Lotus Leicester Square
0207 839 8797/lotus.london
The Lotus flower is the national flower of India and signifies purity, spiritual awakening and grace. The new 65 seat Restaurant of the same name sits in a part of the West End more associated with the theatre, art and gambling rather than any of those more estimable virtues.I’m hoping for a more decadent experience than the name implies as the restaurant’s team of chefs have worked in some the finest luxury hotels in India, and Bhaskar Banerjee, Chef and Manager of Lotus has a culinary career spanning award winning fine dining Indian restaurant brands such as Bukhara, Dumpukth and Dakshin. Lotus’ USP is a bespoke wine list with matching wines for each dish chosen by sommelier Debbie Henriques. Debbie has a heavyweight CV including Hotel du Vin, Claridges Hotel and Rhodes restaurant at Pimlico Square. Matching wines successfully to Indian food is really hard so she and the team have a lot to live up to.Debbie starts us off with a glass of Colet Vatua! (meaning ‘What a surprise!’) Extra Brut NV. It’s a sparkling Penedès which is actually a posh Prosecco and an unusual mix of 50% Muscat, 40% Parellada and 10% Gewürztraminer which manages to be simultaneously aromatic and floral but dry. Most often wines paired with spicy food err on the sweet and floral side so this was something of a revelation as it coped beautifully with our yellow lentil broth which was full of coconut and turmeric flavours.