Following New Delhi and New York, the World’s Best Indian Restaurant lands in London
What’s New? Indian Accent, the best restaurant in India according to the World’s 50 Best, opens a third restaurant, this time in London.
Behind The Scenes: Manish Mehrotra, a culinary celebrity in India, leads the luxury line-up at the Old World Hospitality group. Indian Accent’s his baby, with branches at New Delhi’s Lodhi Hotel and Le Parker Meridien in New York.
The Concept: The competition’s stiff on Albemarle Street (Gymkhana, Isabel...) but Indian Accent is instantly at home.
Subtly seductive interiors by Design LSM are part mid-Century society restaurant – smoked mirrors, Saarinen-esque chairs and herringbone floor – and part Rajasthan palace, all gleaming fretwork, jali screens and jewel-coloured fabrics. The effect is decidedly chic.
What’s Cooking? Three, four or nine courses at dinner, edited to two, three or six for the lunch crowd. Make room for kulcha, baby flatbreads filled with everything from wild mushrooms to black pudding. We tried two – smoked bacon and butter chicken. As standalone snacks, they’re fantastic. As side orders, they’re somewhat superfluous.
I could probably make a case for the bacon version bringing a warm smokiness and textural depth to tender wagyu and foie gras tikka but, really, any excuse for a mid-meal bacon sandwich.
The multi-dimensional menu speaks to appetites large and small, traditional and modern. Sweet-sour pomelo, cashew, kundru (ivy gourd) and confit amla (Indian gooseberry) is an ace appetite-awakener; while, fat morels with walnut powder and parmesan take the umami route (a quality further enhanced by a well judged Viura).
The menu speaks with a international accent, introducing fresh ideas from far and wide: Peking duck-style ghee roast lamb wrapped with roomali roti pancakes and the vegan millennial’s current food obsesh, pulled jackfruit, with phulka bread ‘tacos’.
Desserts are delightful. Makhan malai, a traditional milky pudding from Lucknow, becomes a pastel-hued puff of saffron milk foam dotted with petals like a 1950’s starlet’s bathing cap. Meethe chawal, Punjabi sweet yellow rice, is just as pretty.
A good-for-you melange of nuts, rice and tart barberries, it eats like rice salad but is elevated from worthy to wonderful by a creamy saffron-laced ‘dressing’ and tortoiseshell-like shards of black and white sesame brittle.
Signature Dishes: The amuse-bouche is a table for two at a dollies’ tea party: an itsy-bitsy blue cheese naan and a teenie-weenie tankard of pumpkin and coconut shorba, whose diminutive size is in inverse proportion to their powerful flavour.
The blue cheese naan you can probably imagine – what’s not to love and all that – but a pumpkin soup so impossibly voluptuous that it outclasses a blue cheese-filled naan? Imagine.
Best For: Whisky lovers. Tasting menus come with a choice of whisky or wine flight.
Source: The Telegraph