When it comes to Punjabi cooking, celebrity chef Dipna Anand is one of the biggest names in the country. Like her grandfather who founded Southall’s Brilliant restaurant, Anand is bringing an authentic taste of cooking to Londoners. But this time, she’s swapped West London's Little India for a piece of prime real estate further central.
A far cry from the tourist trap ice rink dominating the Neoclassical square, Dipna Anand at Somerset House is spacious and calm. In the space that used to house Tom’s Kitchen, the namesake restaurant features a statement bar and huge booths spread across multiple rooms. Brushed blues walls, giant lighting and lush greenery come together with splashes of terracotta to provide a pretty décor that any interior design lover would drool over.
Of course, we’re all here for a taste of the celebrity chef’s cooking. Visiting on a Sunday, it’s a choice between brunch dishes like crushed paratha stuffed with masala scrambled egg, a Desi breakfast, small plates, biryanis and beyond. For me? A thali (£21.50), packed with lamb samosas, onion bhajis, naan, rice, and saucy dishes in the form of Delhi-style chicken, dhal makhani and chutneys. While the naan and chicken were a little dry, the dhal makhana and chutneys made for one flavour-packed spread.
Then there’s the tasty samosa chaat (£12) which is served street style – combining chickpeas and samosa, drenched in yoghurt and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. As for drinks? The Mohabbat Martini (£10.50), a bright, fuchsia pink number mixed Cardamom-infused gin, elderflower liqueur, pear essence, lemon and cloudy apple before finishing with a dainty flower garnish for a sweet kick.
The DesignMyNight Digest
With such an iconic location, stunning setting and big name chef at the helm, you'd think that Dipna Anand's restaurant would command a hefty price tag... but that's not the case. Not only can you expect photo-worthy decor and plates, but a visit won't break the bank either.
💰 The damage: around £60 for two.
📍 The location: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.
👌 Perfect for: authentic eats in a grand setting.
⭐ Need to know: make sure to grab a table by the window - you get a beaut view of the Thames.
Consult our list of London's best Indian restaurants for more.