“The best in its category” insists a fan of this opulently appointed Indian restaurant and cocktail bar – a sumptuous amalgam of antiques, beautiful textiles, screens and satin banquettes, where the magical lighting (candles in glass bowls) makes everyone look gorgeous.
The menu is a collection of authentic recipes developed for modern tastes by sisters Camellia Panjabi and Namita Mathrani who spend many hours working with their chefs. The result is stupendously good cooking: “10/10, the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten” admits one reader; “fabulous, mouth-watering and steeped in the deepest spices”, says another.
To whet your appetite, try small plates of spicy street food such as crab cakes, chicken tikka with fennel, cardamom and mint, or meaty venison samosas paired with sweet/sour tamarind and date chutney.
After that, sample griddled scallops with coconut, fenugreek, turmeric and raw mango, or rare Bengali wild prawns fried to succulent buttery richness. The tandoor grill delivers tender lamb chops steeped in ginger, cinnamon and chilli, as well as whole lobster and Dover sole with an unexpected citrus hit of Wayanad black pepper.
We’d also recommend the slow-cooked shalgam gosht (a classic lamb curry from the royal kitchens of Hyderabad), and the biryanis cooked and presented in sealed pots with aged rice and meat perfumed with screw-pine flower and saffron.
If you think Indian puddings aren’t for you, try a mixed sampler of Chutney Mary’s show-stopping desserts including tiny versions of chocolate bomb, ice cream, halwa, kulfi, gulab jamun and spiced berries. All this gourmet glamour needs drinks to match – cue a well-composed wine list and a roster of exotic cocktails such as Saffron Martini and Spiced Old Fashioned.