Lotus London Review
That’s right, that is lamb covered in 24 Karat Gold.
Lotus is a fine dining Indian restaurant on Charing Cross Road between Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden.
The restaurant offers an authentic Indian menu with a stylish makeover. So forget your usual Chicken korma or tikka masala. You would think that being located so centrally in the heart of the West End would be great for the restaurant, but it can often be a bit of a downside. Full of chain restaurants and pre-theatre restaurants, the area is often snubbed by foodies but Lotus is a hidden gem amongst your usual Bella Italia’s and TGIF’s.
From start to finish the service was incredible. Our hostess/sommelier Debbie was so attentive and incredibly knowledgable about all the dishes and made us feel so relaxed and welcome. Debbie even offered wine pairings for me for each dish. (Seriously, every restaurant needs a Debbie)
To start we had a spicy tomato soup amuse bouche which Debbie paired with a glass of the prosecco. The prosecco was cloudy as it was non-filtered, this really made the flavours pop and it paired really well with the amuse bouche.
The menu is pretty excellent and features some unusual and creative dishes which are rare to find in London. For my starter I went or the Salmon, duck egg and peanut relish lentil wrap. I chose this as it is incredibly different to any other Indian dish I’ve sampled. It was absolutely stunning, the salmon was so light and delicate and not at all overpowering. The peanut relish was so subtle you could hardly taste it but it added a great hint of flavour. Karl had the Pigeon masala dosa with coconut chutney. This was so flavoursome and I must admit, I did have slight food envy. It was the first time I’d tried pigeon and it won’t be the last. Debbie paired these dishes with the delicious De Loach, Californian Zinfandel. I’m not really a fan of red wine and would never order it in a restaurant so I was a bit nervous. But the wine was truly incredible. The wine had a rich, fruity finish, bursting with tasty blackcurrant notes. It was such an easy drinking wine and totally converted me to a red wine fan.
It was time to move onto the main courses and we couldn’t visit without trying a dish off of the kebab menu. So between us we shared the Lamb chops and rump with garlic pickle, indian onion and chilli. This also paired perfectly with the Californian Zinfandel.
The lamb was cooked to perfection and melted in the mouth. The flavour was outstanding, the garlic pickle, indian onion and chilli complemented the lamb so well without being over powering or too spicy.
For our individual main courses I went for the 24 karat gold lamb shanka khorma. Firstly I chose this dish as it’s khorma so I knew it would be mild and secondly because it is covered in gold!!! We were told that this is an old Indian traditional that the men would eat dishes covered in gold before going to fight as it would make this strong. This is a great authentic touch to the menu.
Now you may be remembering that above I mentioned that you wouldn’t find your typical korma on the menu. This khorma isn’t anything like your usual curry house korma, this khorma was savoury. It was very authentic and tasted just like what I had eaten in India. True authentic Indian korma isn’t sweet with coconut aromas like your typical British korma. The chef chose a range of side dishes for us to have with our mains including Saffron and green peas rice, Tawa wale aloo jeera (Cumin and chili spiked potatoes) and Dal maa dumpukth (Black lentils simmered overnight with garlic, tomato, clarified butter and cream), which was particularly impressive. The lentils were so creamy, not too heavy but a wonderful comforting winter dish perfect for dipping naan bread in. I think it may be the first time that I have ever wrote in a review that we declined the offer of dessert. We were so stuffed that even we couldn’t be tempted. Although the options including Rice pudding with date jaggery and Rose scented yoghurt and white pumpkin did sound fantastic, we had been defeated. We had an amazing night at Lotus. There was beautiful presentation throughout. It was so relaxing and the service was five-star. The presentation The Head Chef even came out to chat to us about our experience which was a lovely touch.
So I finished the night doing what I do best. Drinking wine.
17 Charing Cross Road