Veeraswamy, Regent’s Street

A few months ago Veeraswamy was known predominantly as London oldest Indian restaurant, celebrating its 90th birthday in 2016. Tucked away at a first floor Regent’s Street address, this eatery was only frequented by those in the know. But when the renowned Michelin Guide 2017 was released with Veeraswamy as a new 1 star entry, foodies flocked to try this established restaurant.


The entrance is small and unsuspecting and you will be greeted before heading up in the lift to the dining room. With old fashioned portraits in the lift and traditional music playing in the background, I left like I was travelling back in time. The illusion continued as I stepped out into an opulent restaurant, the alluring smell of spices flavouring the room.

To start we ordered the Tandoori Green Prawns, delicate and juicy wild prawns, grilled to perfection and served with coriander, mint and chilli. I tried the Raj Kachori, a typical street food from Delhi which has become a signature dish at Veeraswamy. Colourful and unique in shape, I was very excited to taste it. The familiar flavours of Rajasthan came flooding back to me, but here the textures were refined and elevated to produce a fine dish of delicious food.


There was a range of elaborate main courses to choose from on the menu, which included a few 90th birthday celebratory additions. We couldn’t resist the Patiala Shahi Raan which our waiter strongly recommended. It was a dramatic dish, a juicy lamb shank encased in thin, crunchy pastry and cooked for a long time. The meat was tender whilst the exterior remained crisp, a brilliantly innovative and tasty dish. A keen lover of Makhani chicken curry we ordered it to trial the Veerswarmy version. The curry was creamy, rich and moreish, paired with garlic naan, lemon rice and saag.

Each component was carefully made and presented prettily, but without being over-stylised and pretentious. There are so many contemporary, ‘trendy’ new Indian restaurants in the city, it feels like Veeraswamy have avoided modernising too much to keep the experience authentic.

Full from our feast of indulgent Indian dishes we only opted for one portion of rose kulfi to share. It was the ideal light dessert after a meal of rich and indulgent curries. Paired with a cup of comforting homemade Masala tea, it was a lovely end to a beautifully refined Indian meal.

More information and book a table at Veeraswamy here.

All photos supplied by the restaurant.


Just a brief message this time dear reader. Last night I had a delicious curry. Nothing remarkable in that, I hear you cry. Except as I struggled into the pop-up location out of the Baltic winds, I was greeted with a Pimms. “But Jamie”, I hear you cry, “that’s crazy talk, summer is but a distant memory, as we shiver here in the despairing depths of winter”.

Well that’s where you’re wrong. Like curry, but hate beer? Sounds like you’ve been stuck in the past over what to drink with your jalfrezi. And far from using your drink as a shield against your food, “taking the edge off the heat” or “calming your mouth down”, the blend of fruits and herbs that makes our national fruity indulgence unique marries perfectly with beautiful complex curry spicing.

Don’t believe me? Well you can go and see for yourself, because this Saturday they’re giving away cans of Pimms and serving Indian-spiced snacks to see if you agree with me and the good people at Pimms that it really is Pukka. #PukkaPimms is located for today only at the top of the Brick Lane “Curry Curve”, 133 Bethnal Green Road, and I would urge you to get down from 12pm to 6pm and turn make an Indian summer of this horrible winter.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, James Bomford.

Moti Mahal, Covent Garden

It is no secret that Londoners love a good Indian curry. It is the ultimate Friday night treat, and the search for the best on offer is endless. Recently, with the arrival of Gymkhana, fine Indian dining has become the focus of our cravings, and high quality Indian eateries seem to be appearing all over London. Moti Mahal Covent Garden is the chic London outpost of the celebrated Delhi restaurant which opened in 1959. The London location is not new but it felt new to me as I’ve never visited previously.

We turned up at eight on a Friday evening when the restaurant was already full of animated guests, appreciating the comforting cuisine. Sitting towards the rear of the restaurant where it was quieter, we were able to speak to the waiter at length about the concept and flick through the vibrantly illustrated cookbook. The emphasis at Moti Mahal is on the food traditions that surround the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia’s oldest, longest and most significant major routes. Delhi-born Anirudh Arora has operated as Head Chef since the restaurant’s opening in 2005. The menu focuses on Arora’s passion for the cuisine of India’s famed road.

The menu is long and laborious to peruse, instead listen to the advice of your waiter and order based on his suggestions. If you are feeling very hungry and adventurous, you can opt for the tasting menu which gives you a flavour of the different regions of India. We tasted a range of starters and mains, so many that I was grateful for the small portions. To start, the trio of chicken tikka was wonderful, presented in a grand copper urn on very long metal grilling sticks. The marinades are intensely flavoured and the meat was juicy and tender with a lovely charcoal edge. We also loved the Thatee Grill Gosht (Butterflied lamb leg) coated in a thick garlic and chilli yoghurt, cooked to perfection with a marinade so good I wanted to lick the plate.

Murgh Makhani (Butter chicken) is a must. This faultless recipe from Delhi involves chicken tikka chunks simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. The portion isn’t huge so I guarantee there will be a fight for that last mouthful. We also tried the Venison Meatballs, a speciality dish. The rich meat is seasoned with brown onion and yoghurt sauce, it tasted almost Italian until the spices kicked in. We also ordered buttery garlic naan and pilau rice to soak up all the addictive sauces.

For dessert we managed to fit in a round of kulfi (Indian ice-cream) which arrived in assorted flavours on sticks, looking not dissimilar to mini-milks. In fact they tasted quite similar too, though the flavours were more inventive: mango, rose, pistachio. It was a lovely and simple pudding to cool our tastebuds after the spicy meal.

So what is the downside to all this exquisite food? It comes at a price. Smaller dishes are priced around £10 each, main courses are between £20 and £25, which all adds up when you want a few sides to share and a vegetable dish to accompany the meat.

The elaborate drinks menu matches the food in style: tropical cocktails and unique gins with tonic, or just simply a bottle of high quality, carefully chosen wine. We tasted the cocktails which were strong and nicely garnished, though a little sweet for me. Beer or wine suits the Indian flavours much better.

Producing modern and sophisticated cuisine with a sensitivity to the traditions of authentic Indian cooking, Moti Mahal exceeded all my expectations. Thanks to its location, this restaurant is the perfect option for pre or post theatre meals, or go on a Friday night and treat yourself to one of London’s better curries.

More information and book here: