Whenever I speak to anyone from India, I am always impressed by their knowledge of European culture. It’s almost embarrassing that some of my Indian cousins have a “more better vocab” and even know more about English history than I do. So much for private school! Moti Mahal is the restaurant equivalent to my Indian cousins.
Moti Mahal is unashamedly proud of its Euro-Indian aspirations. The restaurant is modern in design with glass chandeliers, dark wood flooring, taupe walls and cream leather seating. A curved wall of glass separates the kitchen from the dining area, allowing diners to watch the chefs in action. The large bar offers a good range of wines, cocktails and an impressive list of over 150 whiskies. Ms Pancake and I visited on a cold, rainy Wednesday night and it had a nice buzz about it.
When it comes to the food, there isn’t a curry bowl in sight; dishes arrive plated and displayed like something out of MasterChef. We greatly enjoyed our pre-starter of a Mint & Pea Soup whilst perusing over the short and concise menu. Starters included perfectly seasoned and lightly fried Crisp spiced soft shell crab with Squid rings, and an unfortunately mismatched dish of scallops with three types of spiced mash – nice as individual components but not together. Spicy Wild Boar with Okra for mains was comforting like a good pie, whilst my Lamb Biryani was one of the best I’ve had outside of my mother’s kitchen; every grain of rice was full of delicate spice aromas and rich lamb flavour. Desserts include everything from traditional Indian Halwa to chocolate mousse, although we decided against sweets for once!
Overall, the meal was different and pleasant, but just like my Indian cousins, it seemed like it was just trying too hard.
Food – 3.5/5
Venue – 3/5
Value – 3/5
Cuisine type – modern Indian
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £65
Wine – £4.50
Cocktails – £8.50
45 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AA
Tel: 020 7240 9329