Tamarind of London Arrives to Crystal Cove


Tamarind-020There is a new restaurant in town folks. Tamarind of London

When it was determined that London’s premier Indian restaurant was going to open in Newport Beach in 2011, heads turned.  Including mine. The original Tamarind of London, from across the pond, has been recognized with several top honors, including Michelin stars from 2001 – 2011, and the 2005 Best of Britain award for Restaurant Achievement of the Year.  There’s was a reason why Southern Californians were Over-The-Moon.

CocktailThe acclaimed restaurant opened last month for dinner in the former Sage on the Coast space.  They joined the likes of Javier’s, Bluefin and Mastro’s Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Shopping Center.  Not to shabby.  I was Lindsey’s “date” for the long-awaited and much-anticipated media night. Jumpy Claps.

The restaurant has an impressive wine list, swoon,  as well as a selection of traditional Indian beverages. The General Manager, Maneesh Rawat, recommended the Pimms No. 1, consisting of Fresh Strawberries, Cucumber, Oranges, and Fresh Lemonade or the Ginger Sutra mixed with Hangar Kaffir Lime Vodka, Jaggery, Fresh Ginger, and Lime.  His recommendations were spot-on.  Everyone was tilting back these libations.   After the introductions and cocktail hour, everyone was seated.  The kitchen began pulsating with hot fiery action. Did that get your attention?  Hope so.

The Executive Chef Alfred Prasad had flown in from London to aid in the restaurants opening.  Dang, remember all those Michellen Stars.  My eyes became the size of walnuts realizing he was the man behind the stars with his legendary food.


There he is plating, notice the copper serving bowl?  Dishes are served family style in these beautiful bowls.  Friends, they showcase food beautifully on the table.














The highlight of the night, besides the food, were the three bright red tandoor ovens – a corner-stone in the restaurant’s exhibition kitchen.


I savored each offerings.  Tamarind’s food is a world of flavor.  Stuffed Grilled Potato Pancakes with a filling of spinach with garlic, drizzled with tamarind chutney and Pan Seared Atlantic Scallops with mixed peppercorns, fennel and star-anise, topped with oven roasted peppers was my first sampling. I could have re-ordered this dish 10x’s alone, it was that fantastic.

Then along came the Lamb Shank with whole spices, yogurt, saffron and Kashmiri chiles.  I reminisce about this dish to anyone who will listen to me.  If I had a Tandoori oven, I would make this dish every week. Yes, I admit I’ve been on eBay and Craigslist.


If I can’t find an oven, I’ll still throw this recipe on the grill.  Thank you Taste of London.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tamarind of London Tandoori Lamb with Red Chili
  • 4 racks lamb with 3 double-boned chops per rack
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • For the marinade
  • 1 cup of raw papaya flesh
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1½ tbsp. oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp. gram flour
  • 2 tsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • To serve
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Garam masala
  1. Using a pestle and mortar, grind together the papaya and garlic. Heat the oil until hot then fry the gram flour until light brown. Cool then add to the papaya paste along with the crushed peppercorns and garam masala.
  2. Rub the chops with salt and chili powder then with the papaya marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  3. Skewer the lamb chops then grill or barbecue, finishing over a high heat to color. Serve hot with a sprinkling of lime and garam masala.


Executive Chef- Shachi MehraFor Newport’s Tamarind of London, Shachi Mehra is the Executive Chef. I taste Michelin stars in her near future.

There is an extensive menu of lamb shanks, chicken, tiger prawns, and fish entrees. Something delicious for everyone.

Appetizers, breads, soups, salads and bar snacks: $4 to $13. Kebabs and main entrees: $16 to $29.

Happy Hour Daily from 4 to 6 p.m. at the bar only. Some wine and cocktails offered at $6. No discount on bar food.

Open Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Lunch and brunch coming at a later time)

Address: 7862 E. Coast Highway, Newport Beach (at Crystal Cove Promenade)


 Rajesh Suri – CEO, Myself, Lindsey Garrett, and Alfred Prasad – Executive Chef.

Thanks Lindsey for the invite. You’re my girl. I can’t wait until we visit Tamarind of London again. By the way, whatcha you doing next week?



  1. I am SO there. I love Indian food and my husband and I usually spend our “romantic” weekends in Newport Beach.
    Carolyn West recent posted..The Virgin Diaries – Really?

  2. Hi Kathleen,

    We are so glad that you were able to attend. We would love to invite you to media events like this in the future.
    P.S. Love the photos you took from that evening! I wasn’t sure how they would turn out because of the glare on the window, but they look great!!

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