CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe for £25 today CLICK HERE

Tufail restaurant, Gravesend: reviewed

PUBLISHED: 15:58 14 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:58 20 February 2013

Tufail restaurant, Gravesend: reviewed

Tufail restaurant, Gravesend: reviewed

When it's cold outside we automatically crave foods that will give us <br/><br/>a bit of warmth, our own internal fire - and this Gravesend Indian restaurant really hits the spot

Tufail restaurant, Gravesend: reviewed


Tufail in Gravesend came highly recommended by My Work Colleague so, as she has become something of a lucky charm in recent restaurant reviews, I suggested she come along too and put her bold claims to the test.


Despite my complete failure to notice the large amount of excellent parking opposite and a consequent late and flustered arrival, the warm welcome from chef-patron Abul Kalam immediately put us at ease.


The restaurant itself is immensely calming, with its mix of banquettes and high-back beech chairs at immaculately dressed tables, each with a perfect single rose in a simple vase, great lighting, modern flower prints in big silver frames and porthole mirrors. I can also report that the loos sparkle.


Abul, whose own father was a chef and a great influence in the kitchen, used to run a takeaway here but in 2004 completely transformed the place into the modern, contemporary oasis it is today, attracting customers from Maidstone, Chatham and London as well as his loyal regulars.


Named after his eldest son, Tufail is deceptively large, with seating at the front (where theres also a small but elegant bar), through to the quieter back area, where skylights flood the room with natual light. An upstairs dining room for private parties has its own bar and incredibly thick carpets, which also act as soundproofing, should things get lively.


To experience the Bangladeshi menu at its best, I put myself in Abuls capable hands and, discovering my passion for seafood, he steered me towards the fish bhajee, a light, delicious freshwater fish with a hint of fresh lime; a perfect way to begin.


MWC went for the Tufail special, a selection of meats from local butchers: chicken tikka, lamb chop and shish kebab, which I dived into as well. Tasty and succulent, we both loved the accompanying home-made sauces, especially the cool mint and yoghurt.


Butter chicken was MWCs immediate decision as her main, an Indian classic from Punjab loved the world over. With its meltingly tender chicken and rich, silky smooth tomato and cream sauce, its not hard to see why but dont overload with side orders. We found that the only real accompaniments needed were pilau rice and garlic nan.


I was a little more courageous with my lamb Kahrai, which is cooked in a tandoori oven and served sizzling hot in an iron skillet with a subtly spiced tomato, onion and pepper sauce.


Abul was keen that we both experienced his signature dish of king prawn bhujon, a real favourite with his customers. Probably the largest prawns Ive ever eaten, they originate from the Bay of Bengal and are definitely a star turn: marinaded in garlic and tandoori spices, the taste and juiciness is just exquisite.


To drink, do look at the wine list rather than make the automatic Indian beer response we Brits tend to go in for: chilled Chilean Sauvignon Blanc went perfectly with all my dishes.


Abuls children are a little young at 16, 13 and five to have made up their minds whether theyll follow in dad and grandads footsteps or not, but his wife Rehama is a great front-of-house ally and he is supported by 14 waiting staff and seven in the kitchen, including three other chefs.


We ate on a quiet midweek lunchtime and I look forward to returning on a Friday or Saturday night when the place is quite literally buzzing, says Abul. I believe him!



GET IN TOUCH


Tufail Bar and Restaurant


139 Parrock Street


Gravesend DA12 1EZ


Tel: 01474 566100 or 01474 537474


Typical prices: Tufail special mixed starter 4.50, butter chicken 6.95, tandoori lamb Kahrai 10.95, Kurji lamb (Meal of Moghuls 24 hours notice), for four people, 60, incls choice of four vegetabe dishes, nan and tandoori roti


Restaurant open: Sun-Sat, incl. Bank Holidays, 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm

More from Food & Drink

Nothing beats finding a corner next to a crackling fire in a cosy pub, so we rounded up 12 of our favourites in Kent to escape the cold

Read more
Friday, November 29, 2019

After a glittering ceremony on 28th November, we can now proudly reveal the winners of this year's awards

Read more
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

'Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,' proclaims a character in Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more

One of the many things we excel at is afternoon tea, and in Kent there are few finer settings than Eastwell Manor

Read more

The story of Chapter One continues to evolve under the expert touch of executive chef-patron Andrew McLeish

Read more

Meet the young man determined to take his family's fruit and cobnut farm into the future

Read more
Thursday, October 24, 2019

After a long nomination and judging process we can reveal the finalists for the Kent Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 taking place at the Ashford International Hotel on November 28

Read more
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Wine Garden of England Festival is taking place at Rochester Cathedral in November, in celebration of the fact that some of the finest tipples can be found right here in Kent

Read more
Thursday, October 10, 2019

The chef-patron of Chapter One, Andy McLeish, on an old family favourite, pumpkin pie

Read more

The Best Western combines Victorian detail with modern convenience and offers a cracking steak house too

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life