Indian Accent’s arrival in London in 2017 was one of the most anticipated of the year, thanks to its well-regarded siblings in India and the US. The New Delhi original was the only restaurant in India on the World’s 50 Best list that year (and is still regularly voted the country’s top place to eat), while the New York outpost is similarly esteemed. Fortunately, the Mayfair restaurant lived up to the hype when it finally landed and, we’re pleased to say, still does now.
Chef Manish Mehrotra's sure-footed updating of classic Indian cuisine – respectful of tradition while at the same time being daringly individual – is as successful as ever. Everything we tasted, from the amuse bouche, which took the form of a bitesize blue cheese naan and tiny jug of unbelievably rich curried coconut sipping sauce, right through to dessert was sublime, though not for the faint-palated.
Our list of highlights runs as follows: smoked eggplant bharta cornets with herb feta (the vegetarian options are excellent); light and fluffy green pea kofta perched atop discs of sweet potato and surrounded by a spicy coconut curry; an Indian spin on crispy duck involving juicy ghee-roast lamb; and a buttery black dhal that we would like to have taken home (if Indian Accent permitted doggy bags, which it doesn’t).
We were slightly disappointed by both breads we tried, having found the saag paneer kulcha rather greasy and less flavourful than we were expecting, and the Parmesan chur chur paratha rather too dry, but dessert more than brought it back. The cardamom cheesecake with mango sauce was perfectly executed, while the basmati rice kheer with rhubarb murabba and coconut jaggery ice cream was velvety, zingy and crunchy all at the same time.
Our only other gripe was the restaurant’s claim that it puts seasonal ingredients at the fore when we spotted asparagus and summer berries on the menu in autumn. This doesn’t seem to bother readers though, who regularly reach for the superlatives when reminiscing about the “outstanding”, “incredible” and “innovative” food, “ultra-luxe” setting, “excellent” service and “great” value for money. That last one might raise an eyebrow or two, but the £24 express lunch menu is nothing short of a bargain in Mayfair.