Originally due to launch as a proper, sit-down bricks and mortar IRL restaurant (remember them?), Attawa’s menu had been created by Masterchef: The Professionals semi-finalist Arbinder Duggal and Dalston Junction (home for the past 30 years) was to be the coveted spot.
However, just days before they were due to open the doors, lockdown hit. Can you even imagine? So, like everyone, Attawa found themselves having to adapt and is now open for collection and delivery, with the plans of opening as a dine-in experience, on pause but not forgotten. No small feat – this meant redesigning the whole menu from scratch, testing packaging (which by the way, was really excellent) and finding out which dishes were most suited to travelling. So it’s true to say that we were rooting for Ravinder and Amar Madhray (the husband and wife team behind Attawa). However, with food this good, we’re positive this setback isn’t going to cause them any long term issues.
Named after the founders’ family village in Punjab, where the couple lived until relocating to London in the 1970s, dishes are a modern interpretation from this area of Northern India. A mix of comforting family recipes (such as the creamy dhal makani which we’d happily bathe in) and more delicate dishes such as gol guppas (those little flavour bombs you find under the starter section of the very finest Indian restaurants).
Heads and shoulders above any Indian food that we’ve had delivered, not only is this restaurant-quality cuisine to your door, it’s really bloody good restaurant quality to start with. We started with ‘Amritsa Khatta Ladoo’ – fried lentil dumplings, served with relish and carrots, topped with pani before moving on to tender lamb chops, still pink in the middle, all delicious meat with no annoying rind of fat, sat on top of charred onions and red pepper. Big pots of creamy, buttery but never greasy chicken masala makani and huge chunks of meat from the tandoor were piled onto rice. Chutneys made from the family’s original recipes were dotted over everything.
Anyone creating something so positive right now is certainly to be celebrated. However, the food speaks for itself. Even the bread had been stamped with the Attawa logo! With attention to detail like that for takeout, can you imagine what the real deal will be like? We’ll definitely be first in line for a table once normal service resumes.
Attawa hope to open the doors to their beautifully-designed restaurant in mid-July, pending government advice and regulations.
Attawa is open for collection and delivery Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – 10pm
6 Kingsland High Street, E82JP