Recently I had the pleasure of dining at Veeraswamy - the oldest surviving Indian restaurant in the UK. Established since 1926, it's a London institution and from the moment you enter, you realise why the restaurant has had such staying power.
The warm welcome and stylish waiting service is just one of the highlights. It was refreshing to engage with staff who listened tentatively to my requirements, always on hand with a wealth of suggestions - based on my personal culinary desires and not merely a plug of the day's special.
The menu featured a good range of flavous, including classic favourites such as Kashmiri Rogan Josh and coastal specialties like Sea Bream Paturi steamed with chili and mustard. The food was nicely displayed but not too fussy and the wine menu has been handpicked to compliment by Matthew Jukes, a leading wine author.
I found the restaurant to be an exotic feast both in taste and interior. With a pleasing balance of traditional and contemporary fixtures; the rich damask curtains, grand lighting, mahogany undertones and ornate details did well to transport me to Maharaja's palaces of the 1920s. Yet the modern sculptural art on display brings you back to the 21st Century.
The à la carte price averaging at £55 per head for a 3 course meal including wine - a worthy investment for a truly exquisite dining experience.
99 Regent Street,
London W1B 4RS
(entrance on Swallow Street)
Tel: 020 7734 1401