My bestie M and I have a birthday tradition. Both of us are Aquarians, so our birthdays fall at the beginning of the year, when everything is cold, everyone is feeling broke and the rest are practicing Dry-something. So we both celebrate our birthdays as late into the season as possible, when the days are longer and brighter and the promise of Spring is just round the corner. We try to choose a place that is reasonably priced but at the same time snazzy, so we can dress up for the occasion.
This year, over numerous WhatsApp messages, we decided on Indian Accent. This newbie is one of the latest and hottest new openings in the London Indian restaurant scene. Initial reviews from fellow bloggers and social media have been extremely positive. The location is Mayfair, nestled amongst luxury retail stores, at a site which was formerly Chor Bizarre, another Indian fine dining restaurant.
The elegant interiors, designed by DesignLSM, have lots of shiny and intricate details (plush green velvet seats, gleaming bar, soft lighting, brass fretwork screens) that complement the sumptuously themed menu and opulent surroundings.
For a place that has been open for only a few months, it was fairly packed for Saturday lunch time service. We decided to go for their Set Lunch menu (three courses for £30).
The food journey kicked off with an Amuse bouche of Blue Cheese Naan and a warm, soothing Coconut and Pumpkin soup, which really set the scene that we were about to experience something truly special.
We spent a lot of time deciding what to order as everything looked enticing and it was hard to choose from. Finally, with a little bit of help from the Maître’ d, M went for the Beet and Peanut Butter Vadai, Goat Cheese Pachadi. The dish was a sophisticated twist on the popular South Indian street food snack but with innovative ingredients. The pachadi (paste) tasted heavenly of goat cheese.
My starter was an intriguing sounding Millet Khichdi, Beef Laal Maas, Parmesan Yoghurt. It was a real treat – gutsy, potent, velvetty grains with chunks of beef and curd sloshed over to balance the heat.
My main of the Ghee Roast Lamb was served in the style of a Crispy Aromatic Duck, but instead of the pancakes, I had mini Roomali Rotis. The lamb was resplendent with sensational aromas wafting through. On the side was a tiny bowl of buttery rich Black Daal.
M had the Seared Scallops, Rava Prawns, Malvani Dried Shrimp Rice for her main. I would have loved to tell you how it tasted but M was lost in food heaven and I didn’t have the heart to ask her for a bite! It is, however, safe to say that it looked divine and M polished it off nicely.
A big shout out to the Stuffed Kulcha, engorged with that delicious Butter Chicken filling that you are meant to tear and share. But it was so good that I really didn’t want to. Luckily for me, M is a pescatarian!
The highlight of our meal was definitely the dazzling desserts. We had, not one, but three puddings to share! First up was the swooningly pretty Makhan Malai, Saffron Milk, Rose Petal Jaggery Brittle, Almonds. It had the look of a Baked Alaska but was creamy, soft and airy like a light, saffron-laced mousse, studded with nuts that looked like little jewels.
The Meethe Chawal, Almond Milk, Barberries was laden with harmonious flavours and textures – subtly sweet rice, nutty base and sharpness from the barberries.
The Doda Barfi Treacle Tart, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was rich, sweet and satisfying. It even came engraved with a special message to mark our special day.
The food at Indian Accent is truly shifting boundaries. There is a fusiony approach to Indian food here, but carefully reimagined and gloriously redefined. Every course was delectable and the hospitality was warm and down-to-earth, which was rather surprising considering the upmarket neighbourhood. I was really struggling to find a fault here. Food here is Indian, but not quite as you know it.
Location: 16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4HW
More information can be found here.