BY PALOMA LACY
A restaurant with each table reserved at 19.30 on a Tuesday night sounds like a mirage, but I can confirm the actual sight of it last week.
A friend and I ate at Inheritance in West Dulwich and were the first to sit at 6 p.m.
As we read the menu, we looked around at the empty tables, sighed deeply at the state of the hospitality industry, and lamented where it would all end.
It turns out that the restaurant opened a few minutes earlier and had to wait only 15 minutes before fellow diners started drifting in and 45 minutes before the stampede of those who thought they would look in, hoping for a table, only to find they should have booked, even on a normally quiet mid-week night.
You see, Inheritance is bold in name and in nature and quite frankly, is the hottest ticket in this part of town right now.
The cynical among you can give credit to a certain charming restaurant critic who visited a month ago, and while it no doubt helped the full bookings, the show’s real star is in the kitchen.
Chef Chairman Dayashankar Sharma is the man who draws the crowds, probably because so many remember his good works in central London eatery, Tamarind and Zaika.
He has again brought his magical culinary imprint, but this time to Dulwich.
The first thing that struck me is that South Londoners can now eat top-class Indian cuisine close to home.
No need to walk into town, a trip that is time consuming and the extra miles reflected in the price.
Inheritance is each a bit Michelin experience, just a notch down in formality, which for me is a plus.
The staff are silver servers, but with the added warmth of local hospitality.
We were served by two charming waitresses who gave a careful guide through the menu, starting first with the main bit – cocktails.
Order taken, the internal mixologist came to work, and within minutes an Instagram-worthy martini was delivered.
Too pretty to drink right away, so I stared longingly at it for respectable two minutes.
Brilliant with edible flowers and goji berries, I chopped away to the latter until the last juicy bite was gone, set the flowers aside and drank it.
Such an inspired idea to add a super food to a cocktail – improving the health benefits of drinking alcohol is always welcome.
The tasting menu seemed to be a popular choice, but a few too many courses than our quick dinner required.
My companion and I decided instead to share a few appetizers and the same number of entrees to get a feel for the dining offer.
The menu prides itself on a modern expression of classic dishes, which I thought was a twist on the Indian classics.
However, Paneer aur Pineapple Tikka is definitely a bid for the British party from the 1970s? I was tempted but had an eye on other dishes.
Delicately seasoned seared scallops served with crab started the procedure quite nicely. Fresh, light and healthy best describes this dish.
On this road, three kebabs were presented and received great praise.
Shatkora Jhinga – king shrimp the size of a fist duly arrived. Marinated in lemongrass and shatkora — the lesser-known subcontinental Asian fruit that resembles grapefruit — and the grid, revealing soft, sweet, and juicy flesh, makes you wonder if you’re lucky enough to poke at lobster.
Salmon kebab, marinated in fenugreek leaves, mustard and crushed red chili was a solid dish, but my favorite surprised me a lot.
The chef managed to cook Lamb & Prune Kofta exactly as I like it. Finely ground meatballs cooked to a juicy finish, and the sweet finish of the fruit breaker through, adding a lightness rarely seen with lamb.
Dahl Makhani and an accompaniment with sautéed green beans, spinach, cauliflower and tomatoes ended our meal.
There may also have been a few spoons of rice.
Who was at Inheritance?
A real mix of people including dating couples, dinner mates and multi-general groups who seemed to do their best to make up for the lost time in the last 18 months. If you want to visit, do not risk disappointment – book a table.
Heritage Dulwich, 101 Rosendale Road, Norwood SE21 8EZ
Carbon footprint reduced by cheesemaker
Cheese lovers will be happy to learn that eating Somerset Cheddar can claim to reduce the CO2 footprint of cheese consumption significantly by as much as 55 percent.
Wyke Farms’ Net Positive Farming Sustainability Survey has assessed the CO2 footprint of agriculture’s milk supply base – both production on own farms and in the supply chain.
The project included measuring and assessing a pilot group of farms supplying milk to Somerset-based Wyke Farms, which included their own family farms and Michael Eavi’s world-famous Worthy Farm, home of the Glastonbury Festival.
So it is official that eating cheese is not only good for you but they also say good for the planet.
Wyke Farm’s core Cheddar range is available in most major supermarkets, but go to the site of 150-year-old Ivy’s Vintage Cheddar made for a secret family recipe.
Lots of delicious desserts for crazy golfers
Sweet-toothed crazy golfers can now get stuck in donuts, cookies, gelato, shakes and sundaes with Crosstown at Swingers City and West End locations.
The offer includes gelato flavors ranging from dark chocolate and sea salt to Crosstown cake batter and mint stracciatella as well as delicious shakes and dishes of peanut butter and chocolate chips and donuts from this month.
The clubs are already home to street food favorites, Patty & Bun, Pizza Pilgrims and Breddos Tacos.
Go to www.swingers.club/uk