The Best Indian Food in London
Amrutha Lounge, London’s #1 rated restaurant according to Trip Advisor, did not disappoint. They claim to serve “vegan soul food” which I was a skeptical about before dining there, but it is true. The food is homey, rich, with lots of flavor. Adding to their soul food feel is the ambiance of the restaurant itself. Located in a South London, the restaurant feels secluded compared to other restaurants located closer to the city center, where the hustle and bustle of the city doesn’t allow for a homemade feel. Inside is a small, modern, restaurant with maybe 10 tables and an incredibly friendly wait staff. Chef and owner, Arvin, personally attends to the tables and is clearly passionate about his craft. He is a charming guy, with recommendations a-plenty. On top of the friendly ambiance, Amrutha Lounge offers three interesting selling points. One, they have a BYOB (or wine) policy. People inside where not shy about this, as two couples had brought a wine to pair with their dinner. Also, the Amrutha Lounge team have a fair price policy. Meaning, if you are not satisfied with your dinner you can pay what you think is appropriate for the meal. Arvin asked me if I thought everything was up to snuff at the end of my meaL. I was happy to pay the listed price, which is not exorbitantly high in the first place. Finally, Amrutha Lounge offers free food to those who are willing to do a bit of work. This is according to their “no man goes hungry policy.” All in all, Amrutha Lounge is a must-visit restaurant in London for those who want a delicious home-cooked Indian meal for an unbeatable price.
I overheard Arvin recommending the selection buffet to couples and larger groups (the dish has a 2 person minimum). However, because I was not able to get the selection buffet I decided to go for the Thai Box. It was an explosion of flavor. The Thai Green curry is spicy, but not so hot that the flavor is overwhelmed. The rice helps combat and absorb the flavor of the curry too. Inside the curry is a mix of stewed vegetables. If I had been blind folded, I would not have realized I wasn’t eating meat. Not once, did I (not a vegan/vegetarian) think that the meal could have been better with some steak or chicken added. To help clean your palate a simple but delicious Thai arugula salad is added. However, my favorite part of the dish was the crispy pakoras. Imagine tempura vegetables with a sesame flavor dipped in delicious Thai curry.
After finishing my Thai Box, my eyes went straight to the desert menu. “If the main meal was that good, I can’t imagine how desert will be.” I asked Arvin for his desert recommendation. He said that many people enjoy the Chocolate and Raspberry brownie, topped with vanilla ice-cream, but his personal favorite is the Blueberry Cheesecake. I went for his favorite, the cheesecake. This was a bit of a risk for me, as usually I am not a huge cheesecake fan but Arvin’s cheesecake was something totally different. The blueberry flavor was incredibly adult, not sweet. It tasted more of blueberry flavored dark chocolate than blueberry cheesecake. Yet, it was not too rich to finish as many cheesecakes tend to be. Drizzled on top was a lime syrup, which gives the cake just the right amount of sour to combat the richness. The cake was garnished with a mint leaf and edible flower. I didn’t realize the flower was edible until after I had finished my cake, as Arvin came to clear my plate he mentioned that I could eat the flower too. I did in an instant and was surprised to taste that the flower itself had a sweet, honey-like flavor.
To cleanse my palate I had the herbal tea, which comes complementary with your meal. The tea was surprisingly refreshing for a hot drink. Inside was a huge amount of herbs from nettle, to dandelion, and peppermint. The peppermint flavor came through especially strong, leaving your mouth with the same clean feeling you have after brushing your teeth.