We Can’t Get Enough Of This Indian Accent

A few months ago, a visit to Tamarind Mayfair had me lost for words – a rarity, for those who know me. It’s a stalwart member of London’s ever-evolving Indian cuisine influence and its food helped me visit India vicariously. Another was Farzi Café, a restaurant that was big on table theatrics and off-piste dishes. In fact, subconsciously, I’ve been on a bit of an Indian spree as of late and my palette has certainly weathered to the heat and spices bunched into the playground that is Indian food, as a result. Next on the list? Indian Accent.

I must say, Mayfair has become somewhat of a favourite for me culinarily. Boasting big-named eateries such as Bocconcino, Bentley’s and Bombay Bustle, expectations were high as I headed to this next spot, sister of the famed Delhi restaurant, the only one of which to appear on the spinetingling “Top 50 Restaurants” list.

Sitting rather inconspicuously on Albemarle Street, the entry, which plays with rich golds and browns, allows the restaurant to slot in nicely next to its equally as decadent neighbours. Inside, my brain instantly associated the dimly-lit lighting scenario with ‘Indian restaurant,’ something I’ve come to notice a lot when I visit the venues of this particular cuisine. Indian restaurants love a low-light, perhaps so we can’t really see what we’re eating? Who knows. Either way, I’m a fan.

So what’s Indian Accent’s story?

Having wowed Wall Street and the likes with its NYC outpost, and being a huge hit in New Delhi, London had a whole lot of sibling rivalry to contend with. Yet one thing’s for sure; when a cuisine is popular in its own country, you know you’re onto a real gem, so I was confident of Chef Manish Mehrotra’s delivery at the British venue from the off.

Of course, Indian gastronomical constructs built up the menu, of which we had the seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, flamboyant in curious courses. Amongst a setting of sexy green banquettes and brass, pearl and marble embellishments, the interiors, designed by Design LSM, became a real feast for the eyes. And yet despite all the beauty surrounding us, the food was the real head-turner in the space.

The Chef’s Tasting Menu, which also features a vegetarian one of the same, turned out imaginative and immersive dishes that I’d never come across before. If you’re visiting Indian Accent to revel in the norm – kormas, jalfrezis and the likes – then think again! This unparalleled menu zooms off the rails with dishes like puchkas, five waters and meetha achaar pork ribs with sundried mango and onion seeds. If you’re of the plant-based persuasion then you’re also set to be satisfied with choices such as tofu masala with asparagus and shishito pepper, and green peas kofta.

Of the dishes, I felt the presentation of the puchkas was the most exquisite; these are tiny and hollow-shelled and made with wheat and semolina. Then, you pour flavoured liquids such as pineapple and pomegranate into the holes, all the while rustling up nostalgia from the Chemistry classroom as a kid. For taste, the fenugreek chicken cornet with pickle cream takes home the trophy. It was light, but its points are gained due to its intriguing whilst tasty nature.

The ‘progressive cuisine’ of Indian Accent is a real treat and, after six courses, I was more than ready to let the makhan malai dessert be my palette cleanser. The dish came with saffron milk, rose petal jaggery brittle, almonds, doda barfi treacle tart and vanilla bean ice cream and boy did it look as good as it tasted!

Cocktails are also a real must! Indian Accent’s encyclopaedic list has a range of over 100 whiskies, wine, Champagnes and cocktails on offer. My recommendation? The Green Chili Sour with hari mirch infused tequila, lemon oleo saccharum and mezcal. Not only does it blow your head off with flavour, but it’s also a chance to have some tequila on a weeknight, naughty, naughty! Indian Accent is somewhere I’d return to in a hurry. Its interiors are charming and decadent and really pander to those ‘out for dinner’ vibes one needs when they’re eating out. It’s a journey for the palette and subverts the Indian food norm which, again, is an added bonus.

Indian Accent, 16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4HW, www.indianaccent.com

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