32 Great Smith Street, Westminster
0207 222 2555
Great Smith Street is tucked away in a quiet street not far from Westminster Abbey. If you are on foot, you’ll need to keep your eyes open for it, as there is little to show from the outside that there is a top class restaurant inside. Once you step inside, it feels a bit more like a club than a restaurant. It is housed in the former Westminster Library, high ceilinged and still with books on the shelves around the walls. It’s well worth looking at the pictures on their website, as it is very different.
We were greeted and shown to our table by friendly staff, impeccably turned out. The lunch menu was £24 for 2 courses, £26 for 3. We started with two superb dishes – Tandoori chicken breast with mace and cardamom and a smoked paprika Raita; and Fenugreek scented Tandoori cod with curry leaf and lime crumble. (I didn’t mention that this is one of Vivek Singh’s restaurants and that he is the king of subtle Indian spicing.) Both dishes were absolutely stunning. We continued with a pan-fried duck breast with coconut vinegar sauce and pilau rice; and green spiced plaice fillet with Maharashtrian koshimbir salad and curried yoghurt. These were very good, though maybe not quite as wonderful as the first course.
Desserts in Indian restaurants are usually pretty awful, but our two desserts here were excellent. A mango and passion fruit cheesecake with mango sorbet, oats and honey crumble; and a White chocolate and pink peppercorn cake with thandai lemon sorbet.
It was a superb meal.