Deputy Editor, Reena Patel picks some of her favourite places for a quick bite in London.
Curry In A Hurry: Carom
Bang in the middle of buzzy Wardour Street, Carom restaurant and lounge bar plays host to a contemporary take on Indian street-style cooking, fused with regional influences from across the sub-continent.
Items fresh out of the tandoor are to be the focus when ordering, especially the sizzling fish platter, lamb ‘sheek’ kebabs and delicious plain naan breads. We also recommend the crispy fried chilli squid with a spice mix and coriander dip and aloo tikki (potato cakes with spiced green peas and tomato chutney for small plates. Curries are rich and creamy, so suitable if you’re in need of a hearty dinner, or go for the biryani with a Cobra beer. For extra spice, try the Chennai chicken curry with steamed Green Safrron Basmati AAA Grade Vintage rice.
For a night out with a difference, book in for the Curry Club Masterclass, a cooking demo experience over cocktails, hosted by the restaurant’s executive head chef Balaji Balachander. Balaji formerly trained under culinary extraordinaire Atul Kochar at his fine dining restaurant, Benares, Mayfair, so you’ll be in for a real treat. You also get a goody bag to take home, with a jar of homemade Carom chutney and a selection of freshly prepared mini poppadoms. www.caromsoho.com
Dizzy Night Dining: Disiac
This sleek champagne and seafood bar in the heart of Soho is the perfect pit stop pre-theatre, or when it’s party time.
Dressed in stark white, you’d be almost fooled into thinking you had stepped into a trendy nightclub. White leather booths, raised window seats and the option to dine after dark with the resident DJ playing tunes till late on the decks on weekends, makes it ideal for a younger, dressy crowd.
We sat at the raw bar and watched the team prepare our Italian meal in the small but perfectly formed kitchen. We suggest going straight on to the mains. Try the cod fillet with white wine, caperberries, cherry tomatoes and green beans, or a sizeable plate of wild boar tagliatelle.
A good selection of sparkling wines and Italian homemade desserts such as tiramisu are simple and sweet enough to get you ready for that show or big night out. www.disiaclondon.com
Gastro Argentina: Garufin
You’ve heard of Gaucho, well this is Garufin – a buzzy new café-bar in Holborn, serving authentic Argentinian fare.
Small plates make up the select menu. We tried juicy rump steak served with creamed corn and mushroom ravioli, a fresh quinoa salad with sweet potato, chilli and coriander, fried yams with spicy tomato ketchup and scallop, tomato and onion empanada.
Smooth, deep Malbecs and other wine varieties selected exclusively from the Mendoza, Patagonia, Salta, San Juan and La Rioja regions helps the meal go down well. Two clever enomatic wine machines dispense eight tipples, ensuring freshness and multiple wines by the glass and carafe.
For the sweet-toothed, we hear that the ‘dulce de leche three ways’ (dulce de leche mousse, salted dulce de leche ice cream and milk foam with caramelised bananas and cacao syrup) is irresistible. www.garufa.co.uk
By Reena Patel