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.
Please note, Moti Mahal is now closed and has been replaced by Margot. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, Nov 2016.
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?
|Venue name:||Moti Mahal||Contact:|
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.|
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