sat on time and had a drink and nibbles in their hand within minutes. Under the direction of Tazul Torofdar, the restaurant manager, there was a sense of harmony and calm in the room.
Starter and drinks: Grand-T Martini, High-Way Spritz and Poppadums with an array of dips.
Their serving sizes are more than generous. Naturally you can’t really go wrong with this starter but what was impressive was the apple and ginger dip. I didn’t think that I could be excited by a dip, but I soon realised that this is what chef Sharma is good at – making you want more.
Appetisers: Punjabi Aloo & Paneer Tikki, Seafood Cake, Amritsari Tali Macchi, Char-grilled Chicken and Delhi Ki Chaat.
To depict the story of how each item was formed, chef Sharma sent me on a food journey of the Grand Trunk Road (GTR). Each item told a tale of his six-week travel in the GTR, with dishes mainly inspired by Indian cuisine.
Main: GTR Classical Lamb Curry, Chingri Malai Curry, Chunar Ki Bhindi, Lentil Curry, Sade Chawal and Roti Bread.
Still on the food journey, I tucked into an array of dishes that released a different burst of flavour. Chef Sharma insists on accuracy and tradition, so it was no shock that there wasn’t a salt or pepper shaker in sight. In all honesty, you wouldn’t need to adjust any dish and for me that was what was most impressive.
Dessert: Mango Brulee, Clementine and Coconut Ice Cream.
All good things end with a sweet taste, I was presented with some home-made mango brulee and ice-cream. The mango brulee is simply amazing and was a fantastic palette cleanser.
Chef Dayashankar Sharma and Rajesh Suri at Grand Trunk Road. Picture: Lia Vittone Photography
Overall the food and service at Grand Trunk Road is phenomenal and I highly reccomend. Take a trip this Mother’s Day – the team have whipped up a new menu.
Words : Sarah Solomon