Heart London 24 Jul 2014

Having been weaned on curries, I always approach an Indian restaurant with trepidation asking myself what kind of curry will I be served up with this time. La Porte des Indes was a pleasant surprise. Situated on the outskirts of Portland village and a stones throw away from Marble Arch, it looked like a bijous Indian restaurant. How wrong was I when I got inside…a huge bustling space set over two floors of splendour reminiscent of colonial India. We were greeted with a very warm welcome by the Manager and our table was ideally placed to be able to enjoy the décor and the central sloping staircase.

After a stressful week, we needed a drink and what an array of choices…wine, cocktails and gin based mixers which were pretty unique. My glass of white wine was from a good variety of whites although for the price, the portions could have been a little larger and somewhat colder.

Flicking through the menu there was such a choice, I was intrigued by the Indian with French influence which is how Le Port des Indes differentiates itself. It really works and it took us longer than usual to decide. Lots of seafood – lobster, crab, scallops and black cod which was a welcome change for an Indian restaurant. The French based dishes were alluring.

We finally decided. Our starters which were Rasoul – curry puffs with lamb and peas and Demoiselles de Pondichery – grilled king scallops with garlic and saffron sauce. The puff pastry crumbled in your mouth and the minced lamb contained within it was easy on the palate, maybe a little short of spice but delicious nevertheless. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the saffron sauce was sensational – I wanted more!

Our main was Tandoori Chicken and Curried Goat. The curry was slow cooked and the meat just melted in your mouth…spiced enough to cause a tingle on your tongue and not at all over heated or painful to eat unlike some curries I have had. The tandoori chicken was amply spiced and succulent…not at all dry. We had an array of accompaniments to choose from and my Laccha Paratha was just like my mother used to make – rich and flaky made with real butter. It was worth the calorie intake. My Okra dish was equally sublime.

All in all, a very pleasant dining experience. The sign of a good Indian restaurant is when someone who has been brought up on curry says they will go back which I look forward to doing so. I am lucky it is my local!