Little Bay Indian Bar & Restaurant (200 40971) Mains from £7.10 to £27.50. Rice and breads from £2.00 to £5.95, Desserts from £5.10
Understated elegance with a contemporary London vibe, and worthy of a Michelin star, the food on offer at Little Bay Indian is outstanding.
This delightful restaurant is a firm favourite for many locals and visitors since its opening in 2016. It has grown in popularity to the extent that you need a reservation to dine here.
The devil is definitely in the detail, with cloth-covered tables, linen napkins and sparkling clean silver and glassware, the effect is gleaming.
Adding to the overall glamour is the mixology bar in the centre, around which a team of vigilant and friendly waiters ensure each table wants for nothing.
The summer months, and Friday in particular, see the crowds spill over onto the decking area where warm evenings pass by with wine and laughter. Little Bay Indian Restaurant has etched itself into the local area, creating memorable evenings of fantastic food, wine and cocktails.
We sat inside and studied the cocktail menu. I had trouble deciding what to order, and my eye rested on an unusual-looking bottle on the shelf, a dark square bottle I had not seen before. To my delight, the resident mixologist Juan Delgado came over to discuss the options, and I was presented with a bespoke, never made before Margarita, with Patrón XO Café as the main ingredient. Do you get my point about memories? I won’t forget that cocktail in a hurry.
We considered starters, it being Veganuary we opted for the vegan starters, according to the menu, any of the vegetarian dishes can be veganized. It had to be the Pani Puri, a peculiar dish of food if you have never tried it before. I can only describe it as incredibly flavoursome finger food with a generous hint of spicy heat. The individual “puri” are crisp hollow cups, filled with a delicious cold broth, once filled, to be popped into to mouth where the crisp melts and the liquid warms the heart and soul. Thank you Little Bay for bringing these little shots of Indian street food to Gibraltar.
My dining companion opted for the Jaipuri Bhindi. This simple starter is the okra alternative to the onion bhaji, the okra is sliced and marinated in spiced chickpea flour and fried to crispy perfection. We remained faithful to the cause and asked for mango chutney rather than dairy raita.
Ask, and you shall receive, its sticky sweetness complimented this dish perfectly. The fresh flavour of the okra shone through the spices, and our eyes were rolling as we munched into the super crispy strips of gently spiced Bhindi.
Onwards towards the mains, and the vegan options are plentiful. It was a little off-putting to have the waiter looking at me strangely when I asked which dishes are vegan. Even though he was young, he clearly did not understand the monumental shift towards plant-based eating. However, he went out of his away to double-check and came back pleased with himself and his newfound knowledge. Eventually, I decided upon the Subz Miloni, a personal recommendation from the chef I was informed.
My dining partner opted for the veganized house quinoa salad, and our sides were the vegetable Tawa rice and tandoori roti.
My main course epitomised the meaning of plant-based, with the main ingredient being fresh peas, the luminous green emanating from my plate blinded me for a second. I was grateful to the rice for blending it to a more pleasant pastel green shade. As distracting as the colour may have been, the flavour excelled itself, never judge a curry by its colour as I always say!
At the end of the meal, the chef came over to our table to compliment me on my choice, inform me that he is also vegan and that the dish Subz Miloni is a popular plate of food from his home in the North of India. His made a real effort to endorse his home town and this dish that his mother would serve to family members in the winter to ward off colds and flu. Oh, boy, did I feel special!
The quinoa salad arrived in its perfect domed display of excellence, and the flavours again did not disappoint, with perfectly cooked fluffy quinoa and little explosions of sultanas, pomegranate and pistachios, with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon. Who said salad is boring? Well try this one and eat your words!
I could not resist temptation, screaming out from the menu was vegan apple pie. It arrived, in all its stodginess, with a scoop of vegan coconut ice cream. I think I may have died a little because I am sure I imagined myself in heaven, surrounded by the vegan food gods.
My eating companion opted for a coffee in place of dessert, and it arrived piping hot in a large cup and saucer, a perfect finale. Little Bay Indian Restaurant and Bar is highly recommended.