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Following a change of tack and some re-branding, Johnstons Restaurant at the refurbished Strand Palace Hotel has morphed into Dawaat – a self-styled ‘Indian odyssey’ offering a mix of street food
and regional specialities. Nibble on bhel-puris, onion pakoras and crunchy papdi chat before tackling Jaipuri lamb tikka, Goan pork xacuti or kozhi varutha (chicken cooked with South Indian spices,
chilli, asafoetida and coconut). To finish, consider carrot halwa or shahi tukda – Indian-style bread-and-butter pudding with saffron-flavoured rabri (a sweetened yoghurt dish). All-day pre-theatre
menus (£14/17 for two/three courses) are a boon for ticket-holders attending shows in the neighbourhood, and the drinks list has a user-friendly mix of cocktails, beers and wines by the glass.
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12 June 2012
I ate here literally the first day it reopened after a big restoration project on the Savoy Palace. Nobody there, so atmosphere somewhat lacking. The food was so-so, what you would expect in a smart hotel, but nothing to shoot the lights out. I chose it more for the location than anything else, but with some many fantastic restaurants around the corner in Covent Garden, they're probably more likely to make money from hotel guests.
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