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Chutney Mary - Conservatory
Food / Wine

Challenge your taste buds at Chutney Mary

By FranceInLondon

Ask most French people in London whether they would consider Indian food to be ‘haute cuisine’, and many would think automatically of over-spiced, full-on dishes that the Brits wash down with copious amounts of beer on a Friday night. If you are prepared to challenge these prejudices, try Chutney Mary, a long-established feature on the Chelsea scene and currently our favourite Indian restaurant in London.


Chutney Mary - Private Dining
Chutney Mary - Private Dining

In recent months we have tried the tasting menu ( £45 food only, £75 with wine selected to accompany each course) and then gone back with a group of friends to dip into both the ‘à la carte’ menu and the fixed price set dinner. Each time we were hugely impressed by the relaxed atmosphere, the attentive but not over-bearing service and the warmth and quiet elegance of the surroundings. A private room upstairs is great for parties and the conservatory area downstairs is an ideal setting for an informal evening with friends. 

The tasting menu, which changes regularly, is the best way to get a feel for the diversity, subtlety and finesse of Indian regional cuisine at its best. Each of the courses is accompanied by an eclectic choice of wines put together by Matthew Jukes, the wine journalist. You may not feel that all these choices work perfectly but they are generally unusual, sometimes surprising and occasionally sensational.

On the night we went, the opening dishes included pan-seared scallops in coconut and ginger sauce, artichoke and spinach kebab stuffed with chestnut, date and green chilli and tandoori lamb chop. Of the New Zealand, Sicilian and French wines selected to go with these dishes our absolute favourite was the 2011 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (The Crossings, Awatere, Marlborough) which was a brilliant complement to the scallops.


Main Course
Main Course

The main course comes as a selection of four bowls, moving into more robust spices and challenging flavours without ever becoming over-powering. Matched with a fuller-bodied 2009 Australian wine from the Barossa Valley ( Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache ), we tried a Goan green chicken curry and a Punjabi Nalli Gosht (a slow-cooked lamb osso bucco) accompanied by spinach with dill leaves and a yellow Dal Taka. Interesting, in some instances slightly unusual but always different.

We rounded off the meal with a delicate strawberry dessert accompanied by a Beaumes de Venise. Yes, the Indians know how to make desserts as well.

So, if you are looking to try great Indian cooking for the first time, or know the ‘hauts lieux’ of Indian restaurants in Paris like Indra, Annapurna or Yugaraj but are new to the London restaurant scene, add Chutney Mary to your list of places to try next time you are looking for somewhere both different and a bit special. 


08/10/2012 - dianarama said :

Came across this review by chance but thought I should go ahead and write a comment agreeing with your take on Chutney Mary. I went there with my mother, who lives in Chelsea and is quite picky about her food, but also doesn't like to pay an arm-and-a-leg for no reason! Though this restaurant is certainly not cheap, it has to be said that neither is it overpriced: the food quality, presentation, service, atmosphere, surroundings, comfort and so forth, really did justify it being that bit more expensive. Chutney Mary's has definitely received the Difficult-To-Please-Foodie-Mum Seal of Approval. ;-)This is NOT your local curry house but as the review says, haute cuisine India-style. It really is a great place and if I could afford to, I'd eat there once a month. Perfect place to take someone as a suprise. Especially if they think they know Indian food. They will be well impressed!


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