25 September 2018

Quilon

Housed in the five star Taj 51 Buckingham Gate in Kensington, Quilon serves up Michelin-starred, contemporary Indian cooking by Sriram Aylur.  If you're looking for an excellent Indian restaurant in London, this is one for you.

Bar at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Quilon opened in 1999 and won a Michelin star in 2008, which it has retained ever since.  It's a popular destination for lunching Lords, Ladies, Ministers and Members of Parliament - in fact, Quilon is one of the few restaurants with its own Division Bell, summoning members back to the nearby parliamentary buildings indicating there's 8 minutes before a vote.  We went at the weekend, and it was filled with hotel guests, couples and families enjoying long, leisurely lunches.

Poppadoms at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Sriram Aylur's southwest coastal Indian cuisine brings together fresh, healthy ingredients with a focus on seafood and a modern, lighter style of cooking.  The dishes are designed for sharing, and they recommend tailor-made seasonal tasting menus with beer or wine pairings.  The extensive wine list features established European producers alongside emerging, lesser-known regions, giving sommelier Peter McCombie the exciting opportunity to introduce customers to Indian wine.  I'd only ever tried one Indian white years ago at Vinopolis, so was keen to go with one of his recommendations: a sauvignon blanc from Grover Zampa in Bangalore, which was fruity, grassy and acidic, which worked well with the spicy flavours.

Tasting menu at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

We started with crunchy mini poppadoms with a selection of pickles and sauces, and had an absolute feast as our attentive waiter kept the dishes coming: highlights included pepper shrimps in a fiery masala, crispy crab cakes, fish cafreal, asparagus with snow peas and grated coconut, and an outstanding lightly spiced baked black cod.  To finish, we shared a dessert of thin white and rose chocolate slices, before a much-needed coffee to suppress the overwhelming desire for an afternoon nap.  The food and wine is excellent, the space is elegant with dark wood, warm lighting and watercolours from acclaimed artist Paresh Maity, and the service is flawless.  Highly recommended.

Quilon, 41 Buckingham Gate, Westminster SW1E 6AF

Starters at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Indian white wine at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Food at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Quilon bar, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Side dishes at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Lunch at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog

Dessert at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog
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