When a restaurant has a Michelin-starred chef, it is not uncommon to draw conclusions of the type of environment and food one could expect.

Entering Sindhu, based inside the Compleat Angler on the banks of the River Thames in Marlow, with its elegant surroundings and furnishings one would immediately start to think of typical (or maybe stereotypical) haute cuisine – small portions, artistic presentation and soft flavours, all very different to the traditional seller of Indian food – the curry house.

However, Atul Kochhar’s eatery pleasantly surprised us by being able to bring the best of both worlds into one place. The environment was classy and stylish with friendly staff who were able to make off-menu recommendations, especially since we are both vegetarian.

They also brought out the obligatory poppadoms, which can normally be bland and a simple table filler to go along with your drink. Sindhu’s bite-sized poppadoms, brought over from India, were tasty and complemented by three home-made chutneys – and came in a very artful-looking wooden box rather than the traditional large plate, making them easier to eat (devour).

The mango chutney (not something I’m usually attracted to) was sweet without being overly sugary; my wife adored the spicy tomato-flavoured one, and my favourite was the coriander and coconut yoghurt chutney.

For starters, we opted for a tried and tested personal favourite – paneer tikka – together with cauliflower and broccoli bhajis (off-menu). As foodies from an Indian background, both my wife and I have been to places where we have enjoyed the food, but it has not always had that authentic, home-cooked taste.

This was not the case here. From the first bite, we both felt that we were eating food cooked by our mothers and grandmothers.

Our mains were a mix of aubergine masala (side dish), paneer makhani (off-menu) and a delicious black lentil daal, accompanied by soft whole wheat roti and a delicious cheese and coriander kulcha naan.

All the main dishes continued with the homely flavours – subtle and comforting. Not a single spice overpowered any other, and for long periods we sat in silence, enjoying every mouthful.

For dessert, I tried a scoop each of the Granny Smith apple and strawberry flavoured sorbets – tasty and refreshing – while my wife went for the chocolate mousse with a passionfruit coulis, which came covered in dark chocolate with a wonderful warm chocolate sauce, poured over by the server to reveal a deliciously smooth mousse inside.

If you think Indian food has a specific flavour, and are only used to certain flavours, then I implore you to try the genuinely true Indian dishes on show at Sindhu, bringing together the food from South East Asia with the aesthetics of the West.

It isn’t cheap, and Sindhu may not be the immediate location to think of for a mid-week curry. But with its classic décor and tasty, authentically Indian dishes, it is a wonderful location for a special occasion or dinner date with a friend or loved one.