From the outside, it may look like any other restaurant front, but step through the front door and get ready to be impressed by the charming interiors, adorned with bespoke furnishings reminiscent of a colonial past. I loved the intricate details on the walls and the rustic woodwork in hues of grey, off-white and browns. Wooden chandeliers hung elegantly from the ceilings, the dimly lit room giving off vintage glamour vibes and a romantic sort of ambience.
The decor is themed around a secret love scandal from the colonial British Victorian ages, the name Lokhandwala originating from Mumbai’s then notorious district, to which the couple eloped to – you can read more about ‘The Secret of Lady Charlotte’ on their website.
The menu is based on traditional Indian dishes that have been given a contemporary twist. We ordered a couple of tapas dishes to share. The lamb chops were satisfyingly tender, marinated for 24 hours with spices before being cooked in a tandoor, served with a beetroot mayonnaise.
The dish of jumbo prawns that was probably my favourite of the evening featured succulent prawns that were plump and juicy as the name suggested, marinated in kasundi, a classic Bengali mustard relish, and honey.
I would have liked to try their Lobster Alleppey Curry but was sadly informed that it was not available. Instead, we were recommended the Chicken Makhani which appears to be one of their customer favourites – tender pieces of chicken cooked in a sweet and tangy tomato fenugreek and butter stew that went down really well with my partner. The slow cooked lamb was also quite tasty, although some pieces of meat were more tender than others. Both curry sauces were delicious and went well with our garlic naan and aromatic chicken biryani.
Their selection of desserts caught my eye, and it had been a while since I last tried gajar halwa, a carrot-based sweet dessert. The bite-sized tarts were warm and comforting, with a nice contrast between the soft halwa and crunchy shell, accompanied by a light cardamom scented crème anglaise. The Belgium chocolate halwa with vanilla been ice cream was slightly more intriguing, accompanied by something that resembled a crumble, mixed with a sweet (caramel?) sauce and topped with strands of vermicelli. B wasn’t too keen on the vermicelli in a sweet dessert, but I kind of liked it – it made me think about those puttu mayong snacks that we have back home, mixed with palm sugar and grated coconut.
We dined in the main dining room that evening, but if we had more time I would have loved to spend the evening sipping away on more cocktails on their private terrace, ‘Vijay’s Lounge’.
We went for an early dinner that evening when it was quite quiet before it picked up sometime after 7.30pm, which seemed promising for a Tuesday evening. I’ll definitely be keeping this place in mind the next time I’m looking for inspiration for a romantic dinner date.
The Cheekster, signing out x
* I was a guest at Lokhandwala, but all views and photos are my own.