Elysium Magazine has searched far and wide for an excellent Indian restaurant, a restaurant that caters to the discerning gent’s taste and desire for all things luxurious. On this search we were pleased to discover Moti Mahal, a fantastic restaurant based on Great Queens Street – a stones throw away from Covent Garden.
The restaurant manager, Rohit Kunwar, walked us through a unique five course whisky pairing menu which provided a fantastic introduction to what Moti Mahal had to offer.
THE LOOK, THE FEEL
Moti Mahal is based on Great Queens Street, a location that is fantastic when looking for a pre-theatre restaurant or before searching for a suitable drinking venue. The Strand and Drury Lane are only a few minutes walk – a easy central London location.
The restaurant itself is open and spacious; there are two levels which provides ample space for parties or groups. The ground level is uniquely set out so diners cans see the chef create their masterpieces in the kitchen. The bar is elegantly draped at the side of the restaurant – packed with a fantastic selection of drinks; with a nice focus on whisky.
There are a number of sample menus available to select from – this tended to be the option of choice for most of the diners around us at Moti Mahal. The first course on our menu was the Grand Trunk Road Sour, which was served with a truffle and cheddar roti and beautifully rich chicken daal style soup. The fragrant flavours were a perfect combination when served with the Cutty Stark Storm whisky – a great start for the discerning gent.
Rohit was keen to gauge our reaction to the combination of flavours, spices and whisky. We were impressed! Soon after we received our second dish with our next whisky, the Heart Peat. The dish was a succulent piece of roe dear tikka, served with a beautifully thick grape chutney sauce placed on a blackened slate for effect. The Heart Peat whisky cocktail was a distinct Lagavulin Distillers Edition mixed with blood orange, cherry brandy and garnished mint. There was also more roti – this time it was crispy and infused with mint, coriander and methi garnish. Once again the infusion flavours quickly caught our attention as well as many in the restaurant. The rich aromas were instantly blending with the whisky cocktail, another magically created combination.
THE MAIN EVENT
With a break we tucked into the first main – an amazing barracuda curry served with light and tasty Indian breads. A Sweet Valley Highball whisky cocktail accompanied this. This was certainly our favourite of the night! The cocktail was Pendaryn Welsh whisky based with elderflower, dry vermouth and fever tree Indian tonic water. At this stage we were excited what the chef could do to top the dish – the portion was generous and beautifully presented. It was clear that each ingredient was of high quality and the chef had spent time and effort getting it perfect.
The next whisky based cocktail was served – casked-Aged-Old Fashioned New Yorker. That’s right, the night would not have been complete without mention of an Old Fashioned, one of the most popular and well-known whisky drinks. This was paired with a lamb biryani and beautiful yoghurt. The pairing was another great success! Rohit explained the thought process behind the pairing and it showed, the world class chef and experienced whisky connoisseurs worked hard to get the perfect menu for the discerning gent and it worked.
Clynelish single malt whisky, cardamom-infused water with atomised Laphoaig 10 years old and Nikka coffee grain were the ingredients for the final cocktail of the evening. The presentation was excellent – a cask served on a bed of ice with infusers to spray over the beautiful Indian dessert. A pudding of flavours and tastes accompanied with Indian ice cream kulfi. Despite being extremely full from a few hours of eating and drinking, we could not resist the final dish of the evening. Despite our reservations on whether the chef could continue the perfect sweep with the dessert, it was a full house. The dish was flavoursome and not overly heavy. A recommendation to anyone struggling at this stage is to plough through – you wont regret it!
Moti Mahal has earned its reputation for being a premium Indian restaurant based on its innovative approach to traditional Indian food. The staff were extremely tentative and keen to please, Rohit was available for any questions and the chef personally sought feedback on the menu. The relaxed atmosphere meant the restaurant was a great choice for couples, parties or private dining. Discerning gents looking for a stand out menu for drinking and eating should look no further than Moti Mahal.
Food: 5/5 stars
Ambience: 4/5 stars
Venue: 4/5 stars
Contact: 45 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AA
T: +44 (0)20 7240 9329
F: +44 (0)20 7836 0790