Bhoomi Kitchen had a difficult start in their Oxford restaurant, which is one of two, the other being in Cheltenham.
When they opened in Headington around a year ago, like most restaurants, I’m sure they had no idea what was facing them in terms of the pandemic so I must commend them for taking the confidence to open during these times.
With this being my first restaurant review of 2021 I was extremely excited to give them a try with Indian food being one of my favourites. They specialise in South Indian food and I was thrilled to hear this.
Having been fortunate to be able to squeeze a trip to India in during October 2019, I spent a week in and around Goa which I absolutely loved and the food was absolutely amazing there.
One of the things that struck me from looking at the entrance of Bhoomi Kitchen is that they clearly take pride in the appearance and that this was certainly not just another British curry house.
When walking in, the decor continued to impress me with dark tones but not too dark and high-end plates, cutlery and seating. I snapped a few pictures of the menus further below so you can have a look, I couldn’t find a drinks menu online but I’ll also link their online menu here in case you’d like to see that too.
Food and drinks
After looking through the food and drinks menus I didn’t have any difficulty placing my order. What I found was that there was a nice selection of food without there being too much variety that it overwhelms you, but that is just my opinion.
I fancied a beer and when the waiter told me they had Kingfisher as well (it wasn’t on the menu) I had to have one with it being one of the main beers in India.
To start, we were offered some homemade chutneys and pappadams which were lovely. My personal favourite was the mango (top) and that is probably because I have a bit of a sweet tooth.
Chicken Sixty Five is a traditional spicy fried chicken dish originating from Chennai in South India. The reason why it is called Chicken Sixty five is that it was meant to have been created in 1965. When I saw it on the menu, I had to order it as I love both fried chicken and spicy food. I was very impressed. It had a nice kick to it without it being too overpowering and the sweet mango raita sauce underneath went perfectly with it.
Another food I had never really tried until visiting India was paneer (Indian cottage cheese) which is something I absolutely love now. Having also seen Chilli Paneer on the starters, I was always going to order it! Similar to the Chicken Sixty Five, it has a nice kick to it but nothing that will blow your head off.
The BBQ Butter Chicken wings took a little longer to come out than the other two starters, but it was worth the wait! It had the lovely chared BBQ flavour with that unmissable butter chicken taste too. As you can see below, there was a generous amount of sauce on the wings and I absolutely loved them.
For the mains, we ordered a Kerala Lamb Curry, Chicken Korma, one mushroom rice, one pulao rice, some Kerala porata, aubergine and peas and spinach and potatoes which can all be seen together, pictured below.
I loved the Kerala Lamb Curry. The lamb was super soft and the sauce had a lovely coconut flavour to it and as with a couple of the other dishes; it had a nice kick but nothing too overpowering.
The Kerala Porata (bread) was fantastic too. From my understanding, it is prepared with dough which is beaten into thin layers and later forming a round spiralled into a ball using these thin layers. It has a really unique texture and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t before. Again as I mentioned earlier, there are several details such as this being the only bread option as opposed to the usual naan bread you would expect, that sets this restaurant apart as a truly authentic place for south Indian food.
I also wanted to mention the aubergine and peas as well as the spinach and potatoes. I could only describe these as pure comfort foods and were fantastic accompaniments to the main dishes. My personal favourite out of the two was the aubergine and peas.
To finish, the waiter highly recommended the chocolate samosa which is something I’d never heard of before but sounded amazing. I’m glad this was recommended to us as it was as good as it sounds. It was wonderfully crispy on the outside and of course, the chocolate inside was warm which made for a great combination of textures when combined with the ice cream served on the side.
Conclusions and final thoughts
To summarise, I feel that Bhoomi Kitchen is one of the most authentic Indian restaurants I have been to in the UK. The decor and quality of food are high. Whenever I want to remind myself of my trip to India in 2019 I will for sure be drawn to visit Bhoomi Kitchen as opposed to my local curry house and I think it’s a welcome addition to Oxford’s food scene.