You could call Brigadiers ‘Hoppers for people with money’. Not because there’s similarity on the menus, but because this ‘Indian barbecue restaurant’ has all the calling cards of the Sethis (the family behind Gymkhana and Bao). Service is super-slick: as polished as you’d get in a fancy hotel, but friendlier. Interiors manage to be both swanky and sexy. The space has been carved into a warren of smaller rooms, giving each one an intimate, clubby feel. I end up in one bathed in gold and brown tones: it was like eating inside a Rolo. Lighting is low, ceiling fans idle overhead. The music is ace, smoothly flowing from hip hop to laidback bhangra or funk.
The star dish had Indo-Chinese leanings. Four dinky lettuce wraps, piled high with tender morsels of fragrant chicken, then smothered in a warm, tangy sauce, crispy onions, a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Fusion perfection.
Also excellent were fried fish paos, which were essentially Indian fish finger sliders with a chilli chutney and a kickass crunchy batter that had the nutty, irresistible notes of chickpea flour. As were mini samosas, densely packed with clove-scented, actually-not-too-fiery ox cheek ‘vindaloo’. And a beautiful falooda, an exotic dessert of soupy vermicelli, here laced with rose syrup and teamed with silky soft-serve mango kulfi (Indian ice cream).
Sadly, a couple of dishes, like grilled lamb chops or the much-hyped butter chicken wings, had their otherwise exquisite, full-flavoured marinades tainted by too much salt. This can be fixed easily: I hope the kitchen is listening. Because that blip and the steepish prices aside, Brigadiers remains – for now – the jewel of the Bloomberg Arcade.