Time Out says
In this latest venture, Atul Kochhar of ‘Great British Menu’ and Benares fame has taken pan-Indian cooking and given it a ‘spicy tapas’ makeover. The restaurant-bar has a look that’s colonial, but there’s not a slow whirring ceiling fan or rattan chair in sight. A modern set-up, the smart cocktail lounge and contemporary ceramic artwork are set against a backdrop of biscuity tones.
The bar is warmly welcoming and has a buzzy vibe – it’s a pity the adjoining dimly lit dining room couldn’t boast the same buoyancy. Colony aims to celebrate the cooking of the Empire, but on our visit hadn’t yet launched its full menu of lunchboxes and spicy snacks.
It made up for that with classic Indian spicing. Our favourite, a chunk of meltingly tender mutton, arrived in a sticky shroud of caramelised onions, cooked down with meaty juices spiked with mild Kashmiri chillies. Chef Saurav also transformed Keralan fish stew into an elegant centrepiece. Sliced onions, simmered with coconut milk, ginger and crackling curry leaves providing a contrast to the delicacy of perfectly sautéd sea bass fillet.
Vegetarian gram flour pancakes, rolled around spinach and cumin spiced paneer, delivered a top-notch interpretation of Gujarati home cooking. We weren’t as bowled over by the biryani– all the dishes were served at once and by the time we tucked in, the rice had lost its steamy heat and the spices their aroma.
The kitchen team has a talented mentor in Kochhar and once the restaurant overcomes these glitches, Marylebone’s well-heeled residents can add another venue to their choice of favoured destinations.
7-9 Paddington Street
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