Indian fine-dining group Jamavar has seen astronomical success on the subcontinent, and now Londoners are getting a glimpse of what makes it “something special”. It also reminds diners just how good Indian cuisine can be in the right hands.
This is the group’s sixth site (the other five are all in India), so it’s no surprise that the Mayfair outlet is a well-oiled machine that “scores high on everything” – and that includes picking up a Michelin star. The mood is “lively” rather than subdued, while high-ceilinged interiors play to the colonial vibe – think dark-wood panels, lots of brass and eye-catching Tanjore paintings.
The kitchen hops merrily around India’s many regions, delivering a host of “divine” and “authentic” dishes along the way. We were particularly impressed by the crunchy, peppery soft-shell crab with sweet-sour damson chutney and pickled garlic, as well as a stunning melt-in-the-mouth hunk of spicy stone-bass tikka enlivened with green cardamom and avocado chutney. Readers also rave about the delightful goat kebabs with mint chutney and parathas.
For main, our jheenga moilee was a near-perfect rendition of this sweet, coconutty Goan prawn curry (and cleverly paired with a Daniel Chotard Sancerre Rosé), while silky smooth mango pulp atop a coconut and biscuit base with cherry compote provided a refined end to proceedings.
Service is friendly and swift, but not quite as well-drilled as some of the nearby Michelin big boys, while a lengthy wine list pays most attention to Old World bins. A bespoke meat-free tasting menu makes this a great shout for vegetarians too, and the lunch offer is reckoned to be “excellent value for money”.