Three Falcons

1 Orchardson Street, London, NW8 8NG, United Kingdom

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Three Falcons is a pub with rooms in St Johns Wood serving Indian food, and the clientele tonight seemed mostly to be Asian families. There are some seats in the main bar area, but the main dining room was further through on the other side. Tables were quite closely packed together, with a couple of large TV screens showing sporting action.  The head chef was Akash Jagwan, though he was not around tonight.The menu was conventional north Indian, but as an alternative there was a regular English pub menu with fish and chips, burgers and the like.

There was a short wine list, though this omitted any vintages. Selections ranged from Trebbiano Villa Rossi Rubicone at £24 for a wine that will set you back around £8 in a shop, to Marques de Caceres Reserva Rioja at £48 for a wine whose retail price is around £21, up to Laurent Perrier Rose at £125 compared to its market price of £83.  There was even a bottle of Dom Perignon of mysterious vintage at £290, which compares to a retail price of £228 for the current 2013 vintage. 

Achari jumbo prawns were good, the prawns cooked quite nicely with watercress as well as chilli and mango chutney (13/20). Welsh lamb chops had good flavour but were rather overcooked (tending to grey rather than pink), served with a pleasant mint and corn salad as well as caramelised onion and chilli marmalade (12/20). 

Chicken biryani (£17) had no pastry case to seal in the aromas, but the rice had fairly distinct grains and the pieces of thigh meat avoided dryness (13/20).  Goan prawn curry (£19) was pleasant, the prawns tender and with a mild sauce with a hint of coconut (13/20). The surprise dish of the meal was okra with onion kacha masala. Okra is notoriously hard to cook well, and most Indian restaurants that try end up with a slimy mess, or else just deep fry the okra to get around the problem, which can end up with just tasting dry batter. Here the okra was genuinely good, still with some texture but without any greasiness, and the onion’s sharpness working well with the okra (15/20). Naan bread was rather hard and dry, though a pudina paratha, topped with mint, was reasonable (12/20).

We did try dessert, though I am not sure that these were made on the premises. Kulfi with some strawberries did not have a lot of flavour. Sticky ginger and jaggery pudding was harmless enough, but exceedingly sweet even by the standards of Indian desserts. Service was quite brisk and efficient. The bill came to £80 a head with just two beers between us, which seemed quite high for a pub in north west London. Charging £4.50 for poppadoms and then a further £2 for each chutney certainly helped pump up the bill, and seemed fairly excessive. Overall, Three Falcons offered some perfectly decent Indian food with one really excellent dish this evening. The pricing seemed rather high to me for what was delivered though.

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