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  • Modern Indian
Critics' choice
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Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas
Venue says: "Come to enjoy your favorite dishes and enjoy a 10% discount on your food bill! Don't forget to quote Time Out when making the reservation."
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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?


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Moti Mahal says
Moti Mahal was founded in Delhi more than five decades ago, in 1959. Moti Mahal went on to become world famous for tandoori cuisine and the invention of butter chicken, the precursor of Britain's favourite dish, chicken tikka masala.

In London, with Delhi-born Anirudh Arora at the helm, the restaurant focuses on the cuisine of the Grand Trunk Road, a unique concept on London's dining scene. The modern, stylish dining room features an exhibition tandoor kitchen that affords our guests a taste of the dramatic as they watch fascinating street-style tandoori chefs at work. Downstairs, the semi-private dining room offers more intimate moments, and accommodates larger groups.

The restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes which emphasise traditional techniques and an innovative style of grilling and sauté cookery. The menu is inspired by the people, colours and variety of flavours from India's famous Grand Trunk Road, celebrating dishes enjoyed by emperors and royalty, as well as recipes that have lived in family kitchens for generations.

The bar at Moti Mahal is a combination of original, contemporary and modern mixology, all based on homemade seasonal products and fresh ingredients. The own-brewed Grand Trunk Road Beer and Triple-Botanical Gin coupled with an exceptional range of wines complete a truly memorable beverage experience.
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Venue name: Moti Mahal
Address: 45 Great Queen Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 5.30-11pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden or Holborn tube
Price: Main courses £9-£25. Light and Healthy Lunch menu for £15. Set pre- and post-dinner menu (5.30-6.30pm, 9.30-11pm Mon-Sat) £23 3 courses inc. drink.

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening

A bunch of us from office went for a lunch. I was very disappointed with the portion size and the price. The food was not all that great, and the naan didn't taste freshly made. The waiter was very polite and the service ok, but overall I did not like it. I will not be going here again.


Went there lastnight with my partner for his birthday, the variety of food was limited there was more vegetarian dishes then chicken or meat. The food we ordered was awful it did not taste nice at all. The restaurant is too over rated when the food hasn't met the standards. To top it up we took a birthday cake with us and we had to pay £3.50 per person to cut the cake and eat it which was ridiculous. I been to many Michelin restaurants and never had to pay for something like this. In other words we had to pay to eat out own cake who was a big let down. We also ordered a side and they forget to give it to us until we asked three different people it was. Eventually served when we finished our meals. Overall the experiment was terrible I wish I went to chutney Mary's their food service is amazing. This was a huge disappointment.


I went to this restaurant to celebrate my friends arrival. She loves indian food and we decided to go to Moti Mahal because it was close to the office. The ambiance and the drinks were excellent. But the food, was really over seasoned, so, from the 2nd plate on, I couldn't taste anything else. Desert was good, and the service as well. But if you want to taste the food, I would go to Cinnamon Kitchen, where the food is also indian, but with the right amount of spicy.


I had to write a review based on our dinner this week after seeing one star the last reviewer gave .... Reviews that are unreasonable or terrible when the excellent and the very good out weighs them are normally written by someone with a bee in their bonnet, maybe they didn't get the attention they wanted. Our dinner was excellent and the flavours of every dish was superb. Yes it is expensive but it was top quality, great presentation and ample portions and yes the service has to improve but if you want a cheap curry than go to your local on the high street.


Strange menu. Quite expensive for food which is good but not the best of its kind.


The curry dishes were too salty(Had the tikka chicken and lamb, both were seriously too salty), and naan-bread was not close to the best naan-bread i have had, not as chewy and flavorful. I suspect it maybe a Northern Indian type of cook attempting southern indian style naan bread. service was sub-par for a restaurant of this grade. What was ridiculous was the 3 pound cover charge to each customer when I paid around 80 pounds for dinner of two. I would have given it a two star, but for its price, the low level is simply ridiculous.


Amazing food. Only issue was service. There seemed to be 5 managers all of whom obviously thought it below their pay grade to take orders, serve food or clean up. The overworked waiters were great though.


Excellent food , by far the best Indian in London - quite expensive but worthy every penny

Lauren M-C

Eaten here several times - mostly on special occasions or when someone else was paying. Fabulous place to go as a group with adventurous eaters. The chop your-own-salad complete with an array of spices will throw off anyone unwilling to get their hands a bit dirty. Dig in, roll up your sleeves and sample as many items as your palate can muster

Nicolas B

Dined here a couple of weeks ago. It clearly wants to establish itself as "up-market": impeccably dressed waitresses who unfold your napkin for you. The two of us opted for their "taster menu", which is a selection of six or seven dishes in a row. This isn't cheap - £49 per person, not including drinks or tip - but it was quite possibly the best Indian meal I've ever tasted, and with pleasantly generous portions - someone with a normal appetite would likely be unable to finish (but luckily I can eat for two!). It's not the quietest restaurant you'll find - certainly not a place for a romantic, candle-lit dinner - but the service was fine and the food really can't be recommended highly enough: just fabulous!