Whilst the Indian restaurant scene has transformed beyond recognition in recent years to provide a genuinely more authentic and innovative style of cuisine, there has also been a simultaneous toning down of the restaurants themselves. Gone are the characterful (albeit often naff) interiors of old, to be replaced by more simple design that is fairly indistinguishable from most contemporary European restaurants. However, long-standing Mayfair stalwart, Chor Bizarre, has managed to resist and provide not only an authentic Indian menu but also one of the most interesting and attractive dining rooms of any restaurant in London.
Chor Bizarre has a great starting point by taking its inspiration from the infamous ‘Chor Bazaar’ (translating to ‘thieves market’) of South Mumbai. The mismatched furnishings and décor have been collected from various bazaars of India and have been creatively arranged so as to provide a visually captivating dining room. Additionally, with much of the décor available to buy, diners can walk out with more than a full belly!
As with the décor, the kitchen has taken inspiration from across Indian to form a menu that is rich and diverse. Our starters included Shikampuri Kabab – melt in your mouth ground lamb patties stuffed with spiced yogurt; and wonderfully zingy Prawn Tak-a-Tak featuring plump prawns stirred fried with fresh peppers. Mains include grilled tandoori dishes as well as some interesting curries. Both the Chicken Chettinad (a warming curry of chicken with peppers and curry leaves) and the Shehnai Gosht (pot roasted lamb shank) provide well balanced spicing and good flavours but didn’t quite hit the deeply spiced highs that one might expect of such traditionally potent dishes. Dal Makhni, however certainly manages to hit the right spots. The restaurant’s commitment to an interesting dining experience continues with the wine, with acclaimed wine expert, Charles Metcalfe, having created wine matches for every dish on the menu.
Cuisine type: Indian
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £70
16 Albemarle Street
London, W1S 4HW
Tel: 020 7629 9802