Nurjenna (Indian) – Southgate

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

‘Kush Ho Ke Khow – Be Happy and Eat’

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantHaving been named Newcomer of the Year back in 2015 at the Asian Curry Awards, before being judged London’s Restaurant of the Year earlier this August at the English Curry Awards, we arrived in Southgate with high expectations for Nurjenna.

The 100-seater award winning restaurant promises the “Finest Indian Cuisine” and appears to go by the adage, as articulated on its menu, “Kush ho ke khow”, or “Be happy when eating”.

Nurjenna’s menu is an extensive one too, with a whopping 152 items, and with the promise that: “If there is a dish you would like and cannot find on the menu, our chefs will usually be able to prepare it especially for you.”

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantThe interior is quite impressive with its simple, yet clever use of wall mirrors located at the back which, given the restaurant’s uniformerly set table arrangement, manages to portray a greater sense of depth and space.

There’s also good use of lighting, with the slow and rhythmic colour-changing LED lights beautifully masked by Moroccan-inspired wooden fret-work panels extending across one side of the wall, and the large round golden-bronze light shades.

Not only did these create a dark, romantic ambience, but also tied in with the meaning of the word Nurjenna, which, crudely translated, means ‘Heavenly Light’.

As a complimentary, we received the usual papadums along with a chutney, yoghurt sauce, an achar, and an onion-based simple salad.

DRINKS

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant Mocktails

(Left-Right) Strawberry Daiquiri, Classic Mojito, Cosmopolitan – £4.95 each

These attractively presented mocktails, while not officially on the drinks menu, can be ordered upon request.

With that said, the best, and by some distance, was the well balanced fizzy Classic Mojito, with the sharp tanginess immediately mellowed by the minty freshness.

As for the Strawberry Daiquiri, then the fruit came through fairly tamely, while the Cosmopolitan, though a little on the syrupy side, had a sweet zinginess to what was an otherwise insipid berry concoction.

STARTERS

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant King Prawns

King Prawn Butterfly – A whole king prawn covered in breadcrumbs and special spices, £6.95

This King Prawn Butterfly was personally recommended by the owner as one of his faves.

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantAnd by first impressions, we could see why.

With an attractive golden breadcrumb exterior, this was a simple dish, but one that was one of the better king prawns we’ve had.

The batter was thick and crunchy, delicately spiced, and coated a fairly large prawn.

More importantly, however, it still managed to retain said texture even after some time, while containing a moist interior. Highly recommended!

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant Prawns

Prawn Puree – Stir fried prawns, cooked in a rich medium sauce and served on puree bread, £3.95

A generous portion of soft, stir fried prawns rested atop a soft-cum-crispy-cum-oily well cooked puree naan.

But, while the menu says “rich medium sauce”, the prawns were coated in a not-so-exciting curry sauce that needed to be spicier to get the taste buds going.

TRADITIONAL CURRY DISHES

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

Ceylon (Chicken) – cooked with coconut, chicken/ lamb £5.25; prawn 6.95; King Prawn £9.95

As the first main, this Ceylon set the standard, and was accompanied by perfectly cooked rice that was served separately.

Uncompromising in its spiciness, with the garam masala distinct in the background, the heat was quite fierce, while the chicken beautifully soft and succulent.

CHEF'S RECOMMENDATION

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

Afghani Ghosht (medium) – cooked with mince meat and chick peas in a special sauce, £8.95

The garam masala in this Afghani Ghosht came through nicely enough to compliment the mango achar taste and aroma of this thick, tangy chick pea curry.

HOUSE RECOMMENDATION

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

Lamb Korai (medium) – with large pieces of capsicum, onions and tomatoes, £8.45

Although the meat in this Lamb Korai was relatively soft, the masala base was fairly oily. Nevertheless, it was flavourful without being overpoweringly so, and had a nice spicy-sweetness to it.

VEGETARIAN SPECIALITIES

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

Katchuri Dansak – Hot, sweet and sour in a spicy sauce, £7.95

This Katchuri Dansak was more sour, than sweet, and well spiced too. And though the vegetables were decently cooked, this was quite unremarkable and quite oily too.

SPECIALS

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant lamb shank

Lamb Shank £13.95

Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantSadly, this Lamb Shank didn’t do it for any of us.

Supposed to have been cooked for eight hours, its texture and makeup most certainly said otherwise.

Presented on a bed of lettuce leaves and surrounded by bizarre, triangular-shaped orange crisps that offered a hint of spice, not only was the lump of lamb tough to cut through, but fatty too, making it a chewy eat.

And though one Lion’s insistence on a hint of smokiness lingering somewhere thither was denied by the other two, ultimately, we all agreed that the dish not only lacked flavour, but was poorly presented.

BIRYANI DISHES

biryani Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

‘Nurjenna’ Special Biryani – Chicken, Lamb, Prawns and Mushrooms with a special omelette, £11.50

biryani Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantAccording to the menu, what makes this ‘Nurjenna’ Special Biryani special is its “special omelette”.

And yet, while it was decently fried, it didn’t strike us at all as anything especially special.

As for the biryani, then it was positively dry, and lacked any real depth of flavour.

To make matters worse, the lamb and chicken therein weren’t much better.

As for the prawns, then these really didn’t bring much to the plate.

TANDOORI SPECIAL DISHES

mixed grill Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

Tandoori Mixed Grill – Pieces of tandoori chicken, chicken & lamb tikka, king prawn, sheek kebab and served with a plain nan, £12.50

Carrying on the trend from the above, the selection of meats, including the solitary prawn, in this Tandoori Mixed Grill, were also bone dry, which was a pity considering that they had a good barbeque smokiness to them.

GOOD COMPANIONS

Keema ParathaGarlic NanPlain Nan

naan Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

naan Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London RestaurantA pretty good keema nan here cut into quarters.

However, we did find that while one quarter had a thick, flavourous filling of mince, the other two had far less.

And as for the last quarter, then there was barely anything therein.

naan Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

The garlic was subtle in this well tandoored nan.

naan Nurjenna Indian Curry Southgate Halal award London Restaurant

A tasty, buttered nan. Can’t go wrong really!

THE ROAR
Nurjenna
2.5 FTL's Roar
3.3 Pride's Roar (4 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
Facilities
  • CHILD SEATING
  • 10% OFF COLLECTION (MIN £10)
Summary
The curries presented to us by Nurjenna were at best satisfying and at worst run-of-the-mill, i.e. comparable to any served at a good local curry joint.

We can only speculate as to whether a menu catering for a 152 individual items may be a contributing factor for the mediocrity we experienced. What's certain, however, is that we weren't entirely "Kush ho ke khow", or "Be happy when eating", but only because we were expecting far more in terms of innovation and culinary refinement from a multi-award winning curryhouse.

In any case, going by its 4.5/5 rating on Tripadvisor (100 reviews), Nurjenna certainly appears to be impressing the everyman and, of course, the good judges of said curry awards.

Menu Recommendation

Drink - Classic Mojito

Starter - King Prawn Butterfly

Main - Ceylon

FOOD
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ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
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Nurjenna
86 Chase Side, Southgate,
London N14 5PH

T: +44 (0)20 8886 6244 | W: www.nurjenna.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 17:30–23:00

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