Lucknow 49
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SquareMeal Review of Lucknow 49

Bronze Award

Another casual Indian newcomer might not raise much of an eyebrow in Soho or Shoreditch but here in Mayfair it’s big news. Lucknow 49 comes courtesy of ex-Sat Bains and Fat Duck chef Dhruv Mittal, who has grafted the biryanis of his Wardour Street restaurant Dum Biryani House onto a menu inspired by the slow-cooking of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

In reality that means a familiar line-up of classic curry-house dishes prepared to a high standard and with notably reasonable prices for a location just off New Bond Street.

Galawat kebabs – three vibrantly spiced beef patties as melt-in-the-mouth as the menu promises – were the pick of our starters, although we also enjoyed saffron- and cream-flavoured chicken thighs imprinted with the smoky taste of charcoal, and the palate-cooling jumble of yoghurt and rice dumplings of the kachori chaat.

We followed with a curry of spiced lamb leg in a sauce cooked down low and slow to a level of meaty, gravy-like thickness, while a deeply-flavoured dal and some raita stirred into a vegetable biryani made up our veg side orders, with some beautifully soft kulcha bread to mop everything up.

The setting is as casual as the cooking – earthy tones, banquettes covered in slouchy fabrics – and while the friendly staff fit right in with the informal mood, they have some spot-on suggestions and deliver slick service. Stick to a bottle of the very decent house wine and two people could eat well here for £45 a head – brilliant value for the most expensive part of town.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Indian
Ambience
Cosy, Fun, Lively, Traditional
People
Dates

Location for Lucknow 49

49 Maddox Street, London, London, W1S 2PQ

020 7491 9191

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-17:30
Sat 12:00-17:30
Sun 12:00-15:00
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-23:00
Sat 17:30-23:00
Sun 17:30-22:30

Reviews of Lucknow 49

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1 Review 
Food/Drink
Service
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Mr. Alex G

Go now!
11 December 2019  

Want an antidote to power dining in Mayfair, but still an opportunity to enjoy incredibly high-quality food? Try Lucknow 49, the third Indian restaurant to have appeared on Maddox Street in as many years (after Bombay Bustle and Kanishka), but by far the most homely. The style of cooking is Awadhi, namely from the region of Lucknow in the north east of India, close to the Nepalese border. 49, more prosaically, refers to the street number. The first thing any diner is likely to notice is the décor. The site itself is small, but its relative narrowness is more than compensated for by the banquettes and comfy sofas. Informality could be the middle name of this restaurant, with the relaxed vibe reflected not just in the furnishings but the attitude of the staff too. Next consider the pricing. While not cheap, at £10-12 for a typical starter and no more than £20 for any main, and this is bargain territory by Mayfair standards. So far, so good. The menu does not push too many boundaries in terms of headlines (biryanis and tikkas both feature), but where the venue really excelled was in the sheer effort put into each dish. The working premise is that the effective use of spice should do the talking while the slow cooking of each dish then allows for an appropriate layering and integration. Our lamb shank saw the meat fall effortlessly of the bone and each bite prompted a strong desire for another. If anything, a baby aubergine main simmered for presumably many hours in a cashew nut curry sauce was even more intense in terms of its flavour profile. One final example of attention to detail was the galawat kebab (lamb patty) starter my comrade and I shared. Apparently over 50 different spices went into the composition of this humble dish. Even for a seasoned dessert sceptic such as myself, I had to recognise not just how aesthetically pleasing and innovative our pudding was, but also what a unique taste sensation it provided. Cottage cheese dumplings soaked in milk and then served with caramelised rose petals and pistachio tasted almost indescribably so much better than the printed words on the menu may have suggested. Was there anything not to like? Yes, one gripe: don’t play 1990s dance music at an elevated volume on a weekday lunchtime in a half-full restaurant! Maybe the staff like it and maybe it works when the venue is fuller in the evening, but it just felt a little out of place when we visited – not that it would in any way detract from returning.  

Food & Drink
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