Elysium Magazine has searched far and wide for an excellent Indian restaurant, a search that has brought up a few recommendations for London’s favourite La Porte Des Indes. Known by many who favour a curry, Elysium Magazine got in the hot seat and sought to see whether it was worthy of the discerning gent.
The mainstay of the menu is the Gallic-influenced dishes inspired by original recipes sourced from Pondicherry, a former French colony in India dating back to the 19th century so it’s not your average Indian or curry. Coupled with a 45 ft. waterfall, palm trees and a jungle bar, the restaurant was one we were excited to see for ourselves.
La Porte Des Indes is based just by Marble Arch tube station, an easy-to-find restaurant not far from the ever-busy Bond Street. The restaurant is a wonder; when arriving, you are guided through the entrance to walk into a jungle with a huge waterfall in the middle of the floor (just as we were told). It’s an interesting layout, which is great for an intimate meal or a group setting. The design of the restaurant is influenced by colonial India, which provides a unique setting for an Indian restaurant – the same influence is seen throughout the extensive menu.
Following a warm welcome, we opted for the recommendations from the waiter who was extremely attentive – every dish was explained following an understanding of our preferences and wants of the evening. The wine recommendations for each course were also spot-on. We were certainly impressed with the range of knowledge on display from the waiter. We knew we were in safe hands.
For starters, we dived into the Parsee Fish, fillets of sole encased in a mint and coriander chutney and lightly steamed in banana leaves, and the Demoiselles de Pondichéry, large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce. Both starters set the tone for the restaurant, a unique experience in Indian fine dining. The fusion of ingredients brought out the rich flavours, which, for a starter size, were generous. The starters had us intrigued on whether the main course could have the same care, attention and thought put into the dishes.
We opted to forego the traditional Indian dishes and try to get more from the La Porte Des Indes experience. We went with the recommendation for the Barra Lamb Chops (best end of British lamb marinated with caramelised onions and garam masala, served with mint chutney) and the Poulet Rouge (chicken marinated in yoghurt and red spices, grilled and served in a creamy sauce). These were accompanied by Multani Naan, Kesaria Pillav Rice and Pomegranate Raita.
The lamb was a big win for us – it was a great piece and the masala was full of flavour. It worked well with the mint and with the sides, a good recommendation for the discerning gent. The chicken was much richer than your usual curry house classic but provided a great twist – clearly what La Porte Des Indes was looking to achieve.
La Porte Des Indes is a well-established brand with good reason; anyone who likes a curry will know the basics of Indian dining. However, there are very little restaurants, which take the Indian to a new level. The atmosphere, the service and the quality of the dishes left the Elysium Magazine team well and truly impressed.
Anyone looking for a restaurant with great Indian dishes in a unique setting should look no further than La Porte Des Indes.
Food: 5/5 stars
Ambience: 4/5 stars
Venue: 4/5 stars