Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Thu Nov 3 2011
Meza lounge bar and restaurant has been reincarnated as an Indian-themed venue. The two lovely curved bar counters remain, and a smart Soho drinking crowd still hang out here – but the tapas and pub grub have been replaced with a line-up of tandoori grills, street snacks and classic curries.
Even signature cocktails are spiked with the likes of curry leaves, cumin and cardamom.
Balaji Balachander, formerly a chef at Benares restaurant, has the credentials for cooking pan-Indian meals, and his affordable sharing menu reflects regional flavours.
Between four and six dishes are about right for two people – even if the waiter tells you to plump for eight.
Punjabi street food came up trumps, with potato and ginger griddle cakes served with onion-fried chickpeas and tart tamarind sauce – a popular combo in downtown Delhi.
Other dishes weren’t as impressive. Sweet and tangy Bengali pumpkin mash, simmered with onions and tomatoes, was marred by a heavy helping of masala. We weren’t bowled over by the thick, starchy marinade over the tandoori prawns either.
Woes continued as we dipped into Kashmiri rogan josh – the lamb was overcooked and it lacked the hoped-for meatiness and the cardamom and clove flavours. The advertised bread assortment consisted simply of plain naans, adding to the disappointment. Carom’s menu needs to be distinctive if it’s to be more than a watering hole for moneyed media folk.
The dining area doesn’t make for intimacy – it’s at the rear of the venue, and an awkward space. Lengths of wispy hanging fabrics attempt to soften it, but the nightclub vibe isn’t great for lingering over a biryani. It’s also a thoroughfare for staff en route to the bar.
Carom 100 Wardour Street
- Venue phone:
020 7314 4002
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open 4.30pm-2am Mon-Thur; 4.30pm-3am Fri, Sat. Meals served 4.30pm-1am Mon-Sat
Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube
Meal for two with drinks and service around £60
- 100 Wardour Street
- 020 7314 4002
- 100 Wardour Street