La Porte des Indes review

Your Palate 07 Nov 2014

If you are looking for a dining experience rather than simply an evening meal, there are few places that can compete with the extraordinary interior that La Porte des Indes offers. Entering the restaurant at number 32 Bryanston Street, at the top end of Park Lane, is like stepping inside the TARDIS. Venture downstairs from the reception area and you are transported to the jungle, complete with Indian artifacts, a stunning white marble staircase, a 40 ft Moghul waterfall and of course, exotic plants and flowers to finish.

Dining at this restaurant is more like an expedition to the Indian sub-continent and the food is equally exciting.Heavily focused on the Gallic influences found in Pondicherry, a former French colony in India, the menu is unique and diverse with some dishes taken from closely-guarded family recipes which Mehernosh Mody, Executive Chef, and his wife managed to persuade out of the French-Creole communities on their travels over several months in the region. The result is a menu that offers some very French dishes, some Tamil and some typically Creole, but all amalgamating to create a dynamic culinary experience.

Of course, it is easy to get caught up in the theatrics of the restaurant, but the food really does stand up for itself with diverse and intriguing flavour combinations and presentation to match. The cuisine offers something different to your usual Indian restaurant meal and is suitably supported by immaculate waiting staff who are on hand to accommodate your every requirement.

The menu includes dishes such as Demoiselles de Pondichéry, large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce; Magret de Canard Pulivaar, tender Barbary duck breast fillets served pink with a spicy tamarind sauce unique to the Creole community of Pondicherry, a Mme. Lourde Swamy’s ancestral recipe and; Pork Vindaloo “Ordinaire”, an extraordinary dish of Gloucestershire old spot belly and shoulder marinated with Goan red chillies, garlic and malt vinegar.

The French influences flow heavily through the menu, but complement every dish rather than clash. Another great attribute this restaurant offers is both a set menu to experience a range of dishes from £32 and a takeaway menu to enjoy the same excellent cuisine from your home or desk. This is the perfect spot to enjoy something a little out of the norm with dishes that you would otherwise never experience…unless you happen to be travelling to the Pondicherry region!