What happens when you cross....
13th Apr 2012
James Lawrence reviews Carom - maybe London's best half-way house Indian?
What do you get when you cross an Indian restaurant with a cocktail lounge, nightclub and throw in some lemon rice for good measure? You get Carom, the latest in an ever growing of army of Indian restaurants in the UK's Capital. It is true what foreigners believe,the British love Indian food, we consume probably millions of tonnes of it per annum and Indian restaurants seldom go out of business in the UK.
London is no exception to that rule and is chock full of Indian venues; posh Michelin starred establishment that assault the wallet and plenty of classic high street eateries that range from the great value to the likely to give you chronic diarrhoea. What London doesn't have in abundance, however, is smart, high quality venues that are reasonably priced but offer a sexy, sleek experience and similar high standards of food and service.
Enter Carom, which is slightly confusingly part of the Meza complex at 100 Wardour Street, which includes the perennial favourite, Floridita nightclub. I was invited to sample Carom's wares in March this year, a group of journalists, bloggers and those who snuck in were invited to put the restaurant to the test. Suffice to say, it passed with flying colours.
So, first things first - the decor. Well, it must be said that Carom's interior design is truly unique, the venue itself is discretely tucked away around the corner from their similarly bright and elegant bar area. As you can see from the photo, the restaurant invokes a Chelsea nightclub, minus the Sloanes (inhabitants of said area) Before the feast began, our group of journalists congregated in the bar to enjoy a Carom signature cocktail – which are highly addictive. Try the Madras Margarita (tequila shaken with elderflower, lemon juice, bitter and curry leaf).
After enjoying a few too many margaritas we were taken to the restaurant and enjoyed pretty much flawless service as we were served a veritable feast of regional specialities from the Sub-Continent, everything from Butter Chicken to Goan spiced beef curry, washed down with a bottle of Indian Sauvignon Blanc, or ten. This is where Carom really impressed me, for as delicious as the food was, what really caught my eye was the wine list, which offered several Indian wines. We were given white wines with each course, the Grover Sauvignon Blanc being the highlight - perfect foil for my Kerala infused Sea Bass. It seemed ideal to me, we drink New Zealand and South African Sauvignon Blanc so why not drink Indian Sauvignon with their cuisine? For this Carom should be applauded, and I hope others continue to follow their lead.
After dinner, guests are welcome to dance dance the night away at Meza's in-house nightclub, the aforementioned Floridita. Do as you will but a night on the tiles does not generally come recommended after Indian meal – take it from me!
Carom Restaurant. Meza, 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London , W1F 0TN - Tel: 020 7314 4002