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Curry house near hospital deserves healthy profits

The Rajdoot, a short walk down the hill from the Royal Free, has thoughtful touches and offbeat options

08 February, 2019 — By Tom Moggach

New arrival on the Fleet Road restaurant strip – The Rajdoot

THE webcam is a fantastic invention for any modern restaurateur. Using a smartphone app, they can keep an eye on their business from a distance.

When I visited The Rajdoot in Fleet Road, Hampstead, the owner showed me a live stream from his first branch in Marylebone.

The curry house was packed with customers; delivery drivers waited at the door.

Mohammed Rahman is one of four brothers running The Rajdoot. They opened their new branch in NW3 just a few months ago.

“My family has always been in restaurants,” he says, explaining that his uncle opened his first venture back in 1964.

The Rajdoot occupies the site of the now-defunct Fleet Tandoori in Fleet Road, a short walk down the hill from the Royal Free Hospital.

This strip is now home to many eating options, including Deep Blue for fish and chips, Aroma Spice and Thai Heath Café.

The brothers have invested in a full revamp of the décor at The Rajdoot, with a sparkling new kitchen, pink and blue lighting, proper tablecloths and thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers.

The extensive menu offers an array of dishes from across India and Bangladesh, including familiar options such as baltis, biryanis and dishes from the tandoor oven.

I wanted to explore some of the more offbeat dishes. Top marks for the Bengal fish (£12.95), which had the complex, intense spicing of proper home-style cooking.

Boneless fillets of freshwater fish are slathered in a tomato-based sauce spiked with glistening curry leaves, which impart their distinctive savoury flavour.

Also recommended is their vegetable sabzi (£10.95), a house special served on a sizzling hot plate, and the benaroshi king prawns (£14.95).

If you crave meat, you might consider the raj murug monohori (£14.95), a dish of chicken marinated for 24 hours in a complex masala then cooked with lashings of garlic and ginger and served in a thick spicy sauce.

Desserts include kulfi ice cream and gulab jamun, the addictive deep fried dough balls soaked in sweet syrup.

Service at The Rajdoot is friendly and professional; we ate with a soundtrack of Bollywood hits.

Trade is slowly building at this solid Indian restaurant as locals discover the menu. “I’ve seen a lot of customers from the hospital – doctors and nurses – and bus drivers from the depot,” says Rahman.

To drum up business, they are offering a 15 per cent discount on your food bill if you book a table.

At lunchtime, there’s a special menu such as papadoms, onion bhaji, a curry, rice or naan for £9.95; a take-away box costs £5.95.

You can also order online or by phone for free delivery in NW3, NW5, NW1, NW6, NW8 or enjoy a 10 per cent discount for collected orders over £12.

Good luck to the team at The Rajdoot, who deserve to do well. I’ve just bought a bag of curry leaves to attempt that fish dish back at home.

The Rajdoot
104 Fleet Road, NW3
020 7485 6402/1329
www.rajdootnw3.co.uk

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