16-22 Cheval Place, off Montpellier Street, Knightsbridge, London, England, SW7 1ES, United Kingdom

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Shezan has been plying its trade in a quiet Knightsbridge street since late 1969. Given the rate of restaurant closures over the years, that longevity is no mean feat. It is in a basement, decorated in a smart if rather busy way, with lots of wood panels, ornamental vases and prints on the walls. The room was carpeted, and there are a couple of waiting areas in addition to the main dining room. This being Knightsbridge, there was lobster on the menu as well as the usual north Indian dishes, and the prices in general were quite high.

Popadoms were served warm, and came with the usual London Indian restaurant trio of mango chuntney, lime pickle and yoghurt. Chicken tikka (£16), served here with some cooked tomatoes, was quite good: the chicken pieces were tender although the spicing of the marinade was too subtle for its own good (12/20). This was better than vegetable pakora (£7), where the vegetable pieces were fried all right but were rather too dry (barely 11/20).

Ginger chicken (£15) came with fresh ginger and green peppers, the chicken again cooked properly, the spicing again rather muted but at least here having plenty of ginger flavour (11/20). Tandoori prawns (£24) were served in their shell and cooked just a fraction longer than ideal, but still reasonably tender. A side dish of channa was poor though, the chickpeas soggy and mushy (10/20). Naan bread was reasonably soft (12/20) and paratha was good, not greasy but still having a hint of the richness of butter within the fried dough layers (13/20).

Service was pleasant if a little slow. I took advantage of a special offer that meant the food was half price, but the bill still came to £40 a head; it would have been over £61 a head without the discount. This is just too much for the quality on offer, especially when you have the superior and cheaper Haandi almost direcly opposite in the same street.


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