If a vast spread served to you in wonderfully anachronistic surrounds evoking the colonial French era in Pondicherry gets your New Year party popping, La Porte des Indes will deliver of all the above- along with a tiger-skin rug and waterfall. On New Years’ Eve there’ll be music and a DJ, but it’s chef Mehernosh Mody’s unique and copious menu that’s the biggest incentive. La Porte showcases refined, French-influenced cuisine quite unlike anything you’ll find in other UK Indian restaurants.
Don’t book for too late an hour, or you’ll never be done by next year. The menu goes on and on – duck liver mousse amongst the raft of canapés, salmon samosas, king scallops, guinea fowl and tandoori fois gras to start, then king prawns, chicken vindaloo, Welsh lamb chops and stir-fried water chestnut and Swiss chard mains. On the side, date and walnut raita, pilau and tandoori breads. For £15 you can tack on lobster or black cod – but do you need to?!
Veggies are similarly spoilt, with everything from banana flower beignets, to paneer-stuffed chillies, chana chaat and beetroot samosas in the beginning; then baby aubergines in peanut gravy, Keralan moong dal thoran and stuffed Desiree potatoes along with all the aforementioned trimmings. Pud for both is a grande assiette indeed- pannacotta, chocolate tart, macaroons and sweet samosas. Then it’s Mysore Coffee or Chai Masala served with petit fours. What a way to go out with a bang.