Chutneys is an Indian restaurant in Wimbledon. Inside, the decor is elegant, but with its bar and blue neon lighting, there is also the feel of a nightclub-come-pub. All in all, what you'd expect of a typical curry house. And as with most curry houses, it was noisy. We were unfortunate enough to be seated close to a group of very loud men, who were clearly out for a night on the town, and didn't care who knew it.
Although the atmosphere was a little too hectic for my liking, the rest of the experience was thoroughly enjoyable.
First we ordered our drinks. I chose a yoghurt based drink called a Lassi for £2.95. First I tried the mango flavour, which was absolutely divine, and lasted no time at all. I then was intrigued by their salty flavoured Lassi because it sounded different. It certainly was different, but certainly wasn't enjoyable; the best description I can give is that it tasted like sea water. It remained un-drunk on table for quite a while, before our waiter accidentally knocked it over as he was putting things on the table. He was very apologetic, but I was quite happy, because it meant I didn't have to pay for an unwanted drink.
As we looked through menu, we were given a pile of poppadoms with various condiments. These included onions, a very hot salsa, a very cooling yoghurt (to combat the salsa no doubt), and a delicious mango chutney. I really would have been happy just to eat the chutney for the whole evening. As it was, I didn't get the chance. While I was looking at the menu, my parents gobbled the poppadoms up before I got much of a look in.
Mum had been to Chutneys several times before with a friend, so knew exactly what she was having, but Dad and I had only been once before, several years ago, so needed a closer look at the menu. And boy, what a menu. It went on for pages. If I had spent the time to read everything, it literally would have taken me about half an hour to read.
Samosas (well it was plural, but by the time I got my camera, there was only one left.),
With the wisdom of experience, Mum did not order an appetiser, but with so many things to tempt us, Dad and I went full throttle. He ordered meat samosas and spicy chicken wings. He said the samosas were okay, but was much more impressed by the chicken wings, which were very meaty, and very hot.
I ordered an Aloo Chaat Puri which is a mild potato curry served on flatbread with a sour sauce. Everyone tried a piece, and we all agreed that it was the best dish of the night. Considering how filling it was (on a normal night that would have sufficed as my whole dinner), it was a very good price at £2.75.
For my meal, I had a Vegetable Tikka Masala for £4.75: a beautiful bright red dish, which was deliciously creamy. It was also served in what seemed like a bottomless pit; there was endless amounts, and I had to end up leaving half of it.
Because it was so loud, I had not heard Dad order Peshwari Naan, so I ordered one for myself as well. It was absolutely exquisite. Even though Dad and I were stuffed to the gills, we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave it, so forced it down.
Dad said, 'next time we should get one to share. Those Peshwari were big.'
'No,' Mum replied. 'They weren't big. They were huge. Let's be honest here.'
By the time we had finished, Mum was ready for bed, and begged to go home, but Dad insisted on coffee. Even though I was full, I also wanted to stay longer just so I could try out one of their desserts. Chutney's dessert's menu is just as extensive as their mains, but all of them are ice cream based. Two of the puddings are inside plastic toys, which I found odd because Chutney's is definitely not a child's environment, and there were no other children's courses.
I went for a Pistachio Kulfi, a dense ice cream, with a lovely milkiness to it.
We all had a wonderful evening: the food was delicious, and set at affordable prices. All the appetisers were between £2.50-£4.00, the vegetable dishes were between £4.75-£7, the meat courses £6.75-£10, and the fish £9.95-£13.
My only real problem was the noise (and a wobbly table). I would definitely go again - just not on a Friday night.