It's a wet and miserable Wednesday and Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush is slightly quieter than you might expect. It’s actually a relief to be honest, as this is a first trip into London for almost six months. For those of us who have not been dining out much over the last two years, (oh yes, that's pretty much all of us!) an opportunity to enjoy a meal in stylish surroundings is one to be welcomed. Copper Chimney is situated on the Southern Terrace of Westfield, as you walk up from the bus and tube station. The exterior’s classy feel is matched by the interior, with a standard seating style and open view kitchen (it is fascinating to watch the ‘breads’ being created). Despite the quiet shopping centre, trade is brisk, and we are told that takeaways are also popular tonight.
This is the UK’s first Copper Chimney restaurant, which says it brings to the country “secret recipes and cooking techniques” from across northern India. It was founded by JK Kapur in 1972 in Mumbai (then Bombay) and has a range of dishes that make it unique and offer a more authentic take on some of Britain’s favourite meals.
As we scan the menu and suffer that normal first-time visitor ‘blindness’, when everything looks appealing and you don’t know what to choose, we are guided through it and recommended some dishes based on our normal choices. After an opening spread of flavoursome Lamb Samosa and Okra Kurkure, we are recommended the delicious Reshmi Malai Chicken, one of Copper Chimney’s own recipes from the Tandoori grill. It has a much richer but softer taste than Tikka can be. The more familiar Lamb Rogan Josh has a depth to it, without packing too much of a kick and while we don’t go full on with extra sides, the recommended Roti instead of Naan is a revelation. Much lighter and a better complement to the dishes served. The Pudina Grilled Chicken is also an excellent choice if you’re a bit shy of the spicier side of life.
Dessert is the Copper Chimney own Gajar Pistachio Crumble, which combines slow cooked carrot with cardamon, pistachio and ice cream. This is unexpectedly delicious, with the ice cream an essential addition. They combine beautifully in the mouth. This is one of the tastiest Indian meals we have ever eaten, and the friendly and warm environment only enhances the experience. We’re told how Copper Chimney wants to help its local community with charity donations, as well as the chain’s work with Action Against Hunger. The air outside might have had an end-of-winter feel outside, but inside this has been a delightful evening where we have felt well looked after and very well fed. Fully recommended.