Hankies may sound like an unusual name for a cute eclectic Indian restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue, however it is a clever and cheeky nod to the word Roomali – which translates as handkerchief.
In India, you get a type of bread called Roomali Roti, which is what this restaurant specialises in. These are thin and folded to look like a handkerchief and usually served with Tandoori food.
As we arrived, I liked the casual but colourful ambience, with the open plan kitchen, where you could actually see the Roomali Rotis being made. There is a no reservations policy at this restaurant so you can just pop in.
The menu is based around small plates and has a vast choice and so we got picking, starting with our drinks of choice. I went for a Masala coke whilst Amit went for an Old Colonial. The great thing about small plates is you get to try lots of different things without being majorly full and so I actually enjoy them.
The menu is split into street bites, vegetables, grill. pan and sides. Our selection was a mixture of items starting with the Kachori Poppers. These are round croquette type morsels of delight filled with a green pea mixture and served with a tamarind chutney.
The chilli lamb chop was presented in a lovely way and was marinated really well and juicy. I am really particular about lamb chops as prefer them marinated and full of flavour rather than meaty so I am glad that this one had lots of flavour. It was served with a dollop of avocado chutney on the side which was unusual but really worked.
The Yellow Chilli Fish Tikka reminded us of Fish Tikka from back home and again, was full of flavour and a little kick, and served with a gorgeous mooli raita, which I think would work as a separate offering too on the menu in the sides as it was really delicious.
The Pumpkin Paneer cooked in a red pepper sauce was velvety and the paneer was melt in your mouth consistency which made it the perfect match for the Roomali Rotis.
The Truffle Roomali was dreamy slathered with homemade truffle butter and garnished with cheddar cheese. Nom nom nom and best eaten hot so dig in as soon as it arrives! I love Truffle having recently gone Truffle hunting in Tuscany so this was a dream combination for me.
From the Pan section we shared a Chicken Dhaba with some Plan Roomali Rotis and it was really lovely curry and we loved the plain Roomali Rotis too. There was just the perfect level of spice and it was really flavoursome.
With every Indian meal we always get raita and this was a lovely Date raita topped with pomegranates. It was served in a cute pail and really refreshing.
As it had been a balmy summers day, for dessert we cooled off with some Kulfis. I went for the Pistachio flavour, whilst Amit went for rose (Gulkand). Both were really delicious and loved them being served on the stick.
We enjoyed the meal and it was a lovely casual vibe so perfect for a catch up with friends, or a pre-theatre meal as its location renders it perfect for this.
I would have personally have liked to see a few more different flavour combinations available for the Roomali Rotis as I feel they would work in lots of different flavours such as garlic and chilli, as they are like a blank canvas 😉 The Truffle Roomali Roti was really decadent though and a really novel flavour combination.
Hankies can be found on 67 Shaftesbury Avenue Piccadilly, London, W1D 6EX