Owner Raja Munuswamy and head chef Arvind Pawar first met in Bristol – they soon bonded over their love for their home country’s cuisine, and their ambition to share it with those around them. Lucky us – Nutmeg first opened its doors opened in 2016, and swiftly won over the hearts (and stomachs) of the city’s foodies. It recently earned a mention in the 2018 edition of The Michelin Guide, which praised its vibrant cooking, breads and daily ground spices. Plus, pleasingly, the ingredients used at Nutmeg are sourced from local indie suppliers, including Ruby and White butchers and Bristol Sweet Mart.
What’s the vibe like at Nutmeg?
In its dishes, decor and demeanour, Nutmeg is wonderfully colourful. We visit on a Friday night to find the place happily busy. Street-art-style murals on the walls are pure Bristol, while wooden floors and red banquettes add polish.
How does the menu work at Nutmeg?
While the tasting menu focuses on one region at a time, cycling every two months to keep things fresh, the à la carte features flavours inspired by all 29 of India’s states.
Which dishes should we order at Nutmeg?
We opt for the tasting menu – this month inspired by the northern region of Kashmir – complete with wine pairings. While we wait for the first course we dive into a tray of their in-house chutneys – each one well-balanced and spiced. The beetroot and lime pickle is a favourite, the citrus lifted by the beet’s sweetness.
The amuse bouche – a traditional street snack called golgappa puri – proves to be one of the standouts of the night. These are small globes of puri (an unleavened, deep-fried bread) that we’re advised to eat in one bite, and we soon find out why. Each puri houses a core of tamarind water, chilli, chaat masala and chickpea – a flood of delicately balanced flavour inside a crisp shell. We also find ourselves particularly enamoured with the main course’s yakhni gosht – rich, slow-cooked lamb that’s moreishly tender, warm with ginger and cumin and cooled with a hung yoghurt sauce.
What’s dessert like at Nutmeg?
Paired with a fruity pinot noir rosé, the pudding rounds the evening off beautifully; a deliciously syrupy jalebi acts as the perfect foil to a fragrant ball of homemade rose kulfi ice cream.
What are the drinks like at Nutmeg?
Highlights include a wine menu with helpful food pairing suggestions, a roster of lightly spiced gins and a short offering of Indian-inspired cocktails – we enjoyed an elderflower champagne creation.
Price range: The four-course tasting menu is great value, at £50 with a wine flight and £32 without. The à la carte features starters from £3.50 and mains from £7.50.