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Home » Food » Restaurant Guides

Amaya - London

15 Halkin Arcade, 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT

Shiny black granite, sparkling chandeliers and bold splashes of modern art decorate this classy enterprise from the Masala World group (which also runs Veeraswamy, Chutney Mary and the Masala Zone chain).

Head chef Karunesh Khanna blends traditional techniques with fresh flavours on his acclaimed tapas-style menu. Skewer-wielding cooks in the open kitchen turn kebabs over coals and slap rotis into clay ovens - it's unmatched culinary theatre. Even during the week, Amaya is packed with well-heeled diners.

On our visit, a tangle of green mango and raw papaya shreds heaped into lettuce cups made a refreshing teaser in an array of light bites. Other notables included juicy, rose-scented chicken pieces, steeped in paprika yoghurt and then lightly smoked to perfection.

Dori kebab (pounded lamb seasoned with cardamom, mace and ginger) was shaped on skewers and carefully cooked over glowing coals, its flavour more akin to that of delicious warm pâté than coarsely spiced mince. Meltingly soft watercress, spinach and fig cakes were another triumph, the peppery taste contrasting with the sweetness of figs.

Save space for a biriani if you can; they're lighter than most, and more aromatic. Service is spot-on, the cooking sublime, and the atmosphere very convivial.

 

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