Revamped in autumn 2018, this, the original Tamarind, has a classic, timeless feel, with a hint of something aquatic (think spearmint pastel tiles offsetting cream leather banquettes). But for a Mayfair Indian it’s surprisingly buzzy, too, thanks, in part, to not one but two open kitchens (one for bread being kneaded and meat being skewered, then slung in the tandoor; the other for everything else). We’ll overlook the ’90s R&B.
The food is stunning. For comfort, go for lentils spiked with the crunch of fragrant mustard seeds (£8), fiery stir-fried okra (£8) or a plate of rich goat chop curry (£24). But for something more memorable, try the papaya, mango and cucumber salad (£12). An Indian twist on a som tam, it was a tangle of crunchy young fruit, red chilli, crushed peanuts and coriander. Now stop. And save space (you’ll need it), for the baked coconut rice. Creamy, with hints of spice and the occasional surprise of candied cashew, it came topped with curls of young coconut and a fruity guava sorbet. Subtle and sublime.
One thing though. The subterranean setting means it’s not your best bet for a sunshine lunch: go in winter, or after dark.