Tamarind 22

20 Queen Street , London, W1J 5PR

Tamarind march 5

SquareMeal Review of Tamarind

Still glowing after all these years, Tamarind has both a Michelin star and gilt-pillared dining room, all the better to seduce tandoor fans looking for an upmarket London take on the cuisine of north-west India. The kitchen “never fails to deliver”, and you can taste the quality in starters of lamb cutlets with dried mint, tomato and coriander chutney or papdi chaat, sparky with blueberries and tamarind. After that, we suggest marinated monkfish kebabs served with pickled golden beets or Malabar prawns rich with sautéed onions, chilli, fenugreek seeds and coconut. On the side are gorgeous breads, slow-cooked dhals and unusual touches such as a chickpea dish with Assam tea, onions and whole spices. Pre/post-theatre menus offer decent value for a Michelin-starred restaurant and, perhaps more importantly, a fabulously fragrant romp around the kitchen’s simpler dishes. Staff “really go the extra mile” and it’s all done with an instinctive sense of occasion.

Are you the restaurant owner?

Click here for Links & Logos

7.9

Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 8.1

Atmosphere: 7.2

Value: 7.7

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Deborah N. 22 March 2016

I have eaten here several times and the food always impresses, as does the service. Our attendant on this occasion was Robin, who went the extra mile to make us feel welcome and at home. Having eaten at all the UK Michelin star Indian restaurants, this ranks in my top two.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 11 March 2016

Once again at lunchtime in a restaurant with a deservedly top-class reputation we were surprised by the low turn-out, which happily meant for us an unlimited choice of table and a chance to converse with the mostly very professional staff. We greatly enjoyed the tasting menu when we last dined here in August, but we decided that as it was still precisely the same this time, we should choose from the à la carte, and with the expert help of the sommelier, Philip, we were able to select a suitable bottle to follow the very reasonably priced Bollinger we had as our aperitif and which went perfectly with the spicy potato ball canapés. We started with an acceptably generous dish of delicate scallops perfectly balanced with a spicy tomato sauce and accompanied by mixed peppercorns and topped with roasted peppers. We thought about having one or other of the lamb dishes and the suggestion by the helpful staff was that sharing a couple of mains would allow full appreciation of the difference in the styles of cooking. We gratefully accepted the advice, which proved to be quite justified, as well as the recommended garlic naan, which turned out to be absolutely super but perhaps tipped the volume scales over the top. Luckily our table was big enough for four people as the signature slow-cooked lamb shank with turmeric, yoghurt and a delicious gamut of spices plus the lamb biryani which came with a crust of pastry which was artfully drawn back to reveal the meat and rice underneath and some very good raita needed a reasonable amount of space. The portions were more than sufficient, even when shared, but the quality of both dishes made it extremely difficult to leave anything. We managed, though, to find enough room for the house special dessert of pistachio kulfi, which was notable for representing the very essence of pistachio. Our coffee was made even more enjoyable by the terrific mint leaf and white chocolate crisps served with it. As we noted last time,Tamarind prides itself on the authenticity of its cooking, and this undoubtedly enhances the pleasure of dining here.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Paul A. platinum reviewer 31 August 2015

When you go to an Indian restaurant and it is full of diners from the sub-continent you can rest assured that the food is authentic. If there is a Mayfair gloss in terms of the setting and service, so much the better. It took a little while to become accustomed to the downstairs room, but the bright, intelligent service soon helped to settle us. The Taste of Tamarind menu was full of good things, beginning with very good poppadums and three chutneys, red fruit and mango, date and fig and tomato and onion seed, followed up by spinach tikki with red fruit sauce, and then a starter of channa chaat with delightful spicy chick peas, tamarind sauce, gram flour, fresh coriander, raw onion, mint and chilli and some very welcome and refreshing yoghurt. The smashed tomato and onion seed sauce with the super scallops seemed to have a sour touch at first but it made an excellent match and was backed up well with smoked peppers. The delicious tandoor-grilled chicken breast was served with a vegetable tikki with crispy gram flour coating and a tomato sauce with fenugreek which had a real kick on the tip the tongue but it all went down a treat, and was followed by a very interesting tamarind and sensational date sorbet dish as palate cleanser. Generous lamb chops were served with a rogan josh sauce, saffron rice, spiced spinach, cucumber yoghurt and raita, a special creamy dal makhni, touches of coriander and cumin and very good naan bread. A beautiful dish, intelligently conceived and executed to show off the full range of flavours. The dessert came very close to equalling the main dish with red fruit jam dobs which harmonised exceedingly well with the carrot fudge cake, as did the essence of pistachio in the kulfi. A further bonus was provided by the petits fours of fresh mint leaf in white chocolate and chocolate orange zest, and to complete the pleasurable experience the chef came out to chat about the variety of dishes on the menu and his vision for the future of this first-class venue. This is definitely one to return to.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

GH platinum reviewer 31 March 2015

Fantastic food , attentive service , buzzy atmosphere- overall a wonderful experice.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

GH platinum reviewer 10 April 2014

Food is good, suitable if you like mild. Service is attentive however it felt rushed at times. Overall nice experience.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Neil M. platinum reviewer 06 November 2012

It all feels a bit tired. The decor, the food, the service! Frankly I was amazed that they'd retained a Michelin star. It's not all bad just doesn't stand out from your local the way it once did.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Maria B. bronze reviewer 07 August 2012

One of my favourite restaurants in the whole of london! I went to this restaurant for my birthday and it was fabulous! The food was outstanding and the service was great too. Tamarind really does live up to its title of “Michelin Star” I would most certainly recommend this restaurant to anyone!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 5.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 26 March 2012

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.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Chris H. silver reviewer 28 February 2012

Tamarind is a nice restaurant with good food but somehow lacks the wow factor hoped for from a Michelin Starred establishment. Perhaps having grown up in Birmingham, with numerous high quality curry houses to choose from, makes my expectations too high. Do not get me wrong, I did enjoy the meal just didn't feel that it lived up to the hype and cost.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

London Eater silver reviewer 15 October 2011

Average food, average service, average atmosphere. Don't know how it's been awarded a Michelin star…my local Indian restaurant has better quality food than Tamarind…

 1  

Check out the SquareMeal Lists which include Tamarind