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?
Let yourself be seduced by the Pink Lady, a subtle combination of Chase gin and triple sec. Get oriental from the flavours of the GTR, with gin combined with elderflower, sake and lime juice. Or follow the green light and be allured by the mix of Tanqueray Ten, green Chartreuse and manzana verde liqueur.
We are fundraising for Children with Cancer UK, the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. They work to determine the causes, find cures and provide care for children with cancer. By eating at Moti Mahal today you can help make a difference to the lives of children with cancer. The entire amount donated will be given to the charity organisation.