Zumbura is a recent addition to Clapham’s thriving restaurant scene, located in the stylish Old Town area. If you like a drink before or after a curry, there is no shortage of options with The Sun, The Prince of Wales and Jam Tree all within spitting distance.
It’s fair to say Zumbura is not your typical curry house. You won’t see traditional favourites such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Korma, or even Poppadoms here. Zumura is not a swanky modern Indian either; authentic home style cooking from the Purab region of North East India is the order of the day. The menu is concise, preferring to focus on few items done to perfection rather than a wide selection of average dishes. The staff are friendly and attentive, the décor is stylish without being stuffy.
To start we order Spiced Mince Pastries and Pakora both of which are light and delicately spiced, leaving us eagerly anticipating the next course. Our four mains Hari Murghi (grilled marinated chicken), Sikkiwe chops (grilled marinated lamb chops), Kullia (lamb and turnip aromatic stew), Murghi Ka Salan (home-style chicken curry) all arrive together with rice and bread. Personally I like this approach to eating as you are able to sample various dishes rather than being restricted to your own plate, and you can also be more adventurous when ordering.
The grilled dishes are perfectly cooked and moorishly good, the lamb stew and chicken curry both benefit from a rich deep sauce resulting from cooking on the bone, the chicken in particular is expertly spiced.
I don’t normally order dessert in an Indian restaurant, finding they can often be sickly sweet or underwhelming, but as the rest of the meal is so delicious we chance our arm. The Chilled Rice Pudding is creamy and subtlety flavoured with just the right amount of cardamom, the Pistachio and Vanilla Ice Cream is a little bit sweet for my liking but that’s probably down to my own taste.
Zumbura is refreshingly different, with interesting and exciting food that leaves you wanting to come back again and again. It won’t be long before this alternative curry house will have built up a loyal and regular customer base, especially amongst curry connoisseurs. I dined as a guest of Zumbura.
36a Old Town, London SW4 0LB
020 7720 7902