La Porte des Indes is celebrating its eighteenth year of operation so we thought it important to describe what’s made it a classic destination for opulent Indian cuisine in Marylebone. Similarly to the Fulham restaurant Blue Elephant, La Porte is a vast space housed in a former Edwardian ballroom and stuffed to the gills with greenery, creating a verdant rainforest setting, with a forty foot Mughal water feature.
The food is inspired by the region of Pondicherry, a former French colony dating back to the 19th century, a unique amalgamation of French, Tamil and Creole influences. On our visit we had the opportunity to try the Menu Maison and sample a wide selection of dishes, but there were a few starters that stood out as chiefly delicious. These included Parsee Fish – sumptuous fillets of sole encased in banana leaves and steamed with a coriander and mint chutney; as well as plump grilled scallops kissed with garlic and served in a saffron sauce. Our favourite main demonstrated the interesting commingling of international influences – black cod was marinade in fennel, chilli, mustard, honey, tamarind and rice vinegar before being flame roasted over the grill.
For those who are looking to impress a visitor to London with high-quality food and a design so extravagant that it borders on the outrageous, La Porte des Indes does the trick.