Boasting a clever design spec that puts the ‘theatre’ kitchen at the heart of the slinky dining room, sleek, clubby Amaya is “the best all-round, upmarket Indian in London”, according to one well-travelled aficionado.
Much depends on the seductive ambience, although this glamorous venue has star quality written all over it – and more than enough glitz for its well-heeled clientele. Ask for a table close to the action and marvel as the chefs fashion “succulent and creatively spiced” Indian-style tapas from their battery of tandoors, tawa hotplates and sigri grills.
The menu cherry-picks ideas and influences from across the subcontinent, with highlights ranging from wild venison seekh kebabs and tandoori beef sirloin ‘boti’ to grilled duck breast with spiced toasted coconut – although the selection of 15 vegetarian dishes should never be discounted (try the famous beetroot ‘chop’ or the grilled white sweet potato with tamarind and yoghurt).
Most items are designed for sharing and arrive from the open kitchen as and when they’re ready, although it’s worth remembering that Amaya specialises in bite-sized portions rather than hefty platefuls (don’t come here expecting a lager-fuelled curry-house blowout).
Regulars confirm that the restaurant’s “premium prices” are fully justified, while sexy east-west cocktails and spice-friendly wines match the food in every department. Service, meanwhile, is courteous, hospitable and as smooth as Indian silk – as you might expect from a seasoned Michelin-starred performer.