Moti Mahal

The vibe Be honest: it’s rare to have a truly memorable meal at an Indian restaurant. When you go for a curry you generally end up compromising on either taste or ambiance, the two rarely going hand in hand. Well forget these preconceived ideas: that certainly isn’t the case at award-winning Moti Mahal. This award winning Covent Garden restaurant offers a rare combination of authentically Indian dishes, stunning flavours and a bustling glossy setting. The décor is slick, modern and welcoming, dimly lit and dominated to the back of the room by a huge glass window into the kitchen. The food? Simply faultless. Everything you expect - but don’t often get - from Indian cuisine. Spicy (but not overly so), deliciously fragrant dishes, impeccable presentation and a menu that doesn’t read like that of your average curry house. You don’t often find Indian restaurants with decent bar menus, which is another example of Moti Mahal going - happily for me and my girlfriends - against the grain. They boast a drinks list (cocktails, mocktails and alcoholic lassi) to rival those of London’s top bars, making this an ideal choice for a night out with the girls. You’ll be left extolling the virtues of a frozen watermelon margarita at cooling down an overheated tongue after a few too many mouthfuls of vindaloo!

The menu Moti Mahal’s first claim to fame was inventing the Murgh Makhani: but there is SO much more to their menu than that famous chicken curry. The menu itself is presented as a journey, trailing along the Great Trunk Road (a highway that snakes through India), with dishes from various pitstops, and inspired by areas, along the way. Our first taster was a dish nicknamed ‘green lamb’, the most deliciously flavoured lamb, spiked with garlic, coriander and chillies. Dishes are always served alongside complimentary salad boards - chopping boards laden with whole veggies, for you to create your own salad side dish. We followed the lamb with various chef-recommended dishes: crisp fried okra, tandoor roasted jumbo prawns, slow cooked black lentils and roasted beetroot and peanut salad. All were such standout dishes that whittling it down to a favourite would be a disservice. Desert is so much more than an afterthought here - we enjoyed lollipops of mango kulfi, alongside pots of stewed pineapple with pistachio rice pudding.

The details
Moti Mahal, 45 Great Queen Street,
London WC2B 5AA. To book, email or call 020 7240 9329

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By Sarah Statman