It was only a matter of time before Manish Mehrotra brought Asia’s Best Restaurant ranked Indian Accent to London. After making its debut in 2009 with Indian Accent at The Manor Hotel in New Delhi, ranking 30th in Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants and then embarking on a new journey to America, showing the food scene of New York a good time. From the big apple, Indian Accent has bounced across the pond to the big smoke and has picked the prime location to reside. It has become a very nearby neighbour of the well known one Michelin starred Gymkhana, I think they are going to give them a run for their money.
The restaurant is elegantly laid out with striking bottle green velvet chairs and booths mixed with soft cream walls. The looks very swish with the modern theme of rose gold which runs through to the detailing on the booths and corner tables. The seating is limited due to the size of the premises and are very much in demand. Having to book a table for two of a weekday lunchtime just explains the promise this restaurant holds. When we walked in, it was full to the brim without a single empty seat. Couples dressed elegantly in suits and ladies in their best frocks, whilst others used as the perfect place to have a lunch business meeting.
The menu is split into two sections, with the option of a 6 course lunch chef’s tasting menu for £45 or a two/three course lunch for £25/30. Alternately, you use the multi course menu as an a la carte menu too, choosing dishes individually off the menu.
We started our meal with an amuse bouche of blue cheese filled naan and a small ceramic mug with pumpkin and coconut chorba. Both are traditionally typical but each have been given their own creative twist, giving it a more modernised take. I’m not normally a fan of blue cheese, but it was perfectly subtle providing a small bit of it’s strong flavour through every bite of the naan. The chorba was the perfect way to open your stomach on a cold winter’s day in London. I was already pleasantly impressed.
Binny and I both ordered the soy keema served with a quail egg on to and lime leaf butter pao (bread). It arrived in a ceramic pot with a lit on top, keeping it hot and allowing the quail egg to cook on top. The soy keema was utterly delicious, you couldn’t even tell it was made from soy and resembled the texture of minced meat. Flavours just bounced out of the keema and it added some extra flavour as the soft yolk of the quail egg oozed out into the mix. Dipping in the prominent citric pao, it made for a hearty and warming starter.
For the main course, I ordered the ghee roast lamb with roomali roti pancakes. Binny had the vegetarian version which was rajasthani chakki, which involves cooking the gluten that is extracted from wheat and is cooked. It is a famous meat substitute in Rajasthan for vegetarians.
You eat them like small pancakes, by taking the roomali roti, adding some meat or chakki, topping it with some cucumber and white turnip before adding a few of the provided sauces, which included chilli, garlic, tamarind and coriander green chutney. It was just delectable, when all the different flavours come together it’s absolute heaven.
The mains are also served with an accompaniment when you order one of the multi courses. Binny and I both chose the delicious butter chicken kulcha. The kulcha was filled with creamy butter chicken inside – i’ve never had anything quite like it. As a lover of butter chicken, it was a completely different way to serve it but it tasted so good!
Even though we were super full, I had kept some space for the mishti doi cannoli served with a sweet yet tangy amaranth. I had seen pictures of it on Binny’s blog post and I just had to try it. They lived up to every expectation I had of them. A must order!
Binny was a huge fan of the makhan malai which is made with saffron milk, served with rose petal jaggery brittle and sliced almonds. I could definitely see why Binny liked the makhan malai so much, it was a light airy sweet dessert with a real crunch on top, quite a pleasant contrast within one dessert.
Indian Accent had kindly brought us an extra dessert too with their compliments. The doda barfi treacle tart was served to us with vanilla bean ice-cream. It reminded of something similar to a sticky toffee pudding, but in a tart form. I must admit, even thigh to was made with doda barfi, it lacked the Indian authenticity that all the other dishes had. For me, it was all about the makhan malai and mishti doi cannoli.
I enjoyed Indian Accent’s food and faultless service, I would most definitely go back again. It’s not often I chose to return to the same restaurants, especially as there are so many restaurants on the London food scene to try. However, it definitely warrants it. I would most definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about trying it, you won’t be disappointed.
Until next time…