Madame D Aims For Himalayan Heights

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MADAME D AIMS FOR HIMALAYAN HEIGHTS

Madame D serves small plates of Nepali, Tibetan, and Indo-Chinese dishes. The menu includes chilli paneer, beef puffs, and momos, but most patrons swear by the prawn crackers.
Madame D, 76 Commercial Street, London E1 6LY. Phone: 020 7247 1341

READ DIVYA SEHGAL’S STORY

A lot has been written and said about Madame D, the second restaurant by the owners of Gunpowder, inspired by Himalayan cuisine and showcasing the flavours of North East India, Nepal, and China. Like Gunpowder (and many other new restaurants with cramped spaces in London’s crowded restaurant scene), Madame D specialises in serving small plates to be shared. This meant that the limited menu shrank further for my dining companion and me – some of their dishes have MSG, but they were happy to accommodate my requirements and mark the dishes that don’t.
From what I could eat, I can tell you that Madame D is all about the heat – the broken Naga chilli in the chilli lemonade infused the drink with its spices as long as I let it sit inside, making my lemonade the opposite of refreshing. But it’s the prawn crackers, those unassuming crisps most Asian restaurants serve, that Madame D takes to a whole new tantalising level. Accompanied by a spicy prawn pickle and tangy grated carrot kimchi, they were the best start we could have asked for.
The food that followed was delicious but not as fiery as the crackers and pickle we got earlier. In a city that boasts some of the best Indian restaurants outside the Indian subcontinent, it can be quite hard to hit the right flavour profile, but Madame D is bold, inventive, and confident – three qualities that are the bedrock of great food.
Feature photo by See-ming Lee [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons 
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