My favourite Indian restaurant in London, without a doubt, can be found on Mount Street, Mayfair. Named after the vibrant 16th century Kashmiri shawls, Jamavar is the sixth restaurant opened by Dinesh Nair, co-chairman and managing director of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, and the first of the group’s venture abroad, outside India. He is running it alongside his daughter, Samyukta Nair.
The kitchen is currently at the helm of Chef Surender Mohan, who is the culinary director of the Leela Group of hotels..
The inspiration for the menu at Jamavar are from India. There are also a few signature Jamavar dishes, which feature in all six restaurants.
I first dined at Jamavar for lunch during the preview and as I walked in I couldn’t help be in awe of the amazing decor that adorns the restaurant. You could be mistaken for being in a modern Mumbai restaurant.
There are some fabulous art pieces, mirrors as well as the print of the signature Jamavar design across all the walls all in a spacious dining room with high ceilings. There is also a downstairs area which is equally stunning, and which houses a beautiful bar.
To toast the restaurant’s opening, Amit went for a classic Gin and Tonic, while I went for the Tree of life, upon recommendation from the waiter. It is also one of Jamavar’s signature cocktails. Made from a blend of Sipsmith gin, suze, almond and ginger falernum, pimento bitter, lemon juice and absinthe spray, it tastes almost like bubblegum and delicious!
We enjoyed some Mixed papads with a variety of chutneys while we decided what to order from the menu. What I loved about the papad selection was that alongside fried and roasted papad, there was also banana crisps, which went amazingly well with the mango chutney.
The food menu is really good – the type where you feel like ordering everything! We had to control ourselves though and to start with opted for the Malabaar Prawns, which are sauteed king prawns cooked in white turmeric, onions and curry leaves. Loved this dish and it had a slight kick to it which was fabulous.
We also went for the Kid Goat Shami Kebab, spiced with black cardamom, served with a dollop of mint chutney and a side of chur chur paratha. I loved the presentation of this dish as well as the soft, melt in your mouth texture of the Shami Kebab. A dish I would order again!
The Lobster Neruli is one of Jamavar’s signature dishes, and it was epic. Cooked in a southern spiced coconut milk and pearl onions, it made me nostalgic about coastal holidays. It was amazing and went so well with our selection of breads.
Our other choice for mains is one of my favourites to order in Indian restaurants – Old Delhi Butter Chicken. This particular dish is made with Suffolk corn-fed chicken which is char-grilled and pulled, cooked in a fresh tomato and fenugreek sauce. OMG it is amazing. Amit and I literally couldn’t stop eating it with naan bread and it was divine. I think it has become my number one butter chicken dish now!
To eat our mains, we went for the Mixed breads and Cucumber raita (pictured below), both of which were fabulous.
We also had mini rice dhosas which were really tasty.
The dessert menu was just as exciting and I couldn’t decide what I wanted. I know I will be back again and so on this occasion I went for the Jalebi Caviar. It was beautifully presented in the midst of masala pista milk, rabri and saffron. It was a decadent dessert and the perfect end to a gorgeous lunch!
To accompany it, I went for a cappuccino, made from the House blend of Medium Roasted Brazilian Monsoon Malabar and Tanzanian Coffee. Really nice coffee and the best kick start to the afternoon after that wonderful meal.
The entire meal was faultless, delicious and dreamy. I have dined there countless times, and every time is as special as the first.
I can’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a fantastic Indian restaurant to try out. You will love the venue and the food, and the excellent service! The cocktails are a must have too.
My meal was complimentary but all views and photos are my own.