All reader reviews by Pyra

Malabar Junction

Went to this restaurant for an anniversary lunch with my husband, after reading the mostly positive reviews it got. We were quite disappointed.

The ambience of the restaurant was really nice- there was adequate space (a pleasant surprise compared to other cramped restaurants I've dined at in central London), and the conservatory-type room is great to soak up some sunshine during lunch.

There were 2 waiters serving around 9 occupied tables- so we had to gesture wildly to get their attention, throughout the meal. Other customers seemed to have the same problem- in fact, the couple sitting on an adjoining table managed to get their table laid only when they were well into their drinks and starters, that too after repeated reminders to the waiters.

Being Indians, and having sampled food from Kerala extensively, it might be that we came to the restaurant with high expectations. Our drinks passed muster- my husband was pleased that his mango lassi seemed to be made with real mango pulp, not something from a can. The rasam soup he had, though, was tepid and bland, as was my spicy lamb fry. Despite a request to the waiter to make it "really" spicy- it was insipid, and had more fried onion than lamb in it. This is NOT the way the dish is supposed to taste, by far.

Our main course consisted of aviyal, coconut rice, palak paneer and malabar paratha. The Malabar paratha was rubbery- and tasted like it had been cooked yesterday and simply micrwaved before bein served. The aviyal had the right vegetables in it, but the sauce reminded me more of "balti" cuisine than anything from South India. The palak paneer was another "balti" creation- very bland and disappointing. It got us wondering if their cook that day was a temp who had previously worked in a Bangladeshi restaurant.

We had gulab jamun and filter coffee for dessert. The gulab jamun was very nice- generous helping and not too sweet. The filter coffee should really be renamed as simply- coffee: it has none of the froth or taste that filter coffee should have. All in all, a disappointing meal- I would not be returning here for sure.

Friday, May 23, 2008
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 4 | Service 3 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 3

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