Haweli (Indian) – West Ealing, London
Serving Indian cuisine since 1985 (yup, 35 years!), this fully licenced, 60 cover venue, while currently restricted to 40 covers during covid restrictions, offers a fully Halal food menu.
With the alcohol bar isolated to one side of the premises, their brightly-lit dining room is elegantly arranged with a fine dining feel about the place.
The entire wall is attractively decorated with a series of precisely arranged, taxidermied butterfly frames, with the men’s toilet also having a unique theme to it.
Haweli was recently taken over by new management in February of this year, resulting in new Head Chef, Islam, being brought in with over 25 years of experience.
Boasting over half a century of knowledge that revolves around Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepali cuisines, there’s a reason why Haweli has stayed the course while others in West Ealing have fallen by the wayside.
While the new menu has retained most of the brand’s classic dishes, new owner, Manik, has introduced a range of dishes atypical to most curry houses, including those cooked in a traditional charcoal tandoor rather than a gas powered one, to provide that element of authenticity.
These smartly presented mocktails comprised of a Watermelon, a Margarita, and your Classic Mojito.
With linear flavours coming through subtly, the best of the bunch had to have been the refreshing Mojito for managing to deliver a second flavour variation.
We also went for one of their juices, the Passion Sour, which easily trumped its mocktails rivals.
Living up to its name, not only did it satisfy the taste buds with its notes of mango sweet and pineapple sour, but was thick and luscious too.
If there was any definitive evidence needed in proving the superiority of charcal tandoors over their ubiquitous gas-fueled rivals, these ridiculously good Grilled Lambchops were it!
Just marvel for a second at the dark and orange contrast enveloping those thick cuts of lamb. The semi-dry marination wasn’t just caramelised in all the right places, but was balanced enough, being mildly spicy with a sour edge, to allow for the smoky, tenderised meat to be enjoyed for all they’re worth.
We dispensed with the standard sweet and sour sauce this was accompanied by in order to fully focus on those gorgeous chops. Do not pass these over!
Of the two, the Tandoori Chicken was easily our favourite, turning out beautifully succulent on the inside, but with that distinct charring on the out, which essentially defined it.
As for the Sheesh Kebab, then it wasn’t quite as well grilled as its poultry counterpart; and therefore lacked that crispy exterior and that familiar smokiness one seeks after of the tandoor.
They were also drizzled in a sauce that appeared to be the same used for both the chicken and the aforementioned chops.
The dish came with a fairly pungent horseradish dip, which only served to overwhelm the delicate flavour of said marinade. If you like your horseradish though, then you’ll enjoy it.
Again, the best thing about these perfectly executed Spicy Hot Chicken Wings was that tremendous charring. Based in a light marination, these were then drizzled in the same sauce.
They won’t be winning any awards for originality; but you’ll come away perfectly satisfied.
It’s not often that you’re presented with a piece of sea bass that’s marinated in something light enough to enjoy the freshness of the fish for what it’s worth, before being grilled to an absolute tee.
This was one of the dishes of the review, and a must order if you enjoy Tandoori Fish. Not only had the intense heat of the oven provided a crispy-cum-crunchy exterior, which snapped and crackled when cut into, but also locked in the natural moisture of the flesh beneath, while caramelising the same standard marination the Haweli chefs had used up till now. This is one dish we’d come back to Haweli for time and time again!
What are the chances of finding a Tuna Grill Special at your local curry house?
The simplicity of its presentation, of course, is to allow for the freshness of the fish to shine through for all it’s worth.
And Haweli’s default marination definitely achieves that, with solid smokiness to go with the salty soft flesh on the inside.
There was a difference of opinion though. While one of the three Lions considered this a touch on the salty side, the others enjoyed it for what it was, arguing that the mild chilli was enough to balance things out.
With a deliciously crisp exterior, we found this, in the end, to be a pleasant plate of food.
In any case, the piece was judged reasonably well, with two Lions believing it to be a smidgeon away from being executed spot on.
There’s just something deeply satisfying when having a fresh fillet of Salmon with the top all charred and flaky.
We weren’t quite sure about serving this delicately flavoured fish with that aforementioned strong horseradish dip.
And there you have it! A classic, coal based tandoor with a pair of biryanis being given the tender loving care they truly deserve.RECOMMENDED
The sheer pleasure in cutting open this lamb Biryani Mughlai and lifting its lid only to be hit by the unmistakable waft of spices and aromas is truly unparalleled.
If you’re looking for a traditional version, then you won’t be able to get more so than Haweli’s. If this isn’t already, then their biryanis ought to be their signature dish.
Despite all biryanis being accompanied by a very lightly spiced vegetable curry (see below), we had decided on saving their plate of Raita yoghurt for precisely this occassion.
We wouldn’t usually juxtapose a curry and raita with our biryanis; but in this case, it made for a pleasant change with every other spoonful.
With plenty of it too, it added an additional dimension to things, that some might appreciate more than others.
The chicken was tender and soft, with every grain of rice therein separate and distinct, and superbly coated in those delicate spices.
Granted these biryanis aren’t the most sophisticated we’ve had; but, they’re obviously not meant to be. This is traditional done as well as it can be given the limitations of a restaurant setup.
Despite the chillies, this Naga Chilli Lamb wasn’t anywhere near as hot as the “very hot” suggested one the menu.
Nevertheless, while the meat had a chewiness that betrayed that of lamb, the curry had decent body to it, and was spicy-sweet rather than chilli.
This Chilli and Garlic Chyck’n Brockley on the other hand was easily the most fiery dish of the evening.
With dark orange soya slices imitating the role of chicken, the broccoli had a very good bite to it, with the onions, peppers and tomatoes providing that natural sweetness. A tasty plate of food.
The tempering of this Daal Tarka wasn’t quite as strong as we would have preferred.
As such, this, while being smooth and creamy in consistency, was timid in comparison to the one above.
A Pindi Chana that was certainly tomato based, with a sweet piquancy filtering through along with some tender warmth.
A very well executed Bhindi Masala, with the okra covered in plenty of the dry gravy, and some decent heat.
Despite being well buttered over the top and sporting some fantastic charring around its perimeter, the filling therein was more a doner texture than a mince.
In fact, it could have even been the same mixture used for the Sheesh Kebabs had above.
Whatever the case, the single layer of minced lamb didn’t have that seamless appearance one would expect of a keema naan.RECOMMENDED
But these two varieties were superbly done. While the Kulcha-e-Lassan had bags of garlic rubbed over the top to have you reaching for a mouthwash thereafter, the Peshwari Naan was beautifully risen, and had enough of that sweet mixture to ensure some good sweetness.
This was a premade waffle topped with melted quality branded chocolate, cream, toffee sauce, and accompanied by a pitcher of chocolate treacle, as well as a bowl of vanilla ice cream sprinkled with shards of Galaxy chocolate. Like we said, indulgent!
While Haweli do have a good selection of teas and coffees to choose from, we opted for some standard English Tea.
Topped with a waffer cone, the Haweli Cheesecake was your standard, premade, vanilla variety, which was paired with some passionfruit coolie.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
- UBER EATS
Currently rated No.1 out of 44 restaurants in Ealing on Tripadvisor, the food presented us during this review was consistently good. Their diligent use of a traditional coal-based tandoor meant some exquisite charring achieved across all their grilled dishes. What's more, the new owner has introduced dishes you won't typically find at other Indian curry houses. Needless to say, with such credentials, you'll be leaving Haweli entirely satisfied.
We've teamed up with Haweli to offer our readers an exclusive 20% discount across their entire menu on Mondays and Tuesdays only.
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