Who doesn’t like a bit of spice in their life hey?! So when the opportunity came up to try out the best Michelin Star Indian cuisine in Mayfair I literally jumped for joy!
Tamarind of Mayfair was the first Indian restaurant in the world to have been recognised with a Michelin Star and it remains as one of the only nine to hold the accolade today. It’s fair to say I was expecting great (no, immense) things and my dining experience at this fabulously intimate restaurant didn’t disappoint.
The restaurant is nestled in an elegant, gold-accented dining room in Mayfair – London’s most luxurious and glamorous district, bordered by Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Green Park and Regent Street. And from Green Park tube station it’s a short stroll away. You cannot gage the greatness of this restaurant from its shop front but as soon as you sweep down the staircase and enter the dining room, it feels tremendously welcoming, satisfactorily understated and YES, the fine smells from the kitchen strike you immediately.
After about thirty minutes deliberating over which dishes to select for our fine dining experience we were put out of our misery. One of the very smiley and friendly waiters recommended two appetisers – from tantilising salads, vegetarian options and mouth-watering meat options it was so hard to choose. We started with Papdi Chat (chickpeas, wheat crisps, yoghurt, blueberries and tamarind chutney) and the grilled scallops, which were my absolute favourite. The scallops had been mixed with peppercorns; topped with roasted peppers – just so incredibly divine, the only downside that there just weren’t enough on the plate!
We were also lucky enough to sample three items from the kababs menu. When each plate arrived it came stacked with a fleshy and sizeable Kalonji Jhinga (jumbo tiger prawn with ginger, yoghurt, spices and toasted nigella seeds), Malai Tikka (supreme of chicken with ginger, garlic, cream-cheese and coriander stem) and Peshawari Champen (lamb chop marinated with raw papaya, fennel and yoghurt. The notion of where to start and what to tuck into first was an immediate hesitation. Each item was beautifully cooked as well as marinated and each had its very own distinct flavour. The entire ensemble was full of spice and just ever so scrummy, and when we thought it couldn’t get any better – it just did!
What could possibly top the kababs? For mains the Malabar Prawn (tiger prawns with sautéed onions, chilli, fenugreek seeds and coconut) and Hyderabadi Shank (slow-cooked lamb shank with tumeric, yoghurt and freshly ground spices) really tested us to the limit in terms of being able to fit these delectable dished in to our already satisfied tummies. Both were incredible but the Malabar Prawn dish won my heart – they were truly heavenly. And when we thought we couldn’t squeeze in anymore there were two vegetable accompaniments that came with the mains that surely did compliment them – the Dal Makhni wasn’t to my taste, a bit too bitter, however, the Cucumber Raita took the edge off the spice and was a welcoming refreshing side dish. Finally to sweep up the gorgeous sauces and juices it couldn’t be completed without a bread basket of naan, paratha and a choice of stuffed naan.
Without a doubt we will be back for a second round of indulgence of Indian cuisine (in the not distant future, I hope!), and without hesitation we would certainly recommend this fabulous restaurant, for those that want to spice their lives!
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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