Review: Sholay Indian Kitchen, Bristol
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
It was a sunny evening in late August when we made our way down to Wapping Wharf, a vibrant area of Bristol which is making headlines for housing some of the best independent restaurants and cafes in the city.
Our destination was Sholay Kitchen, situated on the top level of the second container park in the development. Cargo 2 first opened fifteen months ago, and it seems to have been continually welcoming new and exciting restaurants since then, with Sholay Kitchen opening in August 2017.
Owned by the proprietors of Mint Room (the award-winning fine dining Indian restaurants in Bath and Bristol), Sholay’s quirky concept takes its cue from the iconic 1975 Bollywood film of the same name. Advertising itself as a casual 'street food' destination, the restaurant has recently launched a new a la carte menu, so we were keen to see what was in store for us when we found a table on the lively terrace (it was just about warm enough to sit outside in late August).
The menu is relatively simple, with a choice of 'small' and 'large' plates. Being a huge Indian vegetarian food lover, I wanted to sample as many flavours as possible, so I opted to share four of the small plates with my husband.
First up was one of the new menu items - the Kale and Onion Bhaji, which was just delicious - not too chewy, plus the addition of the kale meant it wasn't as greasy as bhajis often can be (which is a good thing in my opinion!)
Next was the Hara Bhara Kebab which is made of spinach and infused with chilli and cumin. It literally melted in the mouth and the refreshing dip was a great accompaniment. It was the perfect vegetarian kebab and my only complaint was that I had to share half of it!
Chilli Paneer is another new dish on the menu, and one that both myself and my husband were really looking forward to trying. Being huge fans of paneer, it was always going to be one of our choices, and we weren't disappointed, as the cheese was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of spice.
And finally to refresh our palates was the Sholay Chaat. Apparently this colourful dish has been a perennial top choice ever since Sholay opened, and it's easy to see why. I'm not the biggest fan of chickpeas but these were expertly cooked (not too hard and not too mushy), and the combination of samosa and pomegranate made it a dish that I just wanted to keep on eating.
As we washed the food down with a decent glass of Sauvignon Blanc (for me), and a flavoursome Mango Lassi for the designated driver, we enjoyed taking in the views as the sun went down over the harbourside. Sholay has a great spot in the end unit of Cargo 2, making it the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.
Verdict: With so many Indian restaurants in Bristol, Sholay Kitchen really does provide something different. It may market itself as simply offering casual street food, but in reality it's serving up high-quality, authentic, and imaginative dishes in what is now one of the hottest foodie spots in the city. Highly recommended!
Have you visited Sholay Kitchen? I'd love to know your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!
Disclaimer: I was offered complimentary food and drink in return for an honest review. All thoughts and photos are my own.