My second greatest love after travel is food. When I am not on my travels, I like to think I can still ‘eat my way around the world’ in London’s melting pot of international restaurants. I am a huge fan of Indian food, so when I was invited to review Moti Mahal Indian Restaurant, it was off to India we go!
It was a Friday night when my best friend Fi and I made our way to Moti Mahal. Friday night is one of my absolute favourite times to be in the area of Covent Garden as the atmosphere is so electric that it feels like anything is possible. On arrival we were met by charming restaurant manager Rohit who showed us to our candle-lit table. The very warm welcome and immaculate service from the off set the tone for what was to come.
Rohit introduced us to our waitress Anja. Anja expertly set the scene by explaining the concept of Moti Mahal, which is to take diners on a culinary journey of India’s Grand Trunk Road. Grand Trunk Road is the most famous road in India which links the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent. Anja offered us a a welcome cocktail, and we immediately opted for the Moti Royal. Containing pink grapefruit and elderflower, it contained two of my all time favourite cocktail flavours.
Whilst there was a sublime tasting menu on offer, Fi and I decided to go a la carte so we could pick exactly what we wanted. We had been given a few recommendations, such as the scallops, which we wanted to make sure we tried. Having both eaten a very light lunch, we were more than ready for a feast!
I absolutely love Chicken Tikka so my eyes were immediately drawn to the ‘Murghi Nazakat Chicken’. 3 individually flavoured pieces of chicken each were presented in a copper vase and presented on skewers. The green mint and basil flavoured piece was my favourite out of the three and was so deliciously flavoured and succulent. You could tell all 3 pieces had been delicately marinaded and prepared with a whole lot of TLC.
For our second starter we chose the pan fried sweet potato. I had never tried sweet potato in an Indian restaurant before and it came with plenty of exotic flavours. I was intrigued by the gooseberry chutney salad, which complimented the lightly friend sweet potato perfectly. It was probably the least flavoursome out of the starters, but a great addition to the chicken tikka.
The scallops were our third starter and were served in individual portions and sat on a bed of delicately flavoured cumin peas. The tamarind flavouring on the scallop was gorgeous and just enough to leave you wanting more.
Before any other decisions could be made for the main course, my eyes were immediately drawn to the top left of the menu, where I read the glorious words ‘truffle naan’. I am obsessed with truffle but never knew that this beautiful creation existed until now. The naan was fresh, soft and perfectly doughy with a wicked glaze of oil and truffle on top. It was totally indulgent and was a wonderfully rich accompaniment to our chosen curries.
Our waitress Anja recommended that we try the butter chicken curry so we went for this as well as the Rajasthani Lamb Curry. When lamb is done right in curries, it is melt-in-your-mouth and very tender. Based on the quality of the restaurant, I had no doubt this is what they would deliver, and they did. The lamb curry was my favourite of the two and tearing off a piece of truffle naan to dunk in the sauce was a little mouthful of pure heaven.
To accompany our mains we shared a saffron pilau rice and some fresh raita sauce in case things started to hot up. The cool and refreshing raita mixed in beautifully with the curries and was a great addition to the mains.
I would never normally order dessert at an Indian restaurant. Firstly because I am usually far too full and secondly because the dessert menu in your typical restaurant is never all that inspiring. However, based on the amazing quality of the starters, I figured it would be rude not to round off the meal with something sweet. Anja recommended we share the Kulfi selection, which was a selection of Indian ice creams that originate from Delhi.
The best way to describe the kulfi was like amazingly exotic mini milks with flavours that you could tell were totally fresh. If you’ve overdone the spice in your main course, this dessert is the ideal option to cool down your palette. I absolutely loved them, especially the pistachio and mango flavours.
Moti Mahal has transformed my perception of how Indian food can be enjoyed. Before now, I would never usually associate Indian food and fine dining, but Moti Mahal marries the two with effortless finesse. The dishes are expertly flavoured with fresh herbs and the highest of quality ingredients and whilst the majority of the food is very rich, it is a deliciously indulgent experience. What also sets this restaurant apart from the others is the outstanding level of service you can expect. The staff could not have been more attentive, knowledgable about the menu or willing to please, which is something that I regard so highly.
In my opinion, the combination of outstanding service and delicious dishes places Moti Mahal in first place for the best Indian restaurant in London. It’s not somewhere I would go to every single week, but that’s because this isn’t just an Indian restaurant, this is Moti Mahal London.
What did you think of my Moti Mahal London restaurant review? Have you been to Moti Mahal London or are you planning to try it for yourself? If you enjoyed this post or have any more questions about my experience, please do leave me a comment in the box below!
Moti Mahal, 45 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA
020 7240 9329