A new slant on Indian cuisine, I see what they’re trying to do with the name, but it’s still a slightly curious one for a restaurant. I find that with lots of top end Indian restaurants. Chutney Mary always puts me in mind of Typhoid Mary, not the greatest prelude to a butter chicken. And one of my favourite spots, Gymkhana
, has me thinking of Normal Thelwell drawings of small children and badly behaved horses.
But I digress. Nomenclature aside, this is a restaurant that I had to bring it to a wider audience primarily because of just one dish, this starter:
It is soy keema, quail egg and lime leaf butter pao. It looks a little unprepossessing. And it is vegetarian. I generally subscribe to Captain Haddock’s use of the word in the Tintin books as a vile form of insult. This would turn me away from meat for good. In a meal full of exceptional dishes this shone as one of the best things I have ever eaten.
The chef came over and told me about it. He wanted to create something which tasted like meat for his vegetarian family and this was the result. I will return just to eat it again, his exquisite, aromatic and sensitively spiced Indian take on carne con chilli.
London is lucky enough to have some of the best Indian restaurants in the world and this is clearly destined to get to the top of all the guides before the year is out. I am told that the original Indian Accent is regarded as pretty much the best restaurant in New Delhi. The next branch opened up in New York to great acclaim and this one launched in Albemarle Street a few weeks ago. Go. Go and eat the soy keema. They do it as part of a two course lunch for £25 a head – given away for food that will surely garner a couple of Michelin stars in very short order. The room is elegant, the staff friendly and professional, the barman knocks out a cracking martini. Ask to sit upstairs rather than in the basement. Make sure you visit the very beautiful loos.