I have always been a little stumped by Indian food. Never have I been to India (much to my dissatisfaction) but I am sure the food looks and tastes far different to the luminous curry house slop we Brits are so used to, so when I heard that Matsya in Mayfair were offering a truer taste of the Eastern nation I was thrilled to be invited along.
The restaurant sits on a quiet street a stone’s throw from Green Park station – an area of town I do not visit too frequently – the change of scenery was somewhat pleasant (I still prefer my East London hub.)
I had arranged my visit via Instagram – the power of the internet hey – after the restaurant contacted me asking if I would like to sample their menu. I received a thoroughly warm welcome when I arrived, the Colombian in tow. After our greeting, we immediately concentrated on the food, an afternoon traipsing around the V&A museum had left us ravenous.
Popadums arrived with a trio of dips, my favourite of which was a bright green number that only the chef knew the true recipe. We swiftly polished the obligatory Indian snacks and ordered a few of the recommended dishes. The Tandoori Lamb chops were a little overcooked, I like my baby sheep pink and juicy – but the spices were a triumph. The Colombian wasn’t too sure about the stuffed squid, I didn’t find it particularly unpleasant but I suppose that isn’t a glowing review – I’m not sure the unusual spiced seafood stuffing will become an Indian staple. To follow came a far simpler seafood dish that delivered on all levels. Cod cooked in a banana leaf, steamed with mustard seeds was punchy, moist and an all-round delight. Their Keralan harissa lamb is everything I imagine India to be; hot, delicious and a little bit dirty (the fatty cut of meat provided the indulgent flavour I associate with slow cooked lamb.) To accompany our feast, we had two types of rice, one simply drizzled in ghee, the other mixed with a selection of nuts and berries – both pretty tasty.
Now for the bombshell – the bill. I won’t disclose the full price of the meal because you might let out a little bit of wee but let’s just say it was pretty pricey. I would wince at paying £25 for a main course in the best of establishments but for curry it was beyond eye-watering. The cost was a shame because I hate leaving feeling the food was not worthy of the price. I enjoyed most of the grub but felt the price did not reflect the standard.
On a more positive note, I must say the service was excellent. We were completely over-serviced and the team were really accommodating. Nevertheless, the waiting staff may have been smiling, but my bank account was not!
Check out their Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/matsyadining/?hl=en
Visit their website here: http://www.matsyadining.com/