Having attended the Latin America 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Mexico City in 2016, I became more aware of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and had a keen interest to try Chef Manish Mehrotra’s ‘Indian Accent,’ the next time I was in Delhi or New York. The Delhi branch is the only restaurant from India that features on the list and so it had me intrigued.
Fate had it such that Indian Accent opened on the premises of Chor Bizarre, on Albemarle Street, Mayfair, at the tail end of 2017, and so I got to experience the food for myself in my own city. We were booked in for lunch and so we turned up at 16 Albemarle Street, unsure what to expect, as Chor Bizarre had held many memories for us, during the days when we were dating.
My first impression was the elegance with which the restaurant had been transformed. I loved the greens and golds and the spacious feel as you walked in, a totally different layout, and a very upmarket, yet trendy one.
We had a lovely table and as we settled down, we were brought our menus and I couldn’t stop gazing at all the interiors. I love what has been done with the space! The service was excellent, with the servers giving us time to go through the menus and then asking if we needed any help, as it wasn’t your conventional Indian restaurant menu – it was inventive, with the use of unusual ingredients, and so we peered through, making our choices.
Listening to them explain the menu to other tables, who were less familiar with some of the names of the dishes, I was impressed with the knowledge of the staff and how they described the dishes. One observation was that it was very quiet for a Saturday but it was the last weekend of the year.
I do note that the social media accounts are one universal account for all 3 restaurants and do hope that the London one gets its own account, as I feel this would definitely help with it becoming more known in London as a new establishment.
We had decided to go for the 3 course lunch menu, which was priced at £30 per person and included a first course, one main, one accompaniment and a dessert. I thought the lunch menus were priced really reasonably, although the dinner ones are much dearer. I always say lunch is a better way to experience a restaurant as not only are the prices and deals usually better, but I prefer the ambience, and for me personally, it is easier to take photos during the day.
There was a really good selection of Cocktails on the menu and I tried The Proper Copper, which is Kaffir Lime Leaf Infused Vodka with Honey and Rose Blossom Water. It was refreshing and full of lovely flavours. I really enjoyed it. It was slightly on the pricy side at £13.
For my first course I had the soy keema served in an earthen pot and topped with a quail egg and accompanied with lime leaf butter pao. The presentation was stunning and the addition of lime to the paos was magnificent and a flavour I will be adding to any paos I make in future! The soy keema was full of flavour and really delightful. I was worried that if all the portion sizes were small that I wouldn’t be full at the end of the meal, but I decided to keep an open mind and see what was to come.
Amit had chosen the phulka with chilli pork for his first course, and they resembled Mexican flour tortillas in the way in which he ate them. Phulkas are a type of bread, similar to rotis, and he really enjoyed his first course.
For my main course I went for the chicken kofta with punjabi kadhi and onion pakora, with a smoked bacon kulcha as my accompanying dish. OMG the smoked bacon kulchas are incredible. The chicken kofta was absolutely divine too and I loved the contrasting textures and flavours between the kofta and pakora, mixed with the dreamy kadhi.
Amit’s main course arrived in a gorgeous tray and he had chosen ghee roast lamb, served with miniature roomali roti pancakes. For his side he had black dairy dal and naan, and he couldn’t stop raving about the dal. He only wished the portion size of the dal had been slightly bigger as it was that tasty.
By this point, admittedly, we were pretty full even though we thought we wouldn’t be! The food was really filling and it had been an incredible experience so far. It is un-comparable to any other Indian food in London currently, as it is just not your conventional Indian food, so it is hard to say what it is similar to.
Dessert was just dreamy. Silky Makhan malai, served with saffron milk, rose petal jaggery brittle and almonds won my vote and it was a generous portion too! The crunchy jaggery brittle was just phenomenal and I would order exactly the same dessert the next time I dine there.
Compliments of the chef we also tried the mishti doi cannoli with sweet amaranth, which was Amit’s favourite. It was presented and plated beautifully and was velvety.
Our overall experience was a really good one, and we will definitely be back to try some more of the dishes, as I was really fascinated by the options on the menu. The service was really good, the presentation was superb, the timing of the dishes being served between each course was just right and even the acknowledgement when we were leaving was lovely and warm.
It is definitely worth trying, and I do recommend the lunch menus as a great introduction to Chef Manish Mehrotra’s imaginative and ingenious fine dining cuisine.
Our total bill was £93, and would have been cheaper had we not ordered lots of drinks. I think comparing this to other establishments and considering that it is in the heart of Mayfair, is not bad at all.
For more information and menus you can visit their website here.