I need to start with a bit of a confession. Before I visited Crossing the Rubicon for their #BloggingTheRubicon event it had been over two and a half years since I’d last eaten Indian food. It’s not because I’m not a fan of Indian food. It’s because I’m a complete novice! I just don’t know where to start with dishes and I’m always terrified I’ll order the wrong thing and it’ll put me off for life. When ordering at home you don’t really have the opportunity to order loads of things to sample so when Crossing The Rubicon invited bloggers along to sample their menu this was my chance to finally try all of those Indian delights I’d shyed away from.
Situated on Great Western Road, Crossing The Rubicon stands out amongst the crowd, with bright red beacons of light inviting you in. The vibrant murals adorning the wall create an edgy, cool, casual atmosphere. This is reflected in the extensive menu, a celebration of craft beer and small plates of curry that breaks free of the traditional. Even the restaurant’s name is synonymis with the idea of bounding into the unknown. When you enter Crossing The Rubicon you really do feel like you’re in for a unique experience.
When we arrived we were immediately handed a glass of bubbly and shown to the event space. While we settled in we were provided with some poppadoms and pickles to chat over. The crispy, light, salty poppadoms paired excellently with the apple, watermelon and coconut pickles and really helped work up an appetite for the feast ahead of us. The watermelon pickle in particular was delicious; a mix of sweet and fresh chunky pickle that was completely unique.
After a quick drinks order (soft drinks for me as I was driving – boo!) the food began to arrive. We started off with some mixed pakora – onion, vegetarian haggis, crispy chicken and black pudding. These were all really tasty, but the highlight was definitely the black pudding pakora. I had picked it out when browsing the menu as something I would definitely order and it didn’t disappoint. Delicately spiced, with high quality black pudding, this is definitely something I’d order again and again.
After this the food started to come thick and fast! Crossing The Rubicon had very generously cooked up a massive portion of their curries menu for us to try, meaning that this clueless Indian food novice got a crash course in curry over the next couple of hours. With a range of vegan, vegetarian and meat based dishes being served up I truly got to discover what I liked and what spice levels I felt comfortable with. If you’re like me and get a bit apprehensive when choosing dishes from an Indian menu then this is where you should be going. Take friends, order loads and share everything! You’ll be an expert in no time.
Rather than talk about everything we tried, I’ll give you my curry highlights. First I need to tell you about the vegan sweet potato and carrot korma. Without a doubt the dish of the evening – something that seemed to be echoed throughout the room. Surprisingly I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed by this dish because korma has a tendancy to be overly sweet. It wasn’t. It was mild, sweet, creamy and incredibly satisfying. I could have happily eaten this and this alone all night.
I also really enjoyed another of the vegan options – Crispy Tofu Mutter. Lovely chunks of crispy coated tofu came with a pea and cumin curry. While the flavours weren’t as punchy as the korma, the delicacy of the dish and the interesting mix of textures made this one stick in my mind at the end of the night. The tomato based Gobi Khali Mirch, with its chunky cauliflower and strong mix of spices, also really stood out amongst the crowd. I’d never have ordered this dish from the choices on the menu, but it was tangy, sweet and packed a bit of punch. Definitely a pleasant surprise.
While the meat based curries seemed to really hit the spot with everyone at my table I was definitely more taken by Crossing The Rubicon’s excellent, diverse vegan and vegetarian options. Without a doubt, these are really where they are offering something truly different. They’re well thought out, intricate and balanced, and although I didn’t get to try every dish from the meat section of the menu, the vegan and vegetarian dishes I’ve talked about here are the ones I would immediately order again.
At the end of the evening I shared an incredibly rich vegan chocolate pot with hubby. I say shared… I had a couple of teaspoons and he devoured the rest! I was completely stuffed and overwhelmed by the generous offerings from our lovely hosts. Before we left we were given a Crossing The Rubicon Pale Ale to take home and with a lovely invitation to brunch in my inbox the next day, it won’t be long until I visit Crossing The Rubicon again.
I walked into the #BloggingTheRubicon event as someone who, admittedly, did not have a clue about curry. I would always order the same old thing, and even then, it would be an age between visits. Crossing The Rubicon took this naive noob and enlightened me to their amazing range of creative curries. Their bold flavours, unique dishes and menu of exciting craft beers make this a dream for anyone craving curry and a pint.
It’s the perfect setting for meeting friends and indulging in rich food and good booze. I highly recommend you pay them a visit. A word of advice: take a group of friends so that you can try as many dishes as possible. Oh, and don’t forget to order the korma!