The saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But what if it ain’t broke, yet you want to make it work even better? That’s how we feel about our restaurants. Rajinda Pradesh is home to delicious, contemporary Indian food, cooked using traditional methods.
So when it was time to think about how we could improve it, we took the same approach as our chefs do: we worked from scratch.
Group Executive Head Chef James Haywood and his team visited Indian restaurants across the country searching out inspiration.
Some of the new dishes are more unusual – like the crispy spiced calamari or the delicate butternut squash samosas.
The new tandoori section of the menu has been a labour of love, with the marinade, cuts of meat and serving style taking careful deliberation. Succulent lamb chops, perfect butterflied poussin or delicate salmon fillet, cooked in one of our traditional tandoor ovens and served sizzling to your table.
Need something to soothe that spice? There’s an exciting new drinks range too. The selection of muddled teas use real fruit purees and green tea to create light, refreshing drinks in flavours ranging from sharp to sweet.
Then there’s the children’s menu, which we mentioned last week. It was important to us that the dishes offered our younger diners an introduction to Indian food while still being familiar. With that in mind, we’ve added a gently spiced tomato soup with naan bread for dipping, onion bhaji lollipops and some mild children’s curries. The little ones’ desserts are a winner too, with creamy Kelly’s ice cream and fruit lollipops dipped in white chocolate.
Take a look at the full menu here.
Meanwhile, our design team were working their magic on the menu itself. Rob Buxton, Graphic and Digital Designer, had the job of reimagining how the menu would look and feel.
“My starting point, as you’d expect, was India,” explains Rob. “I looked into traditional Indian designs and came across mehndi – the intricate patterns painted on hands in henna, often worn at weddings. It reminded me of the ‘grown-up colouring books’ my wife has, and I thought I could combine the two.”
Rob also decided to change up the shape of the menu. “Rajinda Pradesh is our high-end evening restaurant, so I wanted a menu that matched that. It should feel weighty and premium, almost like a book. I went for a tall, slender menu because it’s more elegant and – practically speaking – it doesn’t take up all the room at the table when everyone has theirs open!”
With the food cooked, tested and tested again, and the beautiful new menus designed, it was time to take some photos that would get guests’ mouths watering.
Claire Sutton (whose incredible recipes you will have seen here, here and here, to recommend a few) styled and photographed the whole shoot. It was a cold December day at Woburn Forest as we rattled through the new dishes, sprinkling coriander and sneaking spoonfuls of the dishes when we were finished.
The images down the right hand side of the this page are some of Claire’s photos. Hover over them to find out which dish they are.
My insider recommendation is the tandoori poussin – it’s a stand-out dish for me as it’s smoky and charred but still meltingly tender. It’s been months since I got to try it at the photo shoot, so I can’t wait to get down to Rajinda Pradesh and taste it again. Let us know in the comments which dishes you’re dying to try out.
If you have a break coming up, you can book a table at Rajinda Pradesh in advance.