9 courses... right? While that's enough to intimidate most, I was geared for a challenge; being boisterous is in my blood. Joining Indian Accent in Mayfair for their renowned chef's tasting menu, I was here to experience what has made Manish Mehrotra a chef so sought after in New Delhi and New York alike.
A slinky spot that echoes its Mayfair location, Indian Accent isn't shy on the niceties, brimming with golden flecks and a staff that are there to please. Popped down on the regal, green banquette seating, we lunged straight into the 9 vegetarian courses that were about to unfold. I'm not going to list all nine in succession, it's quite a way to go, but I will relay some of the items that really made us respect Indian Accent's place on London's dining map.
Star dishes were easy to find at Indian Accent, and mine came as a trio. While the amuse bouche of pumpkin and coconut chorba with a blue-cheese filled naan inspired unrelenting confidence in the dishes to come, it was the kashmiri morels and soy keema that stole it. While the kashmiri, supported by a delicate parmesan papad was a tidy little number that would have mushroom lovers on heat, the soy keema was piquant, as a keema should be, topped by a quail egg that brought the dish back home.
One dish let the Indian Accent team down for me, and that was the vegetable tart. Undeniably larger in size, and swimming in a rich, yet thin bisque that reminded me more of British roast dinners than refined Indian flavours, I was surprised to see it come out so late in the experience.
For those with the cash to spend, don't be shy on trying the wine pairing. Joined by the restaurant's sommelier, we experienced bottles and flavours that go out of their way to complement dish after lustrous dish. Curation is clearly key here.
While service was a little too full on at times (at one point I encountered 4/5 courteous exchanges on a simple trip to the bathroom), and the vegetable tart should have been considered an early item out of the stables, rather than a closer to the experience, Manish Mehrotra has created an experience that is equal parts leisurely and lush.
The 9 course chef's tasting menu at Indian Accent comes in at £80 per person, with a wine pairing coming in at £65 per person. Indian Accent's London site can be found at 16 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4HW.