Asha’s is not peddling any notion of street food. That would be absurd, given the deluxe trappings of this global brand based around Bollywood singing legend Asha. We love the little things here – from the penumbral basement Bolli Bar to the remarkable array of relishes in the restaurant proper that raises poppadums to a whole new level (the green apple chutney deserves World Heritage Status).
The menu is mainly grounded in Asha’s native Maharashtra, the hinterland of Mumbai, while accommodating “classic dishes” this global chain’s clients expect. Perhaps they wouldn’t anticipate the vindaloo being made with duck (£14.95), but the gaminess goes well with the Goan vinegar and spice treatment. Similarly lobster seems made to be spiced panch poran – the classic Bengali blend of cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard, and black onion seed.