REVIEW: Nirvana Kitchen, Marylebone
WHAT? A polished Asian restaurant attached to Marylebone’s Montcalm hotel, Nirvana Kitchen brings surprises from all corners of the Far East.
WHY GO? Cracking lobster curry, moreish mochi and a stylish yet laid-back setting – the perfect central London spot to keep up your sleeve.
We’ll level with you, hotel restaurants fill us with dread. A mix of displaced guests (or very few guests at all), eating at strange times, in an often bland setting can lead to a mediocre dining experience. We approached Nirvana Kitchen with trepidation, but there was no need – a warm atmosphere beckoned us in from a drizzly evening, staff ushering us to a table among dozens of guests.
On fervent recommendation of our waiter, we began with duck watermelon salad – a wonderful combination of Mandarin, pomegranate, basil, coriander, cashew and hoisin sauce.
Other options include lamb sliders, crispy calamari and wasabi prawns, but we loved our choice – worlds away from the greasy fried duck served in Chinese takeaways.
STAR DISH: The creamy lobster curry, presented with a flourish in a hollow coconut, with fresh coconut water and tangy yellow curry sauce. Even better were the wafer-thin, buttery rotis served to mop up the sauce.
Despite protestations that we were too full for dessert, we were happily persuaded to sample the mochi – a sweet Japanese dessert made up of pounded sticky rice and ice cream, in three pleasing flavours. A sweet end to a sophisticated meal, topped off with a glass of fizz.
DETAILS: Nirvanakitchenlondon.co.uk / Nirvana Kitchen, 61 Upper Berkeley Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 7PP