Pan-Indian cooking, with expertly balanced spicing and a lightness of touch; seek gravitas in the ground-floor dining room, more date-appeal in the basement.
Class, poise, judgement: these words might well be embossed on Moti Mahal’s burnished copper bar, beside the serried ranks of expensive whiskies. This London outpost of Delhi’s celebrated restaurant group is geared to international business diners and priced accordingly. Weighty linen tablecloths, polished wooden flooring, an ambient soundtrack and a spotless open kitchen (viewed behind a curvaceous glass partition) lend gravitas to the ground-floor dining room – as do diligent, multinational staff and a bulky wine list. The basement, with its enveloping red-velvet banquettes, has more date-appeal.
The food? It’s moderately inventive pan-Indian, with expertly balanced spicing and a lightness of touch evident in the superb breads and rice. We were sad to see brain had slipped from the menu, but noted the varied choice of vegetarian dishes, including jackfruit in a roasted onion and coconut masala. Perfect salad specimens presented on a board with DIY spicing (in pestle and mortar) account for the £1.50 cover charge. An à la carte starter of crab and quail’s egg rolls had ample flavour and just-cooked zing, though the eggs were quite rubbery; a set-lunch main of gosht shakarkandi was like rogan josh, with beautifully tender lamb and dense, flavour-soaked chunks of sweet potato. Puddings are also worth exploring. You’ll get high-class cooking in impressive surroundings, but gastronomic adventurers might yearn for more thrills – and blench at the prices: £7.50 for a nondescript lassi, anyone?
In July we commence with 'art and cuisine celebrations'. We are delighted to partner with Stellar International Art Foundation to commence the 10th anniversary. As part of the celebrations we will display three artworks from Stellar's Indian art collection, from July 10 until August 20. The works will include one each by MF Husain, Paresh Maity and Jayasri Burman, showing the breadth of talent and styles from within the Foundation's Indian art collection. We are also featuring our first guest chef, Irfan Khan from the 13th to the 18th. Chef Irfan is an acclaimed chef specialising in Awadhi cuisine. He will showcase a unique set menu focusing on dishes from the Lucknow region of India, all themed around the esteemed artist and former celebrated guest of our restaurant, M. F. Husain.
Further on in August we invite you for gin pairings, in September we have planned an exclusive evening with Frateli Indian Wines, in October we will have sake matchings, followed by the 10th Royal Diwali celebration in November and in December will come with the event of the donation, plus Champagne celebrations.