Following from my meal and a break, I contacted Chef Shilpa for an interview to understand what it is like to work with your partner, see what her inspirations are and her top spots in London.
Pure originally started as a takeaway business in a location near to where it’s at now as a restaurant. Our aim was to serve good Indian food in the south west of London, as there were no good takeaways here. We soon realised that our cooking was starting to get recognition for its quality and flavour. We were also getting a lot of requests for home deliveries. The popularity of the takeaway gave us an immense boost because it was always our dream to start up a restaurant. So when we got an opportunity to open one in Fulham we pulled out all the stops as it were and really went for it.
What would you define as “pure” Indian cooking?
I think everyone has their own definition of purity. For me it’s cooking which is couched in tradition but after that I want to have the freedom to put my own spin on it and that can vary as to how much and which particular component of the dish. I personally also like to make the cooking as refined and flavoursome as possible yet at the same time also healthy.
Where do you see the restaurant in five years time?
We would like to build a name for Pure for its original cooking and by far the best Indian food in the Fulham and surrounding south west areas of London.
When was the last time Faheem cooked for you?
Faheem and I laugh about this but I actually keep him away from any kind cooking – even at home - because he’s yet to really learn about such things. He always says you should do what you are good at and he’s good at the managerial level at the restaurant’s front of house and I’m more comfortable in the kitchen. But he is always there for constructive feedback and we have created dishes which he is sceptical about whereas I will say it’s well balanced.
Why Putney Bridge/Fulham?
From the time we arrived in the UK, we had always stayed around London’s south west, areas like Clapham, Wimbledon, Southfields and so on, so we wanted to do something of our own from where we started our life together.
It’s difficult to say as there are so many good restaurants in London in terms of both food and service. However, I would select the following as my top five:
- Brasserie Blanc for rustic French food
- Quilon for refined south west coastal Indian food
- Wagamama as a chain for its quick and healthy food
- Zaika for retaining its name and the quality
- Last but not least, Chutney Mary for great food and being consistent
Thank you so much Shilpa and Faheem. Firstly for good food and secondly for this lovely interview. I am sure the success will continue and if you focus on that purity then the customers and I will be back for more. A big thank you also to Consultant Humayun Hussain who helped with setting this interview up.