Eats and treats

La Porte des Indes – London

Tucked away on a corner of Bryanston St, just off the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street, and from the outside, La Porte des Indes looks like any ‘ordinary’ restaurant. Even on entering the entrance lobby we were not prepared for what was to come.

Assistant Restaurant Manager Savio explained that La Porte des Indes (The Gateway to India) had been created out of a former Edwardian ballroom. The two main dining rooms, along with a number of smaller more intimate rooms, are spread over two floors linked by a splendid white marble staircase.

The bright, airy interior is brought alive with a 40’ waterfall, antique Indian artifacts, brightly patterned table linens and a wealth of plants and flowers. The restaurant also features the cosy Jungle Bar with an, intentionally, peanut shell strewn floor!

This certainly is a restaurant with the wow factor and if the food lived up to the décor we reckoned we would be in for a treat.

The food did live up to the initial wow factor. I had, however, bearing in mind that it is an Indian restaurant, expected a regular curry. But La Porte des Indes lives up to its claim of serving Indian

cuisine with a difference – many of its dishes featuring the influence of former Indian French colonies.

It is a big menu and we were truly grateful to Savio for coming to our rescue with recommendations and suggestions. In the end however, we shared the sampling Menu Maison.

We enjoyed it all, but our favourites were the oh so tender Barra Lamb Chops; Parsee Fish – fillets of sole with mint and coriander chutney steamed in banana leaves; Poulet Rouge – a house speciality; Demoiselles de Pondichéry – king scallops in a mild saffron sauce; a yummy Multani Naan and L’Assiette du Chef – a selection of desserts, the chocolate pot was terrific. £42 for three courses. 

NB: By the way, La Porte des Indes is part of the celebrated Blue Elephant group, and it holds occasional cookery classes too!

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