When the Mela restaurant invited me to dine at their restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue I was delighted. From the outside it certainly doesn’t look anything special but having read about the awards they have received and the many excellent reviews, I knew we were in for a real treat!
We were greeted by Satu who showed us to our table in the dining area decorated with colourful wall hangings from India and Pakistan. The puppets, the style of which I recognised from my travels in Rajasthan, were a wonderful reminder of India.
Having looked through the menu I was pleasantly surprised by the prices which seemed very reasonable. Everything sounded delicious so I asked Satu if he could recommend a few dishes for us to try. His choices sounded excellent and it wasn’t long before he brought us a delicious collection of mouth-watering dishes.
We started with gilap seekh kebabs – chargrilled spiced minced lamb with seasonal vegetables, a traditional dish from North India. These spicy kebabs were perfectly complimented by the slightly sweet, pickled vegetables.
We also tried the Punjabi vegetable samosa – delightfully crispy pastry filled with potato, green peas and fragrant cumin and ginger.
These were delicious but it was at the main course that really shined. The gosht rogannjosh is a traditional hot, lamb curry from Delhi in which the lamb is slowly cooked in spices, onions and tomatoes. We also tried the kozi verte curry – a dish from the coast of spicy chicken curry flavoured with coconut, fennel and curry leaves. These were both superb but it was the black lentil dal that I couldn’t get enough of! All this came with the Punjabi flatbread paratha, naan bread and rice.
London’s West End
Popular with both critics and celebrities, the Mela restaurant well deserves it excellent reputation as one of the best Indian Restaurants in London. Its position on Shaftesbury Avenue, in the heart of theatre land, makes it the perfect spot for dining before or after a West End show. At the end of our meal I had to agree with Andrew Lloyd Webber who is reputed to have described it as “The best Indian food I have ever had.”
The Mela group has two restaurant’s, one on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End and the other in Redhill in the heart of Surrey, both specialising in authentic Indian cuisine at a reasonable price.
If you are stuck for a last-minute Christmas present they offer gift vouchers for dining, takeaways or their fabulous cookery classes. They also have the Mela Limitless Card with which you can get some great money off deals.
Throughout December they are offering 50% off their A la Carte menu at the Shaftesbury Avenue restaurant just head over to their website to find out more.
The Mela group do a superb range of cookery classes. After having tried the food their kitchen served up, I was even more excited about the class I was booked on for the following weekend. It didn’t disappoint – more on that coming soon.
Until the end of December they are offering 65% off cooking class gift cards purchased for their Redhill restaurant.Disclosure: We were guests of the Mela Restaurant, however, the views expressed here are my own, genuine opinions.