My friends and I went to Malabar for my birthday celebration after getting some positive reviews from acquaintances on it.
It is a lively place, and one which is even busy on a Monday so a booking is probably a good idea. We were served downstairs in the corner, initially in an empty space, but it did fill up and the atmosphere was lively.
As for the food, while the menu is more limiting than many Indian restaurants I have visited, the quality across the dishes my friends and I had was generally good, with the overall level of spice, moderate as opposed to fiery in general.
A minor criticism was the fact that a few of the dishes were not quite as hot as I normally would have liked, but that was a minor criticism. I would also say that the portions are a bit light, esp. the vegetable dishes, while the sweet lamb was a bit light in the number of lamb pieces too.
Of those things we had, I though the prawn dishes probably stood out, although I also liked the spicy chicken dish.
As for the service, it was good after a rather lengthy delay between starters and main courses, and the manager was kind enough to give us a free drink at the end for my birthday which was much appreciated.
Would I go back? Probably, although there are a number of good Indian restaurants of similar price (about 35 per person, with liquor for 6 adults) around London, and so, it probably won't be necessary to go again soon. Certainly for those who are in Notting Hill it deserves a visit a few times a year.