A Michelin star restaurant that takes Indian to new heights.
There are moments in life that are so extraordinary they become frozen in your memory like a picture. That is how I feel about my second dining experience with Anjali Pathak, granddaughter of the founders of Patak’s. After an amazing Chai and some tasty nibbles at Dishoom in Covent Garden Anjali offered to share another meal with me at Michelin starred Rasoi by Vineet Bhatia. Tucked away on Lincoln Street inside a Victorian townhouse I never would have guessed that behind the unassuming front door awaited one of the best meals of my life. I’d hate to coin this meal as a Curry as it was nothing like what I’ve enjoyed so far during my Curry Adventures here in London. This is Indian Cuisine elevated to new heights by the hand of an artist, Chef and owner Vineet Bhatia.
Located West of Covent Garden at 10 Lincoln St, London it is only a £12 cab ride if traffic is good. Inside Rasoi you feel like you are stepping into a private home and not a fine dining restaurant. It is intimate and shockingly private, even though there was a table with 4 business men just 10 feet away we never heard a thing from them. I can imagine this would be a perfect setting for private special nights out with that special someone. My special someone of course is my dining companion, chef and cookbook author Anjali Pathak.
Comfortable leaving myself in Anjali’s capable hands I leave the menu ordering completely up to her. After looking at the delicious menu Anjali decided upon the Menu Prestige, a seven course meal paired with wine. I normally don’t disclose the price as menus can change but at £169 each this meal is going down in my history books as one of the priciest ever. It is only money though and you know what they say, “When in London… “
Our first course is actually not on the menu, it is just a little treat from the kitchen. The presentation tells me we are in for a wow experience. On the left is Broccoli Spinach Tikki, and on the right is Dahi Bhalla, a lentil dumpling in sweetened yoghurt. What a way to start.
Yummy and that isn’t even part of the Menu Prestige that we ordered. The official first course of our meal is a Crab lollipop and crab chutney-mustard caviar Lime-coconut soup. The presentation alone had my mouth watering but the actual food was delicious. I think I ate my crab lollipop faster than a 5 year old with an ice cream in the middle of August.
Our next course consisted of more seafood, not something I often equated with Indian cuisine but I am getting schooled that my notions of what Indian cuisine is was wrong. This course is Banana wrapped mustard tilapia and Asparagus cous cous. I don’t eat a lot of fish but this could be on my plate ever day and I’d eat it. The asparagus cous cous was as light and fluffy as any I have ever tried.
Our third course is rich, rich and rich. Not for the faint of stomach this dish is all about Foie Gras and there is lots of it. Spice Grilled Foie Gras on wild mushroom naan, Lemon Grass crusted Foie Gras coins with a green apple chutney. I finished my entire plate. It was a bit rich for Anjali would wanted to save room for the other 4 courses but I couldn’t resist eating every last morsel.
The fourth course is absolutely divine and includes a sauce I’m not familiar with Makhni. Makhni is Butter Chicken but this version is made without the skins on the tomatoes and is a creamy white colour instead of red. May I present to you Tomato Olive Chicken with white Tomato Makhni sauce and Coriander Spring Onion Khichdi. Divine, divine and divine! That is all I can say.
Our fifth course allows us a little break and also provides a bit of a palette cleanser, a Champagne and Rose Petal Sorbet with Rose Marmalade. During this break from the heavier dishes we have the chance to chat with our host and Master Sommelier who has done a fantastic job pairing wines to Chef Vineet Bhatia’s food. Anjali and I also had a chance to peruse Chef’s cookbook which is filled with plenty of modern Indian recipes and dishes.
It is time to continue with our 6th course which is all about theatre… smoke cloud herbed Lamb Rack with mustard mash, Sauce Rogan Josh and Stilton Lamb Tikki. Tender Lamb, Rogan Josh sauce that bursts with cinnamon spice and that mustard mash that I need to find a recipe for. It was delicious and the presentation added a nice touch of drama to the evening.
We are down to our final and seventh course, dessert. I swear I don’t have any room but…. once I see what they are bringing us I guess I’ll just have to make room. Our last course is this beautiful creation of Pista delice with a ‘Varqi’ 24 carat Chivas Regal truffle Chocolate with tropical heart. A masterpiece and what a way to end our meal.
I went into this evening having just met Anjali and falling in love with the amazing food scene in London. I left this evening after 4 hours at Rasoi feeling like I’d made a new friend in Anjali and absolutely blown away by the magic that Chef Vineet Bhatia and his team created for us. If you don’t think Chefs are artists then you need to visit any of Vineets restaurants and he will prove you wrong. I didn’t spend much money on touristy trinkets to bring back to Canada with me but I did spend my money in restaurants like Rasoi by Vineet Bhatia and I feel the better for doing so. Long after a spring clean sees the trinket thrown out I’ll have my memories of this meal when I dined with Anjali and experience Indian Cuisine like I’d never had before.
This 30 Days of Indian adventure series is sponsored by Patak’s Canada, the world’s leading producer of authentic, quality, and convenient Indian foods, sauces, and pastes. Continue to follow this adventure to find more great ways to Mix in a Little India into your daily life. The opinions on this blog are my own.