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Looking ravishing in its St James’s home, Chutney Mary is a “glowingly warm and colourful” reinvention of the restaurant that stood on the King’s Road for so long. “They have kept up their high standards in quality and service” notes a fan, so settle in for what some regard as the “best Indian ever”. As befits the new location, there are welcome touches of luxury about the seasonal menu, which moves from flaked Cornish crab in garlic butter or a straw potato basket filled with street-inspired snacks to duck jardaloo with apricot, chilli, jaggery and a spike of vinegar or Hyderabadi lamb shank ‘dum’, sealed in pastry and cooked for six hours. To conclude, desserts are jazzed-up contemporary renditions of traditional sweets, from blackberry shrikhand to salted caramel kulfi. Meanwhile, peckish drinkers gather round a long high table in the Pukka Bar for cocktails starring hibiscus and mango, plus nibbles of lamb chapli sliders, chilli cheese toast and Goan crab cakes.
It’s a plush affair from the minute the impeccably dressed doorman lets you into the lavish bar area. There’s something rather wonderful about seeing a doorman in a dashing turban in the middle of St James’s too. In the large dining room, no expense has been spared, yet it doesn’t feel intimidating or stifling.We started with some snacks; crab goli kebabs (£10) and a magnificent chilli cheese toast (£7.50), which would struggle to be bettered in London, I don’t doubt...
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