Mayfair is an area of London we know well, the luxury hotels located here have been featured extensively on TLE, but its stylish restaurants we haven’t explored as thoroughly. However, we discovered some of the high quality restaurants here, on our last trip to the Capital, when we visited the incredible Indian Accent Read on to discover more about this fusion restaurant in the heart of Mayfair.
Background and Concept
Coming from Glasgow I am used to ‘a curry’ as Scotland’s largest city is somewhat of an institution in the UK curry scene, so it is refreshing to see a restaurant that is doing something quite unique with Indian flavours. Indian Accent isn’t just serving ‘run of the mill’ Indian food, this restaurant explores the progressive side of Indian cuisine and it does so incredibly well, and I mean seriously well, I think this is my most favourite restaurant experience in the last 12 months!
Indian Accent is relatively new to Albermarle Street in Mayfair having opened in 2017, the flagship restaurant of the brand is based in New Delhi’s Lodhi Hotel with another Indian Accent in the Le Parker Meridien in New York.
The New Delhi restaurant features in the “World’s 50 Best” restaurants and is the brain-child of Manish Mehrotra. Manish is a culinary genius, having won award after award throughout his 20 years experience, including Best Chef in India by American Express. It’s Manish’s cooking style which uses Indian flavours combined with international ingredients that has led to Indian Accent being such a big success.
The Mayfair restaurant is sexy, sleek and seductive. From the moment you walk into the reception area and jackets are taken by the reception team you know you are in for something special. The interior features emerald-green velvet upholstery, marble veined table tops, brushed gold and a nod to its Indian roots with the latticed fretwork screens, the whole restaurant screams chic.
The restaurant is open throughout the day, we were dining in the evening and two menu options are available at night-time; a 3-course menu for £55 and a grand 8-course tasting menu for £85 and when we visited in January there was a complete vegan tasting menu available too.
The secret to the brand’s success and what has set itself apart from its peers is that is that Manish is not afraid to play with the forms and techniques of traditional Indian cooking, for example their amuse bouche is a little mug of curried coconut soup with a tiny nan bread stuffed with blue cheese.
I normally go for wine, but the restaurant has a fantastic cocktail bar, which your eye is immediately drawn to when you walk into the restaurant, so I thought I would experiment this evening and it paid off! Cocktails are fantastic and I urge you to try one when you visit, we chose from their signature cocktail list (see menu below), but they can also make up classics and there is a very comprehensive wine menu too.
The Tasting Menu
We opted for the eight course tasting menu and this tasting menu is a feast which lasts about two to three hours. To start off with we had the small amuse bouche which sets the bar high from the word go, it’s incredibly rich curried coconut soup is paired up with a tiny buttered naan bread filled with rich blue cheese.
The first course is a series of five hollow puris which have crushed potato and chickpea inside, they are set on top of a series of flavoured waters (green chilli chutney, tamarind, pomegranate, pineapple and yoghurt) which you pour into the puris.
For the second course was a potato chaat set on a bed of white pea mash.
The next course was a Kashmiri morel which is a fungus from Kashmiri, that has a very unique texture, it’s quite incredible. It’s dusted with walnut powder and comes with a parmesan papad. I wasn’t sure if I would like the morel I have a love hate relationship with mushrooms, but this was incredibly delicious.
This dish was amazing it is served in a small pot, open up the pot and a bed of soy keema is topped off with a quail egg and small lime leaf butter pao on a stick to accompany it. I can guarantee you, that you that this dish will leave you wanting more!
While I went for the soy keema my dining parter went for the meetha achaar ribs. You can see the play with Indian flavours and international ingredients coming into play in this dish.
A small anaar chuski is presented to cleanse the pallet.
This was another of my favourite dishes. I went for the paper roast dosa, with mushrooms and water chestnuts. Pull back the dosa hat and the water chestnut and mushroom mix is hidden underneath. There is some small dips as well, the dahl is incredible and the nan is to die for!
My dining partner went for the chicken malai tikka, with green chilli cream, sugar snap peas and summer truffle.
Like any good tasting menu, there is not one but two desserts. The first dessert was a makhan malai, saffron milk that is beaten into an light and fluffy dome and topped with rose petal jaggery brittle and almonds.
And the final dessert was a doda barfi treacle tart with vanilla bean ice cream. Doda barfi is a traditional dessert in Punjabi cuisine and the flavours work brilliantly with the traditional treacle tart.
I love Indian food and Indian Accent took me to a new level of love for my favourite cuisine. The food is excellent, the service is flawless and the setting is chic without being pretentious. This modern and exciting celebration of Indian cuisine should be on every visitor to London’s dining list.
Indian Accent is open Mon-Sat noon-2pm & 5.30pm-10pm. Lunch: £25/£30 for two/three courses. Six-course tasting menu £45. Dinner, £55/£65 for three/four courses; nine-course tasting menu £80
Address: 16 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4HW