I think it's time I told you about my outings to Mint Leaf, Haandi and Chutney Mary? Favourites first then...
Knightsbridge's Haandi is very very yummy. Run by Kenyan Indians, you get sufficient Moghul and Gujerati favourites for your money. It's where the phrase "food-porn" came from, spicy, salty, carby-yum served in massive portions and making you want more. I'm still dreaming about the Chili Paneer, Black Dahl (Dahl Makhni) and Butter Chicken. The chicken biriyani is very very good and the staff are more than happy to create off-menu dishes to satisfy as you wish. I wish Chutney Mary could this leaf from them as they've got potential to be very, very good.
Chutney Mary is Chelsea's favourite Indian restaurant. Prices are (unsurprisingly) expensive and the decor, replete with indoor garden, is absolutely stunning. It's run by the same family who own Masala Zone, Amaya and Veeraswamy.
My friends and I shared an almost-vegetarian meal. We kicked off with mocktails, all of which were lush! My duck kebabs with blueberry sauce were wonderful, a sharp contrast to the potato/ carrot/paneer/coriander kebabs my poor friends had to eat with bottled chilli sauce. Though the starters were stingy, the sides and carb portions more than made up for it. Rice and dal were the best I've had in town and the curried paneer and white pumpkin raita were equally well flavoured. I wasn't impressed with 'main dish' curry portion size; diners got five one-inch cubes of breast meat for a tenner; the same goes for lamb and paneer curries. Diners eating the "fusion" options did better wrt quantity. (steaks and duck breasts were of decent size). £57 for three with soft drinks isn't bad; I think we'll definitely head back there again :D
Piccadilly's Mint Leaf is really quite annoying. We had to wait 30 minutes for a table despite pre-booking. Service was intrusive, the waiters felt the need to rush us and forgot our drinks. Whilst the vegetarian main dishes were substantial and of excellent quality (black dahl, yellow dahl, paneer and aubergines), the meat platters and curries were portioned with ants in mind. Irritatingly, the starter paneer, vegetable fritters and spinach dish were doused in mint sauce. Disgusting - hence plates were sent back and no service charge was paid.