Wednesday 22 June 2022

Samsara Indian Restaurant, Cheam, Surrey

I don’t often do girls’ nights out ever since I became a mum - most of the time I am just too tired and don’t have the time to think about a social life.

So it’s great when someone else organises an evening out and invites me! It was a friend’s birthday so four of us went for a curry and cocktails at Samsara in Cheam, a restaurant I hadn’t been to before.

It's a fairly large restaurant but was very empty with only a few other people there, which is a shame as the food was good - though the cocktails weren't quite as good as I was hoping.

I normally play it very safe when it comes to curry (chicken korma every time!) but decided for once to try something new - though still a mild chicken dish with almonds and a sweeter taste! I had a chicken dakeswari, which the menu described as "tender pieces of grilled chicken, marinated with herbs, spices and ground almond. Very mildly spiced and garnished with mango pulp". It was very nice and creamy with a fruity flavour, and not too spicy at all, and accompanied by a very tasty peshwari naan.

As I wasn't driving I was looking forward to sampling the cocktail menu as Samsara also describes itself as a cocktail lounge. I didn't see anyone who had just gone there for drinks and I don't think I've ever had a cocktail in an Indian restaurant before as I would always go for wine. I started with a mango and peach fizz to complement the mango flavours of my meal, then thought that a White Russian would be a good substitute for dessert as it combined cream and coffee. One of my friends ordered the same drink, and they were both served in tumblers - not quite what I was expecting - but of different sizes, so one of us had a tall glass and the other a much shorter wider one. I'm no mixologist but my White Russian seemed a bit heavy on the cream, and not as nice as I had remembered them being.

We took admittedly quite a long time over dinner; we hadn't started particularly early and also had a lot of catching up to do, but it was a surprise when the waiters started hovering and making clear signs that they wanted us to pay the bill and leave. Eventually one came over and said it was 10pm and they were closing - which was surprising as the website said they were open until 11am. I can only assume that because they had been quiet that evening and were the last people there, they wanted to be able to close and head home.

Still, it was a fun night out with friends and good food, and nice to try somewhere local I hadn't been before - and to branch out from choosing a chicken korma for a change!

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