There is a small Indian restaurant on Charing Cross Road that is doing amazing things with their food – Indian food Par excellence!
CREDIT: PR Supplied
Voted the best Indian Restaurant at this year’s LUX 2016 Hospitality Awards, Lotus is a restaurant everyone must experience. If you’re a huge fan (or not) of Indian food, put this restaurant on your radar because it will make you re-think how Indian food is being served, cooked, and eaten.
I’ve never been a fan of Indian food. I’ve always found that in any Indian restaurant you go to in London the food is very spicy and how can one enjoy a meal when you are sweating with your tongue on fire and the need to drink bucketloads of water? Well, at Lotus, the spiciness of the food is not even an issue. The food is so delicious that you will forget all you know about Indian food and will immensely enjoy their incredible food sensations.
Open for only a year, and located north of Trafalgar Square across from the Garrick Theatre, Lotus is a small quaint restaurant with beautiful upscale decor, and service, with affordable prices. And the food, ah the food, it’s just simply amazing. The menu offers quite a selection – from starters to kebabs to mains, sides and desserts, and let’s not forget the comprehensive wine list. But first, upon arrival, you are given a glass of Timater Ka Shorba – a spiced Indian tomato drink with fresh coriander – it’s an absolutely divine drink with a refreshing (and not spicy) kick.CREDIT: PR Supplied
As with any Indian restaurant, Poppadums are a must! Lotus serves them with Mango, Apricot, Mint, Red Chilly and Green Tomato Chutney, presented on a rectangular dish, and at only £2.75, a great deal. But it’s the starters and mains where Lotus excels. Rabbit Kheema was a beautifully presented starter with rabbit inside a Green Pepper Corns and Missi Roti-shaped teepee, with coconut sauce. The rabbit was tender and delicious, and at £9.75, worth every penny. The Rattes, Chickpea, Sev and Savory Yogurt, with a warm mélange of potato wth sweet and sour spices, while a bit small for it’s £5.75 price, was very light and very good. As for the Kebabs, the Lamb Chops and Rump (lamb in a ball) are highly recommended. Beautifully seasoned, marinated in Indian spices, accompanied by garlic pickles, Indian onions and Chilli Salad, a bit pricey at £18.75 but again, worth every penny. Another amazing dish served were the golgappas – a snip at £3.75. They were four round fried crisp balls, hollow puri and filled with sweetcorn and coriander accompanied by a small jar of Jaljeera – a cumin, pepper and mint drink with tamarind chutney – that is poured into the golgappas. Eating them whole are an absolute explosion in your mouth! Very yummy!
As for the mains, the Lobster Tail and Scallops were the perfect dish for those who enjoy seafood. Swimming in a ginger, curry leaf and coconut curry sauce, it was a seafood lovers delight. The 23 Karat Gold Lamb Shanks was not at all spicy, and indeed was wrapped in gold foil, is a dish for the meat lover in you. It sits in a khorma sauce, and while it was not as tender as lamb shank should be, and it’s a bit of work to cut the meat off the bone, it’s a great deal at £22.75, plus it comes with roast potato mash, papaya pickles, spices, green cardamom and cashews. Very filling. And last but not least is the dessert. indian restaurants are not known for their good desserts, but at Lotus, they do them differently. The Rose Srikhand with Dumroot Halwa – Rose scented yoghurt in a small bowl coupled with white pumpkin wrapped sushi-style – was absolutely delicious. The Orange Rasgulla and Seviyan – Orange Cottage Cheese with Saffron vermicello – was almost too beautiful and colorful to eat, but again, it was very delicious.CREDIT: PR Supplied
Wine pairings are served with every course. It’s Debbie, the restaurant’s sommelier, who is THE expert on which wines go with which dish. So if you know, or don’t, your Force Majeurs and Chenin Blancs from your De Loaches, to the Zinfandels from the Heritage Reserve Zinfandels or the Graciano, Vina Zorzal, Navarra – Debbie will perfectly recommend what’s best for each dish, with glasses all between £6 to £8 each. Go ahead and have a taste test, the recommended wines on the menu go smoothly with their respective meals.
I’m Head over heels in love with Lotus – it’s a contemporary Indian restaurant located right in the heart of London – and the meal was one of the best I’ve had all year. It’s also easy on the tongue and easy enough on the wallet. This 65 seat restaurant, named after India’s national flower, is truly exquisite and beautiful, just like the flower.
Chef/Manager Bhaskar Banerjee, who has a culinary career spanning 20 years, masterfully and successfully has won us over.
RESERVATIONS: +44 (0) 207 839 8797
17 Charing Cross, London WC2H 0EP
Monday to Sunday
12:00 – 14:30
17:00pm – 22.30
Star Rating: ★★★★★ (explained)
Cost Rating: ££££ (explained)
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.