Newest Review: ... and gave us the food and wine menus. Two glasses of Kir Royal were delivered swiftly and discreetly to the table and we were left alone t... more
Not your regular Curry House!
Chutney Mary's (London)
Member Name: pjs21
Chutney Mary's (London)
Date: 05/06/03, updated on 05/06/03 (1093 review reads)
Advantages: Good selection of food & wine, Excellent Service, Stunning Food
Always on the lookout for somewhere new to eat, my girlfriend and I finally succumbed to the all the ravings by friends and family and visited Chutney Mary's. It wasn't that we didn't want to go, it's just that we wanted to be the ones who discovered it and foolishly that meant that we waited for a long time before going.
Now, if you have heard of this Kings Road restaurant you probably know that it's not cheap. I can back that statement up, it really isn't the kind of place you go if you only want to spend £50.00 on a three course meal for two including wine.
We booked our table on a Friday night in the off chance that they would have something on the Saturday night, as it happens they did.
However, when we arrived at the restaurant it soon became obvious that they had no record of our booking. Was there a scene? Did we cause a fracas? No need, within five minutes the manager was called, a table was found and we were shown to our seats.
Chutney Mary is set over two floors of a large building. We didn't get to see the upstairs as it's hidden behind large sliding doors that look like a secret entrance. Downstairs was dim lighting, lots of candles, a large conservatory area and a lower level of tables.
The waiter explained the workings of the restaurant to us. They have a number of chefs from different areas of India who each have their own specialities and create dishes using their skills and knowledge of the regions of their country. Oooh, it was all sounding very exciting so far.
He told us to sit back and relax, took our orders for aperitifs, and gave us the food and wine menus.
Two glasses of Kir Royal were delivered swiftly and discreetly to the table and we were left alone to choose the food and wine.
The food menu had so many choices that sounded irresistible. How on earth do you decide what to have when all the food sounds that good? The win
e list was really well laid out with clear explanations and descriptions. It was well selected with lots of choice for differing tastes. My only comment would be that it was quite a highly priced list (that is from memory and I could be wrong, but I think the cheapest bottle was about £15.00-£16.00) Our bottle of Chablis cost £34.00, so the price of your evening would easily be bumped up a price bracket including wine.
When it came to ordering we were advised of the special dishes on offer and talked through them. The waiter who served us for the evening was incredibly informed and able to offer advise on both the food and wine. He did admit to having only just done a wine tasting course organised through the restaurant and was still very keen to tell everyone his new found interest.
The starters: Crab Cakes on one side, and lobster on the other. Crab Cakes don't sound very exciting maybe, but this one was amazing. White meat stacked high with a thin layer of crisp potato on top, nicely spiced, not mouth-burning.
Lobster ? well, maybe a bit indulgent, but when you know you're going to spend a lot of money anyway why the hell not do it in style? A whole lobster tail sectioned and marinated with spices. It was quite hot but such great flavours.
The Mains: Lamb Knuckles for the lady, and for sir the Cod.
Lamb Knuckles may sound disgusting, but to anyone who's eaten slow-cooked, succulent Lamb Shanks, well this piece of meat has the same juiceness and falling off the bone thing when given the same treatment, a fantastic curry.
Cod. How dull is that. Well, let me tell you how dull that was. A thick cod steak coated with a thin spicy layer. When cut into it flaked beautifully and was still succulent, moist and tender. It just dissolved in the mouth. Stunning!
This was served up with rice, bread and two portions of side vegetables: potatoes and okra.
Desserts: This is my
favourite part of the meal. I usually choose my main courses around what I want for dessert. However, the dessert menu didn't appear until the main course was gone.
For her a bowl of three sorbets: Mango, Rose & Lemon. Each of them was distinctive in flavour and yet worked well together as a trio. Beautifully presented.
For me, a hot chocolate fondant cake with orange fondant sauce. The cake was beautifully light and the inside gloriously runny and rich. The orange fondant was served in a shot glass on the plate, the idea being that you pour the contents over your cake. Stunningly executed and wonderfully indulgent, all washed down with a glass of dessert wine, Muscat Beaume de Venise at £4.60 a glass.
The restaurant has a wonderful atmosphere and the waiting staff are efficient but more importantly, not intrusive. The toilets were spotlessly clean, the staff welcoming and the food absolutely delicious.
As for the total cost, well, the bill came in at £155.00. Is that too much to spend on food? Was it worth every penny or just another over-priced London restaurant?
Taking in to account the problem with the booking, the speed with which it was sorted, and all of the other information given above, yes, it was definitely value for money. It was a perfect evening, with perfect company and we were spoilt rotten by the top class service and food provided by Chutney Mary's.
I would not hesitate in saving up again and going back. Yes it may be out of peoples price range, it may be too expensive to take the family for a night out, but it's well worth saving up and going if you want to treat someone, or yourself, to a fantastic meal. And to be honest, £75.00 per head including a large bottle of water, 2 Kir Royals, 1 Bottle of Chablis and a Dessert Wine, is not that different to many other London and out-of-town restaurants. Infact if you didn?t have champagne, lobster, a dessert wine and went f
or a £20.00 bottle of wine, you could easily get that down to £50.00 per head, if not less. I've spent the same amount of money before on a meal that was terrible.
55 Kings Road
020 7351 3113
or visit their website for more information: www.chutneymary.com
Go, eat, drink and be very merry.