From Richmond to Haymarket

Saturday, February 02nd , 2019

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The Petersham Hotel has a lovely setting at the top of Richmond Hill. In daylight there is a fine view down over the countryside and the Thames from its dining room. For years it had a very capable head chef called Alex Bentley, but recently there has been regime change in the kitchen. Sadly the meal we had was very uneven, with nice Dover sole and crème brulee but a poor langoustine starter and a dismal pear soufflé. This is a shame since the Petersham has many virtues including an unusually well priced wine list with some bargains tucked away. Sadly the food is no longer the draw. 

The newly opened Farzi Café (pictured) in Haymarket is an offshoot of a trendy Indian restaurant group called Massive Restaurants, founded in 2012 and now with over 30 restaurants with brands including Farzi Café, Masala Library and Made in Punjab, with outlets in India and the Middle East. The food is very much modern Indian rather than traditional, and the two storey restaurant is very smartly decorated. The menu is a little confusing in places but the cooking is good quality, with a superb black dhal one example, and a delicate vegetable biryani another. Some dishes seem a touch out of place e.g. Kashmiri morel risotto with Parmesan was good but barely connected to Indian food, but there was plenty of skill on display. A shrikand cheesecake with mango was an excellent dessert. Prices are not excessive, and Farzi Café is a classy Indian restaurant – London is really being spoilt for these in the last couple of years.