Luxurious Indian Tapas at Lokhandwala & Killer Cocktails at Vijay’s Lounge

June 22, 2018

An Indian restaurant that delivers fantastic food in a great setting, is extremely hard to find, yet Lokhandwala on Charlotte Street manages to tick all the boxes and more!

Everyone has such specific preferences when it comes to curry, making it tricky to find a restaurant that delivers a dish exactly how you like it.  We’ve all got our favourite ‘local’ curry house that perhaps leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the decor, but they know exactly how to serve your chicken madras, but it’s difficult to find a restaurant that delivers on all levels.

Lokhandwala, for a start, is in a brilliant location.  Busy, buzzy, cool Charlotte Street is a great place to hang out and what makes it even better is Lokhandwala’s latest addition – a secret cocktail bar hidden upstairs called Vijay’s, which also has a sunny outdoor terrace.  The cocktails are absolutely gorgeous here (and we’re not just saying it), you really really must try the Holi (£12) – celebrating the festival of colours, signifying good over and evil and marking the begining of Spring.  Each cocktail has a lovely little story attached and this one also marks /signifies / celebrates the night Charlotte met Vijay.  The Holi is made from Don Julio tequila infused ginger (pre-made), Cacao Vida mezcal which has that fantastically delicious smokey flavour, fresh lime, and cinnamon syrup.  It’s actually a beautiful lemon colour and comes served in a chilled martini glass.  After polishing off a few of these, which is extremely easy, you will definitely be hungry, so make your way downstairs to the main event!

Lokhandwala is a small, simple yet stylish restaurant in keeping with the modern, cool, Charlotte Street vibe, yet maintaining an area of authenticism.  We’d recommend you  go in a group of four or more and order a tonne of different dishes from the menu to share as they really do lend themselves to tapas with everyone digging in to eat together.

There’s loads of veggie tapas (great for vegetarians), and while I personally never go for veggie dishes, surprisingly, my favourite starter was the Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms with apricot green chilli and feta cheese.  They’re also gluten free and you get four large ones for £8.  Chunky and delicious.

We also went for the unconventional offering of Amritsari masala fried cod served with hand cut fries (£12), and the Quail Egg wrapped in minced lamb meat (£10) which was much like an Scotch Egg – Indian style.

Blown away by our starters, we couldn’t wait to try the mains.  Don’t by scared off by the unusual sounding dishes, because we learned it pays to be adventurous – especially if you like some of the key ingredients in the description!  Like a twist on the dishes you know and love.  We absolutely loved the rich, lip smackingly good Chicken Makhani (£18) – a tomato, fenugreek and butter stew.

Slow Cooked lamb (also gluten free) was another winner (£18) – soft stewed lamb and plenty of it, in an onion, ginger and tomato sauce, while the  Lobster Alleppey Curry with luscious chunks of chargrilled lobster in a spicy mango and coconut curry sauce was absolutely beautiful.  This dish had a definite kick of spice but that lovely ‘keep you going back for more’ addictive flavour.

From the killer Holi cocktails to the mouthwateringly good curries, Vijay’s and Lokhandwala is as additive as all of those spices!  Forget the local curry house, Charlotte Street is most definitely worth the journey and we’re most certainly going back for more!

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield

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