Indian Accent is the name on the tip of every food blogger or foodie’s tongue since its opening at the end of 2017. I’ve been on tenterhooks awaiting my meeting with the new restaurant on the block. When one of my favourite bloggers Maggie was in town, dinner was on the cards for a long overdue catch up. Obviously I only had one place in my sights after all the hype.
You may well ask why the London branch of the acclaimed New Delhi restaurant Indian Accent shot to the top of my extremely long foodie-lust list. Well, the New Delhi branch has spent time on the World’s 50 Best list and still remains in the Top 100. A scoop with it being the only restaurant from India on the list. Then there’s the New York sibling which has made its own waves across the pond. Only a couple of reasons for the high hopes.
The restaurant has taken over the space formerly occupied by Chor Bizarre in Mayfair. I was dying to see how they’d transformed the site. And boy had they! Gone are the kitsch and Indian bazaar interiors and welcome a chic dining room now emanating an elegant and luxurious feel.
From the moment you step in you know this is no ordinary curry house. Diners are treated to sumptuous bottle green velvet seating, brass and marble touches throughout, a spiral staircase to the ground floor and a gorgeous parquet floor (#ihaveathingaboutfloors).
Chef Manish Mehotra brings global influences to classic Indian dishes. Through his interpretation he incorporates ingredients such as smoked bacon, black pudding and wasabi, creating some very inventive and interesting dishes. My taste buds were on fire merely perusing the menu at some of the combinations.
Evening diners are offered a 9 course tasting menu (£80) and from the à la carte a choice of 3 or 4 courses with an accompaniment (£55 or £65). For lunch it’s virtually the same menu with a 6 course tasting option (£45) or 2 or 3 courses via the à la carte (£25 or £30), giving you a far better deal.
Our amuse bouche consisted of the signature petite warm blue cheese naan accompanied with a pumpkin and coconut chobra (soup). Not a huge fan of blue cheese I was not far from asking for another. Luckily I reined myself in before exposing my greedy side. The chobra provides a comforting shot with a slight kick, it certainly whet our appetites for what was to come.
Maggie and I both opted for the three course menu, it started with a potato sphere chaat on a white pea mash. A completely different take on the usual patty style chaats you see on an Indian menu, which have a rather deconstructed element. The crispy potato orb is doused in spicy chutneys and yoghurt. My favourite sour-sweet tamarind chutney bought the dish alive with every mouthful.
This was followed by the most elegant looking dosa I have ever eaten…And I’ve eaten a lot! The paper roast dosa capped a medley of mushrooms and water chestnuts. Although flavoursome, I wasn’t keen on the watery consistency and would have preferred a more substantial texture.
I chose one of the stuffed kulchas, a flatbread for my accompaniment. You have a choice of wild mushroom, butter chicken, smoked bacon and black pudding. Being a huge fan of the Indian cheese I couldn’t resist the paneer malkani. An utterly butterly indulgent cheesy treat. It’s a good job they’re tiny otherwise they could be a serious danger for the waistline.
Not one to get overly excited at Indian desserts, perhaps a hark back to being forced fed them by aunti-ji’s at parties. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the selection on offer.
When my Italian influenced dessert landed on the table, my eyes immediately lit up. The pretty mishti doi cannoli filled with sweet amaranth was on first bite delicately crisp before you delved into the slightly sour and sweet luscious filling. Although light, I still couldn’t finish the dish. Why? Well because I was dipping into Maggie’s incredible masterpiece.
The makhan malai on arrival was slightly scary looking in terms of size. Huge, but trust me the taste along with the texture is exquisite. Exactly how I imagined clouds to taste like as a child. Made from aerated milk infused with saffron and decorated with rose petals, jaggery brittle, almonds and flecks of 24 carat gold. This is THE dessert to order.
You’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to high-end fine dining Indians in London and the competition is fierce. Indian Accent has certainly placed its feet firmly under the table and is a welcome addition. There’ll always be room in my heart for the well-loved British favourite – the local curry house takeaway. Sometimes though a girl just needs to be wined and dined on some meticulously constructed dal and roti.
Source: Quiet Eating