Having recently been to and reviewed the sister Indian restaurant Bombay Brasserie (see here), there was a risk that this restaurant would not match up to the style of its sibling.
In keeping with the theme, if the Bombay Brasserie is the Gigi Hadid with all of the bells and whistles, then this is Bella Hadid. More understated, but equally as chic.
As part of Taj International Hotels Group, Quilon is modern luxury meets conventional chic.
Lets start with the cocktails.
As you know, for me, the issue with cocktails is that all too often they are sweet enough to take the enamel off your teeth. Being a fan of teeth, and retaining mine, Quilons cocktails are that perfect combination of natural sweetness (Passion fruit/Berries/Lime) and savoury flavour (Cardamom, Mint, saffron).
Yes yes, if loosing a tooth is your aim, then you can still get the classics…. Caipirinha, Margarita & Orthodontia but I would highly recommend one of their speciality drinks.
The starters are usually my favourite part with Indian food as it is usually a collection of bite size treats from seafood to pastry to meat. (Yes, I want it all).
We had a selection of the Coconut cream chicken, marinated with ground coconut, chilli and cumin, the Kothu lamb marinated with onion, chilli, ginger and tomatoes and also the Crab cakes (claw meat) with curry leaves, ginger, green chillies. For me, the star was the minced lamb which had a pretty punchy spice to it but did not over power the flavours.
Their visual show stopper is their Quilon salad pink grape fruit, roasted beetroots, patty pan, mixed salad leaves with goji berry and honey dressing
For the mains, we had a selection of the Pan fried duck breast with green pepper sauce, the Manglorean chicken (kori gassi) succulent pieces of chicken cooked in finely ground fresh coconut with spices and the Baked black cod subtly spiced, chunks of cod.
It is always assumed that I will favour a black cod over everything else and frankly this presumption is justified here. It was super soft and fell apart with minimal coaxing.
These were all served with their signature Lemon rice, tossed in lime juice, curry leaves, split bengal gram and pure ghee and the item that I crave on a fairly consistent basis… the Malabar paratha (soft refined flour dough beaten to thin sheet and folded to form layered bread, cooked on a skillet with pure ghee).
As an alternative to cod (or my advice), you could always opt instead for the Herb crusted tilapia with mustard sauce.
Indian food is spicy, its flavoursome and its hot. If you are not a fan of those things, take a long look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how you’ve ended up this way.
This was the Auntie of desserts.
The Coco coco nut. If desserts were a collective squad, then this squad features every single one of my dream team members. Every One…
Chocolate, hazelnut praline and cardamom coconut. The coconut was served both as a ganache and as a glaze, the praline and coconut ran through the very wafer like biscuit base as well as a stand alone truffle ball, the hazelnut was both whole and as a paste. I mean… Just come on.
We also had a selection of Saffron and Cardamom Rice pudding, a Mango Mousse/Baked Yoghurt and a Hot vermicelli kheer (creamy hot vermicelli pudding) Do yourself a favour and ask for one (all) of these as an off-menu treat.
Quilon is stylish and certainly a luxury restaurant, well deserving of its Michelin star.
In a city that is home to so many mediocre Indian restaurants, this is the jewel in the crown and one that I will be back to very soon.
Quilon – 41 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF