Lotus Restaurant, Leicester Square


 Indian food is a cuisine I often neglect; the British under-do it and sometimes it's just extremely unappealing with the 'takeaway Indian' stealing the limelight from the independent, authentic restaurants. Finding authentic Indian food in London is tough; believe it or not. 

It's cool though Londoners needn't worry - Lotus has our back.

Lotus is located near Leicester Square and claims to serve up "authentic Indian cuisine" and the reviews online appear to agree. Forever skeptical I was a little apprehensive still...

We arrived on a Friday evening at just gone 7pm - I was running typically late - but immediately I was warmly greeted and shown to our table. It was horrible outside - those horrible cold, windy and wet days London knows all too well so when offered the cocktail menu it simply would have taken the willpower of a Queens Guard to resist.

The Tollygunge Studio cocktail is a combination of pink moscato, rose petal, raspberry and green cardamom. It's refreshing, sweet and, in my opinion, a drink you could happily indulge in all evening. 

The menu had been pre-selected; around 7 courses to enjoy to ensure we could take in all of what Lotus had to offer. 

We started with a classic - an assortment of Poppadums with Chutneys.
These included; Rice, Potato, Finger Millet Poppadums with Mango, Apricot, Mint, Red Chilly and Green Tomato Chutney.

Despite being VERY gluten intolerant, I couldn't resist and I am glad I didn't. It wasn't the classic taste of poppadums you often get in takeaways - they were much lighter and had a substantial more amount of flavour.

Moving onto a completely unexpected dish, we had the rabbit kheema. The rabbit was mixed with green pepper corns and missi roti - it had a bit of kick, but not to the point it hide the flavour. The flavour was incredible; the rabbit cooked to perfection. It was slightly sweet - this may have been the pairing of the wine(Izadi, Rioja Reserva, 2011). Either way; it was delicious. Hands down one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.

The second stand out dish for me was the Lamb Chops and Rump. Served with a garlic pickle, Indian onion and chilli salad. Lamb is one of my favouritre dishes; it's always my fail safe on a menu and when it comes to lamb, I have high standards. 

The lamb chops and rump were cooked perfectly; medium to well done. For this particular dish it worked as the meat remained tender and retained all of the delicious flavour. It had a light spice to accompany the dish; not too much, or too little. The garlic pickle complemented the dish well, as we all know garlic and lamb is a winning combination. Paired with a ‘Heritage Reserve’ Zinfandel, De Loach, California, 2014 it worked exceptionally well - emphasizing the already incredible flavours.

Forever choosing lamb; this was also the main course. A somewhat signature dish; the 23 Karat Gold Lamb Shanks Khorma served with roast potato mash, papaya pickle, spices, green cardamom and cashew.

Believe me now when I say it tastes as good as you would expect. Not spicy in the slightest, the delicious sauce took this dish from something which could have been average to absolutely exceptional. Expertly paired with Graciano, Vina Zorzal, Navarra, 2014 - the entire experience was exceptional. Having been eating for around 3 hours by this point - I struggle eating the entire portion and genuinely felt disappointed when I couldn't finish it. 

I sampled some of my friends Lobster tail and Scallop which had a combination of ginger, curry leaf and coconut curry alongside. It was exception; personally I preferred my lamb, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Now this isn't the full extent of what I ate - but the best bits. In total we were there for 5 hours solidly eating...I love food but this was borderline uncomfortable. It was one of the most surreal experiences; I genuinely haven't experienced so many flavours in one sitting. 

The service was exceptional, and I would without a doubt go back on my own accord. I've actually recommended to a couple of friends who have come back with the same praise - it really is an all rounder.

In my honest opinion it's some of the best food I've had in London - yet perhaps overlooked by the overly touristy area. It wasn't busy nor was there any faff despite it being a Friday night.

Check it out for yourself!

0207 839 8797

17 Charing Cross, London WC2H 0EP


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