What: The first Indian restaurant in the UK to be awarded a Michelin Star, Tamarind Mayfair has reopened after an extensive eight-month refurbishment that has doubled the size of its capacity to 152 covers,
Who: Executive group head chef Karunesh Khanna, previously head chef at Michelin-starred Amaya in Belgravia, and Tamarind Mayfair head chef Manav Tuli, formerly head chef at Chutney Mary now head up the kitchen, following the departure of former chef Peter Joseph, who left the restaurant earlier this year to open Kahani in Chelsea.
The vibe: The restaurant is barely recognisable from before. Stairs lead down to a bright and spacious dining room with a large open kitchen at one end. Long sofas add a touch of elegance to the muted colour palate of the room, which has been styled in a very simple and clean manner.
The food: Khanna and Tuli are bringing their contemporary take on authentic Indian cooking and, in keeping with the bright feel of the restaurant, have created a menu of lighter dishes than you might find at other Indian restaurants of its ilk. Small plates include crispy lotus root chaat; pan-grilled crispy oysters; and Rajasthani churi chaat, while grill dishes such as tandoori quail; venison kakori; and chilli goat ribs feature. There’s also a stir fry section with the likes of stir-fried lamb brain; and crispy chicken wing as well as a curry and biryani section. The pair have evidently been mindful of meeting the needs of the healthy lunchtime set, as well as vegetarians, making Tamarind more all-day friendly than some of its competitors. Four salads feature, including ones with papaya, mango and cucumber; curly kale; and avocado, and grill dishes such as its nutty yoghurt and corn kebab; beetroot tikki; butternut squash and raw banana; and stuffed baby peppers are equally vegetarian friendly. Main courses also have a light touch, with Khanna and Tuli often eschewing thicker sauces in their curries for lighter broths.
And another thing: Diners now have the option of heading upstairs rather than down, with the restaurant now featuring a first-floor dining room for the first time.
20 Queen St, Mayfair