We popped in recently to see a good friend of ours who had started to work here. During our short visit we enjoyed a sample of their fabulous desserts and cocktails. It was also nice to have had a chat with head chef Chet Sharma who gave us a brief description of his background and plans he had for the restaurant. One last thing was the aromas coming from the open kitchen that were amazing so on departure we thanked them and said we hoped to see them very soon for the full dining experience.
This in fact turned out to be on friday. We arrived at Bond Street station and took the short ten minute walk from there to the restaurant which is set on the very popular area of North Audley Street. As we entered we received a fabulous welcome from manager Gina before being escorted to our table. Once we were seated it was very nice of Chet to come over and personally welcome us back to the restaurant and to say if we needed any assistance with the menu to let him know. Before he headed back to the kitchen he gave me his recommendation of a cocktail to begin with as it would also pair well with a couple of the early dishes.
So while we looked at the menu we enjoyed two fabulous cocktails. I opted for chef’s recommendation of the Sandalwood Mizuwari which was a slight take on an old fashioned. My wife chose the Calamansi Gola a tequila based cocktail decorated with shaved ice. These we enjoyed along with a complimentary snack of Wookey Hole Cheese Papad.
Now we could take a look at the menu which is a small plates menu designed for sharing. The inspiration behind the menu is based on food from the whole of India where normally you’ll find a restaurant would stick to one region. The menu is set out into five sections Snacks , Chaat , Sigree , Sides and Desserts. With some great assistance from the we made our selection. Now we could have a look at how the restaurant is set out. It has an open kitchen with counter service as well as around the outer has tables set out for parties of two , four or a small group. Each table gives you a great view of the kitchen where the aromas will inspire you to choose as many dishes as possible.
We started with another snack of Morecombe Bay Shrimp Vada before moving onto the first of our three choices from the Chaat section. Here we began with the Orkney Scallop Nimbu Pani which was raw scallop with an indian lemonade. This was followed by the Loch Duart Salmon Jhal Muri of raw salmon with an odia mustard oil emulsion before finishing with the Raw Belted Galloway Beef Pepper Fry with fermented tellicherry peppercorns. All these dishes were absolutely amazing with the flavour combinations simply stunning. You can clearly see with these dishes why Chet is a highly respected chef.
Now we moved on to the Sigree section where we began with the Buffalo Milk Paneer with fenugreek kebab masala that for me was the best I’ve ever tasted. This was followed by the Dahl Aubergine with tempered yoghurt and a tamarind glaze. Then from the meat section we chose the Sharmaji’s Lahori Chicken with cashew and yoghurt whey. Then to finish we had the Aged Swaledale Lamb Chop Barra with kashmiri walnut doon cherrin. The flavour combinations in each dish just blew us away. We accompanied these dishes with a selection of Sides. The Roomali Roti , Kaima Yakni Pilao and Boondi Raita.
We enjoyed these dishes with a delightful South African Chenin Blanc 2020 from the BlankBottle Winery which complimented each dish nicely so thank you to Gina for the recommendation.
We now needed a bit of a rest which gave us a chance to catch up with our good friend and assistant manager Millie who had previously looked after us at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Core. We were delighted to tell her how much we were enjoying our lunch and that the food and service was amazing. This was something she continued herself as we moved on to Dessert. Here we both decided to choose the delicious Pondicherry Hot Chocolate Mousse with rice milk ice cream & shahi tukada. Along with this came a complimentary Malai Kesar Kulfi to round of a fantastic dining experience.
We finished with tea & coffee to bring to an end a truly fabulous lunch. The food was absolutely amazing which was matched by excellent friendly service. I really would highly recommend a visit to experience a different type of Indian restaurant that takes it’s inspiration from the whole country and not from one particular region. I absolutely cannot wait to walk through these doors again.
Thank You Chet , Gina , Millie and all the team for an amazing lunch and look forward to seeing you all again soon.