Atithi is one of the more recent additions to the fantastic restaurants opening on Mill Road in Cambridge. Mill road is quickly becoming a hub for dining and drinking away from the City Centre. Focusing on modern Indian cuisine, Atithi’s head chef Kamaladasan (who has a Michelin Star background) manages to combine classic flavours in unexpected ways, creating numerous pleasant surprises as you eat.
Jose, the manager and our host for the evening, made us feel very welcome throughout our visit, giving interesting insights into some of the dishes and providing his recommendations. The decor of Atithi was fairly traditional, with low lighting creating an intimate vibe. The seating options at the front of the restaurant were primarily small booths, so large groups may struggle to sit here. Service was prompt and efficient, and the waiting staff were all happy to help and chat between dishes.
As per Jose’s recommendations, to start we had Octopus Two Different Ways and the Beetroot Tikki. The octopus comprised of two parts – a tentacle with puréed red pepper, and a deep fried ball with octopus and pink prawn. Both were tasty, with the ball being reminiscent of the Japanese dish Takoyaki. The tentacle was cooked to perfection, but those who are a little squeamish may want to give this one a miss due to the texture. The Beetroot Tikki consisted of deep fried spiced beetroot with lentil, ginger, and apple chutney. The flavour combination worked very well here, with the beetroot being a secondary flavour alongside the spices and sweet chutney. It was a similar consistency to falafel, and the portion was quite substantial for a starter.
Whereas the portion sizes of the starters were fairly typical of most fine dining establishments, the curries we had for our main course were a different matter entirely. Combined with our sides of garlic naan bread and pilau rice, the dishes left us feeling very satisfied. The Railway Canteen Curry, as recommended by Jose, was a mix of delectable slow cooked lamb, potatoes, and a range of southern Indian spices. The lamb was outstanding and really brought the dish to life, and the sauce had a pleasant kick to it. The Malabar Prawn Curry combined large tiger prawns with garlic, mango, coconut and turmeric. The dish was fantastic, with a powerful garlic flavour, though the buttery consistency did get sickly after a while. Despite this, the dish was moreish and paired wonderfully with the naan and French Sauvignon Blanc.
To finish our meal we had Gajar Ka Halwa, a sweet carrot fudge with mango kulfi. The mango ice cream had a light, subtle flavour, but was not overshadowed by the sweet purple carrot. This dessert is a must-try, as it combines flavours that one doesn’t tend to find on the same plate, yet feel completely natural here.
If you decide to visit then we would also highly recommend the Tour of Atithi tasting menu; the 7 courses included were unfortunately too much for us during our visit, but we were instantly jealous of the other diners who chose it. Overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience – there are many great Indian restaurants in Cambridge, and Atithi is certainly up there with the best of them. You can find out more and make a booking on the Atithi website. It’s also worth noting that they offer delivery via Deliveroo, for a luxury dining experience at home.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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