London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



We love travelling (who doesn't?) and now it seems that restaurants enjoy taking a vacation too. Legendary Indian restaurant Bukhara is visiting London for two weeks only, but instead of touring the city, taking in Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge, they are setting up a residency at the Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge.

Renowned as one of the greatest restaurants in the world, London foodies have been waiting for this luxury pop-up with extreme anticipation, and we were lucky enough to reserve a table. If it hasn't already sold out for the entire run, it almost certainly soon will.

Those lucky enough to get a table are in for a treat. We opted for the meat and seafood menu to sample as many flavours as possible, which might be the best decision we make all year. Kicking off with peppery poppadoms with cardamom, the signs were that this would be a meal to remember. Served with large portions of seasoned red onion, mint raita and yoghurt, they warmed up our taste buds and hinted at what was to come.

Soon enough, our first course arrived, and in keeping with the style of the Delhi restaurant, there was no cutlery. Instead, we were encouraged to use the bread in the traditional Indian way to pick up the food. Firstly we tried Tandoori Jhinga; huge prawns marinaded in yoghurt, red chilli and turmeric, grilled to perfection over charcoal. Juicy and fresh and absolutely packed with flavour. These were accompanied by Murgh Malai Kabab; delicious chunks of chicken breast marinated in cream cheese, lemon and coriander. Picking up the chicken and prawns with bread certainly helped us feel at this was more of an authentic meal. Everything tastes better when eaten with the fingers!

The bread was also perfect for mopping up the Dal Bukhara; a house special black lentil dish that was the perfect accompaniment to almost all the main dishes we sampled. Our next course consisted of Sikandri Raan; braised lamb flavoured with cinnamon and cumin. The spices permeated right through the meat, giving it a peppery, aromatic flavour. Accompanying this was a vegetarian dish of roasted potato, cashew nuts and chilli, again all to be picked up with bread before being devoured. Quite simply, Bukhara is in a league of its own. Their Delhi restaurant, situated in a Luxury Collection Hotel, is multi-award winning, and the quality shows. Their dishes are inventive and creative and unfailingly brilliant.

This even stretched to the desserts; the caramelised milk dumpling was a syrup-dipped sponge-style pudding, sweet and light and the perfect way to end a meal. The Phirni was not to our personal taste however, but fans of rice pudding would certainly be big admirers.

Overall, Bukhara deserves nothing but the highest praise. This is fine dining at its best. It's short two-week residency will certainly leave people wanting more and we can only hope that they return to these shores soon with a more permanent venture.

17 May -1 June only

Sheraton Park Tower, 101 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RN

Tasting menu: £89 per head
Food/Drink: 5/5
Service: 5/5

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