‘Can Albemarle Street take another high-end Indian restaurant?’ I hear you cry. I’ll admit I was sceptical. Luckily, after an evening at Indian Accent, I’m pleased to report I’ve been convinced it can – very much so.
Opened just over six months ago on one of Mayfair’s plushest streets, Indian Accent has a lot to live up to. Not only are the likes of Chuc’s, Isabel and Gazelle vying for fans of fine dining along the street, but its two sister restaurants in New Delhi and New York have won some serious accolades in recent months – ‘best Indian in the world’ for the former, no less.
Certainly, first impressions live up to the hype. Head inside and you’re greeted with a cool oasis of luxurious Mayfair calm – as you’d expect, even at the height of London’s sticky heatwave. The name fits the concept behind the food snugly; Executive Head Chef Manish Mehrotra wanted to create an experience that blended French haute cuisine with traditional Indian flavours.
I’ve never seen truffle, parmesan or stilton on an Indian menu before. Having clocked these, we met the amuse bouche with some trepidation. Luckily, here too, the restaurant lived up to its promise. I was served an earthenware jug of pumpkin and coconut soup that I frankly wanted to swim in, and Mr S-S snaffled a blue cheese stuffed naan, which really did work – the cheese’s smooth flavours holding up against earthy naan bread.
The plush cocktail bar sits alongside the restaurant
Burrata with fenugreek Papdi and tomatoes
Masala wild mushroom, water chestnut and paper roast Dosai
Aamras with mangoes, cardamom and summer berries
Chicken Malai Tikka with a green chilli cream, sugar snap peas and summer truffle
Rolling into the starters, the Kashmiri morels in walnut powder and parmesan papad were both similarly impressive and delivered a rich flavour punch that again showed off a clever marriage of Indian and European influences. As a second course, the spiced, juicy tiger prawns in Indian sorrel chutney were offset by a lighter burrata and tomato dish, which could have been wholly mediterranean were it not for the addition of fenugreek Papdi.
The mains were a mile from the thick-sauced masalas you might expect; we enjoyed delicate sea bream and chicken Malai Tikka, lifted by sugar snap peas and summer truffle. These were served with black diary dal (an absolute jewel of a dipping dish) and stuffed Kulchas including wild mushroom and smoked bacon, which totally overcame my defences. By the time we’d scoffed our way through the lot, I was totally in Mehrotra’s hands.
Following this, we worked our way through no less than four desserts. Highlights included the Makhan Malai (or saffron milk with rose petal), which was light as a cloud with sweet yet subtle flavours. The Amrass with its spiced sweet and tart fruits had a pastry casing that would not have been out of place in the finest French patisserie, either.
Despite this impressive display, a meal at Indian Accent isn’t as frightening as could be. Three courses set you back around £55 and four around £65. The wine list was well curated, from £35 to around £100 for something exceptional. We drank a perfectly refreshing Vermentino from the lower end. The team were knowledgeable, interested and warm without exception – not something that Mayfair restaurants always get right.
Well on its way to more awards and accolades, this is one to get into while you can. If you’re after a traditional curry this place probably isn’t for you – but that’s precisely why it ticks our boxes. Visit for a satisfying, surprising and refreshing culinary experience – even on a street that’s crowded with foodie destinations.