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|Address:||20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PR|
|Tel:||020 3551 9850|
|Price: £58.00||Wine: £28.00||Champagne: £69.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2.45pm Mon-Sat 5.30-11pm Sun 6-10.30pm|
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It is a long time since I went for swanky curry so it was with some trepidation that I turned up for a girly Sunday lunch at Tamarind. Be warned if, like me, you have a pathological need to be early: there is no waiting/bar zone so you will be seated at your table where the zealous topping up of your water (5 times in 15 mins) will enhance your Billy No Mates feeling. Still, I was sitting opposite an entertaining peek-a-boo window into the kitchen and had time to contemplate the decor. It's posh Indian as done by a posh Indian: no flocked velvet wallpaper but the muted green and bronze palette with an effusion of dimmer lights (not all of which look secure in their fittings) is reassuringly familiar enough. I rather like it although it is a shame to be in a basement on such a sunny day. We opted for a set menu, which has shared mains, as a group. Something on the starter plate blew my head off (I am a chilli wimp) so can't comment on those flavours, but the mains (special mention to the aubergine salad and fish stew) were wonderfully spiced without being hot, and came on request with an enormous pot of raita as well as plenty of rice and naan. The highlight for me was a delicate ginger/fennel ice cream with a light and fragrant gulab jamun sponge. The bill was a laughable £32 each for 3 courses, plus poppadom nibbles and some charming chocolates, a shared bottle of Viognier (between 4), plenty of water and including service. Although it may not seem Michelin star-worthy, this lunch was still extraordinarily good value for Mayfair.