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Indian Accent London

16 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4HW, United Kingdom

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Indian Accent is the younger sister of the restaurant of the same name in Delhi, a place that redefined modern Indian cooking and is widely reckoned the best restaurant in India. There is also a sibling in New York. The dining room is spread over two floors and has smart décor. Initially only a tasting menu was on offer, but now you can also go a la carte. The chef since opening has been Parminder Singh, who worked at the original Delhi branch for years.  The seven course tasting menu costs £85. 

You get a hint that this is not a regular curry house with the first canapé. A tiny blue cheese naan appears alongside a cup of of pumpkin and coconut shorba (soup). The naan itself is an unusual and very comforting little dish, made with a blend of blue cheese and Mozzarella, along with onion seeds and chopped coriander. It itself this would be lovely, but the star element is the accompanying shorba. This has dazzling depth of flavour, the flavours in lovely balance (16/20).

Little hollow pani puris each rested on a tiny shot glass containing differently flavoured water, which you pour into the puri shell and then pop into your mouth. The puris were very delicate, bursting open on the tongue to release their flavours. These were green chilli chutney, tamarind, pomegranate, pineapple and yoghurt. This was a sophisticated take on the classic puri (15/20).

Soy keema is a real eye opener of a dish, based on a simple street food made with minced lamb and served with a bread roll or pau. The version here has no meat but uses soy instead, topped with a quail egg, the miniature pau bread dusted flavoured with lime leaf. The depth of flavour that is somehow packed into this dish is remarkable, and the little touch of acidity from the lime offers a balance to the richness of the dish. It is a remarkable creation (17/20). 

Kashmiri morels are a signature dish of the restaurant, large morels imported from Kashmir that are stuffed with chopped morels, baked in the oven and then and dusted with walnut powder, coming with a very delicate Parmesan popadom. These morels were superb, the touch of walnut working really well with the lovely mushrooms (17/20).

Chicken chettinad was a new dish on the menu, named after the city of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu in southern India, an attractive city noted for its grand mansions and temples, though when I was there I was more concerned about the distinctly scary exposed electrical wiring in my hotel room. The chicken came with a coconut moilee, the meat being marinated in yoghurt, turmeric and a mixed spice paste. The chicken was very tender and the spices were really infused into the meat, with the coconut sauce just adding a different flavour note (15/20).

Both the bacon kulcha and the butter chicken kulcha were fabulous, these stuffed breads (17/20). Black dhal is also a thing of beauty here, dark and brooding with a slightly smoky taste (16/20). Garlic pepper potatoes were very pleasant but not quite in the same league (14/20).

The bill came to £168 a head with plenty of good wine. If you instead shared a modest bottle of wine then a more typical cost per person might be around £85. This was another lovely meal, with dishes like the keema and the Kashmiri morels superb, and the filled kulcha breads very special indeed.

Further reviews: 27th Feb 2018 | 21st Dec 2017

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