Rista of Sidcup is an Indian Restaurant offering an array of Bangladeshi dishes, plus a number of Chef’s special fusion dishes. The interior is modern with a romantic ambience. We were invited to review Rista of Sidcup.
The poppadoms shown below came with a trio of sauces; spicy, mango and mint. The mango sauce was the tastiest of the three.
We ordered a selection of starters. Shown below is the Aloo Chaat which was in fact Aloo Bhaji – vegetables cooked in a mild tomato based sauce. The sauce was mild in flavour, lacking true Indian spices. The accompanied puri was nice and light.
The grilled Chicken Wings and Lamb Chops were also mild in flavour with no distinguishable Indian spices coming through.
The ‘tikka’ flavour in the Salmon Tikka shown below was also mild owing to the fact that the Salmon was fresh and thus the fresh sea taste was more prominent that the actual tikka flavour.
The Crab Pot shown below consisted of white crab meat cooked with mangos and topped with cheese. This starter was the fortuitous star of the show. All of the key elementary flavours could be distinguished and each mouthful was a delight to the tastebuds. It is certainly a unique dish worth trying.
For mains we ordered the Chicken Monohari Naga (chicken cooked in naga chilli) and Shahi Garlic King Prawns from the Chef’s specials and the Chicken Sashlick from the tandoori section.
Naga is quite a distinct flavour with a high heat rating. We were expecting this dish to be hot. However, the naga flavour kicked in as an aftertaste and was subtle. Not what you would expect when ordering a naga based dish. The dish contained a lot of onions which if present in a smaller quantity would have improved the overall consistency and execution of the dish. Nonetheless, the dish was enjoyable but not exceptional.
The Shahi Garlic King Prawns were cooked in a mild tomato based sauce. The prawns were fresh, big and juicy. This dish had the potential to be a taste sensation. However, the flavours were weak and the lack of heat didn’t give the dish the ‘kick’ you would expect from a curry.
The Chicken Shashlick consisted of marinated pieces of grilled chicken cooked on a sizzling plate with onions and peppers. The chicken was over grilled and thus lost its moisture. One thing we noticed was that the chicken dishes all contained tandoori chicken as the base and then cooked via different methods; in the tandoor as below or in a sauce as a curry. This method does give the chicken an extra level of taste but also runs the risk of the chicken drying out and losing its moistness, as was the case with the Chicken Shashlick.
Authentic Bangladeshi food contains a variety of spices which when combined creates bold and diverse flavours. The dishes served were in our opinion mild, with flavours more directed to appeasing a western palate, rather than offering an authentic Bangladeshi experience. The establishment has potential if it embraces its heritage and brings truly traditional Asian spices into its dishes.
The menu is extensive which puts you off wanting to read beyond the first page. However, the owners are working on a significantly reduced menu which will enable the establishment to focus on a few key dishes and do them well instead of offering a lot of dishes, which are cooked fairly mediocre. With simple improvements such as this, Rishta of Sidcup has the potential of providing a greater restaurant experience.
Disclaimer: All meat is halal except duck.