PALI HILL, FITZROVIA
Best Indian restaurant for: Seasonal regional dishes
Dish to order: Alphonso mango cheesecake
Named after one of Mumbai¡¯s oldest neighbourhoods, Pali Hill delves into some of the finest flavour-packed regional dishes from every corner of the country. Sit on the side-street terrace or cosy up among colourful cushions in the art deco-inspired interior, admiring the specially commissioned artworks from India adorning the walls. Kick things off with a boozy lassi, a smooth, refreshing drink of yogurt, honey and fresh mango blended with a shot of rum. Or perhaps the special Champagne lassi, a mix of lychee and apricot sorbet with sparkling 15 Mo?t & Chandon Imp¨¦rial Brut and Glenfiddich Grand Cru. Accompany your tipple with papadi chat ¨C crispy and crunchy and topped with spiced yogurt, red and yellow tomato, pomegranate, mint and tamarind chutney, it¡¯s a sophisticated upgrade on the classic poppadom with chutneys and pickles, deep in flavour and dangerously moreish. Another small plate to try is the hara kebab, a falafel-style combination of spring peas and spinach with a tamarind chutney for dipping.
Move on to the main event of big plates, tandoor and grills, all cooked following house recipes that use traditional techniques. The menu changes every few months to guarantee the freshest, in-season plates. We loved the sea bass steamed in banana leaf with raw mango, mint, coriander and lime ¨C it was the star of the show, paired perfectly with the seasonal grilled asparagus with pahadi bhaang jeera (hempseed) chutney and a glass of the Gr¨¹ner Veltliner. Meat eaters shouldn¡¯t miss the classic slow-cooked Suffolk lamb biryani, mopping it up with a soft but crispy ghee-striped sourdough roti. Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, finish with the mango cheesecake ¨C the light mousse topping the crumbly biscuit base is simply delicious. Or go for the passionfruit gola ¨C shaved ice with a sweet burst ¨C which is perfect for cleansing the palate. By Cordelia Aspinall
Address: Pali Hill, 79¨C81, Mortimer Street, London, England, W1W 7SJ
Telephone: +44 20 8130 0101