About Baluchi at The Lalit London
This new hotel is The Lalit Suri Group’s first outside Asia and its pan-Indian restaurant brand has tagged along for the ride. Repurposing a former schoolhouse, the dining room’s initial impression is one of grandeur thanks to a vaulted ceiling, rich blues and dark wood. Due to a lack of atmosphere and stifling service however, Baluchi is currently falling short of its lofty aspirations. Our starter of suroor e shorba (Keralan-style lobster, coconut and Cognac bisque) lost its flavours to salt, while the signature gucchi aur mushroom ki galouti (Himalayan morel duxelles with mint and plum chutney) was colourful but bland. Elsewhere, Malabar-style prawns were flavourlessly huge, and a recommended black lentil dish delivered little for its 48-hour cooking process. On the other hand, Kashmiri rogan josh with Romney Marsh lamb was fine, while the speciality naan breads are generally stunning. We’d return for wine-matching at the separate Naanery bar (The Teacher’s Room cocktail bar is worth a look too), but these prices demand smoothing of rough edges. Baluchi is enthusiastic, but this is amateur for London.