Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar opened Vaasu late last year (yep, that’s right, slap bang in the middle of a pandemic). It’s the fourth restaurant in the chef’s mini-empire and is inspired by his travels around India. There’s a focus on traditional cooking techniques such as the tandoor oven and tawa griddle, with everything from takeaway through to fine dining tasting menus available.
The foodie village of Marlow is already home to the newly refurbished Sindhu at the Compleat Angler Hotel, as well as his mate Tom Kerridge’s pub, The Hand & Flowers, so was perhaps a natural location for this next move.
We went along to check out the tasting menu, which is priced at a reasonable £65 (with the option of additional wine pairing). With each course more beautifully presented than the last, you can expect the whole experience to last at least two hours, so make sure you clear the diary.
While the mains were undoubtedly “fine-dining”, we loved that they were served with comforting sides such as creamy black daal and pillowy soft naan. It’s pretty tough to pick out a favourite dish but the shellfish and seafood – from the juicy plump scallop with cauliflower, to the freshwater roasted prawn – were both exceptional.
In terms of meatier mains, you have two options, lamb rump or venison fillet. The latter will incur a £10 supplement but is well worth it. With dainty amuse bouches and apple and mint palette cleansers peppered throughout, it was a real treat of an afternoon.
Service was every bit as warm, attentive and welcoming, as you’d expect from the man himself, with the head chef coming out to chat as we finished dessert.
The quality of food at Vaasu is right up there with the best Indian restaurants in the city, with the added bonus of a super friendly atmosphere, with a neighbourhood vibe – Marlow peeps are very lucky to have this as a local.