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Indian eatery INFINITII is one of those restaurants that you’ll find yourself still talking about months after paying a visit.
Located in the Staffordshire town of Abbots Bromley, INFINITII provides a modern twist on the textures and flavours of India, combining and celebrating diverse cooking techniques from multiple regions across the country.
The kitchen is fronted by award- winning chef Mamrej Khan, whose CV includes stints at the five-star Taj Hotels in Chennai, The Rose Garden in the Maldives and the Deluxe Palace Hotel in Bahrain.
On the evening my partner and I visited INFINITII, we sampled the five-course tasting menu - a chef’s surprise. The restaurant showcases a unique concept whereby the menu is catered to the customer. Diners are asked three questions: do you have allergens or dietary requirements? Is there anything that you don’t like? Is there anything on the menu which is a must-have for you? Your must- have choice(s) will be included within your specially designed menu.
We started off with a pint of Kingfisher and an INFINITII G&T Sweet Gin Cocktail, comprising Nelson’s Rose & Raspberry Gin, juniper berries, cardamom and Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic.
INFINITII is in partnership with Nelson’s, a Staffordshire-based distillery, so we felt it was only fitting to sample their creations. I’m not actually a big gin fan (bucking the trend, I know), but my selected drink was both refreshing and tasty. It may even have converted me, which is something I thought would never happen.
Our first course, light and crispy vadams - a modern but less oily alternative to poppadoms - were served with a homemade spiced tomato salsa and a fresh onion green salad.
They were swiftly followed by course number two - aloo brie tikki and kaffir lime lemon sole. A vegetarian dish (which can be made vegan by swapping the brie for a vegan cheese), the aloo brie tikki comprised spiced mashed potato cakes stuffed with gooey, melted brie and coated with cashew nut- flavoured breadcrumbs.
The three potato cakes were served atop a sweet tamarind sauce alongside decorative swipes of vibrant rhubarb and honey and mustard sauces. The flavour combinations were simply stunning!
The fish dish featured a beautifully soft and delicate shallow fried lemon sole fillet marinated with ginger, garlic, curry leaf and paprika, served with mint lime olive oil - a healthier option which didn’t compromise on flavour whatsoever.
We were seriously impressed - and beyond excited about what was to follow!
My partner’s must-have choice was rabbit varuval - wild rabbit meat marinated with home- ground spices and served with green chutney. Presented on the bone, the sweet rabbit was cooked to perfection, the coating showcasing just the right amount of spice. The green chutney, bursting with mint and coriander flavours, was the perfect accompaniment.
I’m a sucker for a bit of food theatre and INFINITII’s smoky lamb tikka dish provided just that. Served inside a smoke- filled dome, which was lifted at the table, sat marinated boneless morsels of cinnamon-smoked lamb fillet, grilled to perfection in the restaurant’s clay oven. The smoky meat was served with roasted peppers & onion and accompanied by delicious green chutney and rhubarb sauce.
On to the main courses of duck lucknowi and machchi mango curry. The first of the two dishes featured seared barbary duck breast simmered in caramelised onion, tomato, yoghurt & cashew nut sauce. Bright orange in colour and sweet in flavour with its underlying hint of cashew, the sauce was absolutely phenomenal and definitely one of my highlights of the evening. The duck itself was cooked to absolute perfection.
The second dish featured soft pan-fried fillets of tilapia fish simmered in coconut milk, five- spice - a sweet & sour sauce of green mangoes - and served with a portion of nicely seasoned spiced potato. I adore a fish curry, and INFINITII’s offering was up there with the nicest I’ve ever eaten. The perfectly cooked fish, the spicy, creamy sauce, and what is essentially Indian- inspired mashed potato, made for the comfort-food dish of my dreams.
To accompany the two dishes there was a portion of saffron rice, a portion of rice flour roti (a healthier alternative to naan) and one of the richest, creamiest and downright tastiest dal makhanis I'd ever eaten. I genuinely couldn’t fault a thing - the food was sheer perfection.
Our final dishes of the evening were the desserts: a sweet and refreshing mango sorbet supplied by award-winning dairy farm Daltons, and a rich cinnamon dark & white chocolate mousse served with caramelised golden syrup and decorative swirls of mango sauce. Both were beautiful in taste and presentation. Indeed, the presentation at INFINITII is second to none, and in my opinion of Michelin-star quality.
My partner and I sat looking at each other in utter disbelief. How had we just enjoyed so much outstanding food for a mere £30 each?! INFINITII’s tasting menu is value for money and then some! Our debut experience at the restaurant really couldn’t have been any better. The food was exemplary and the flavours exceptional, with every course also showcasing excellent technical ability. The service was fantastic, the staff being both friendly and knowledgable.
Not surprisingly, I can’t wait to return to sample some more of the delicious cuisine this gem of a restaurant has to offer.
***** Lauren Foster
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