Adding on to the list of Indian restaurants that I visited last month, this time I had dinner at Lotus, a contemporary, fine-dining Indian restaurant in the heart of the West End.
I am always quite cautious when it comes to restaurants around Leicester Square, wary that I might end up walking into another one of those ‘tourist traps’.
The restaurant exterior didn’t quite scream out fine-dining for me, but the interior decor was modern with leather upholstered chairs, which was slightly more reassuring.
We were each served some mulligatawny soup in small glass teacups, which translated from the Tamil words meaning “pepper-water“, made using lentils, coconut milk and water. This was our first time trying it, and I found it quite warm and pleasant. There was also an assortment of poppadums with chutneys: rice, potato, finger millet poppadums with mango, red chilly and green tomato chutney.
I liked the corn chaat golgappa which had a slight hint of spiciness to it, and was accompanied with jaljeera and tamarind chutney. We were advised to pour the jaljeera, an Indian beverage flavoured with spices, just before eating each one whole.
Following the recommendations suggested by our lovely waitress, we went for the masala prawn, duck eggs and lentil wraps, and the pigeon masala dosa with coconut chutney.
The prawns were juicy and springy and well mixed together with the scrambled duck egg and lentil filling.
The pigeon masala was tasty and concealed underneath the cone-shaped dosa which I enjoyed, although I didn’t find the need for nor was I too fond of the coconut chutney on the side.
The word ‘kebab’ does not usually appeal to me, but we were recommended to try at least one of them, from which we tried the duck seekh with pickled onion, orange dates and chilli dip. The meat was very well marinated and deliciously tender, and I’m glad that we ordered it.
We ordered a couple of mains to share between us. The 23 karat gold lamb shanks khorma seemed to be a popular favourite amongst many, so we decided to try it out for ourselves. The use of gold in food doesn’t normally sway my decisions when it comes to ordering food as it is just for decorative purposes, but I do love a good hearty lamb shank, and the meat on this was fall-off-the-bone tender and the khorma was nice and creamy.
This was served with a roast potato mash, papaya pickle, spices, green cardamom and cashew.
The Soft Shell Crabs Cafreal were succulent and coated in a light and crispy batter, served with a side of super thin hand cut potato chips and pickled turmeric.
I was unsure about the dessert menu, but I decided to try the Fried Kulfi and Orange Rasgulla, with falooda and basil seed. Unfortunately the flavours and texture did not quite do it for me, and although I am quite partial towards kulfi, the fried kulfi which was wrapped in a filo pastry was quite dry and powdery. Oh well, at least I did give it a go.
Our meal there was still overall pleasant and enjoyable, and our waitress (didn’t quite catch her name, but she had cropped strawberry blonde hair!) was really lovely and attentive throughout the evening.
I would definitely consider returning, as some of the other dishes do sound quite appealing, like the Tandoori Partridge, Rabbit Kheema, and Roe Deer Biryani.
They also do wine pairings with the different dishes, as well as a tasting menu – check out their website for more details.
The Cheekster, signing out x