Usually when you think of Indian street food, you don’t consider it being particularly swanky. However, this new restaurant at the Courthouse Hotel has a damn good try at making it more upmarket with an interior that is a quirky mix of old and modern India. The overall effect doesn’t quite work – the birdcages hanging from the ceiling feel more Middle Eastern bazaar rather than Indian – but full marks for trying to do something different.
The food, though, is more successfully thought out. Small plates include papri chaat, a creamy mix of yoghurt, crunchy wheat shells and sweet pomegranate, as well as matchstick chicken, essentially chicken wings with Indian spices that are guaranteed to get your mouth watering.
A main course of stone bass likewise impresses with the balance of tangy yuzu and a lightly spicy chilli paste, while puddings include sticky gulab jamun placed on top of a cheesecake-like pudding. Our only dud dish was an overly-buttery keema pao that overpowered the taste of the mince.
Knowledgeable staff deliver slick service, while prices are good value, given the hotel location. And there’s the rub: Soho’s Indian restaurant scene has experienced a renaissance of late, and with so much top-notch competition nearby from more famous names, we’re not sure who would come to Soho Wala apart from hotel guests. But give it a go and you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.