Moti Mahal in London
Just thought I'd post after my second visit to this upper-crust Indian near Covent Garden. After my first visit, I seem to recall having a bit of banter with Howler, who took me to task for focusing on the cocktails rather than the food.
Well, Howler, after a year or so's delay -- and 3-4 visits to Amaya in the meantime -- I admit it, you were right. I do still enjoy Amaya, but Moti Mahal has it all over them in the value-for-money category. We ate sooooo well last weekend! (We actually did both ends of the spectrum -- the preceding night, I'd carted my partner off to the Lahore Kebab House for the cheap and cheerful approach).
After quite nice cocktails, starters included scallops with onion seed and coriander; vension seekh kebabs with fig and mace; lamb patties filled with yoghurt, mint and onion; and ... ummm ... something else. Mains were laal maas; mussels and monkfish with coconut and curry leaf; spinach with wild mushrooms and whole chilis; and a prawn biryani. We rounded out with dal makhani (unbelievably good) and baigan bhartha (ditto). A bottle of a nice Tokay Pinot Gris. No room for desserts. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
My only cavil is the naan, which was rather dry -- not on a par with Amaya's pillowy softness.
Starters run about 7 quid, with mains varying from 10 to 18 quid. I need to get over thinking that 1 pound = 1 euro (there madness and poverty lie), but still cheaper than Amaya -- with larger portions, too.
It's a lovely restaurant as well, quiet and understated.
My only concern is that the restaurant was nearly empty. Granted, they didn't have a plasma screen mounted on the wall so diners could catch the World Cup matches :+) but still ... I do hope it was an off night and doesn't presage a closure in the offing.
here's another tip: avoid naan and start eating roti. think of it as your transition from tasteless white bread to glorious real bread. and request your tandoori roti to to be crisp - that'll mark you instantly as an aficionado. and next time try the butter chicken.
Do they do take away food? I'm due to be staying near there overnight when I'm in London for work reasons - and I prefer getting a takeaway to sitting in a restaurant on my own.