Restaurant review: Soho Wala

We can’t get enough of Indian street food and we weren’t disappointed when we checked out the latest London offering at Soho Wala on Carnaby Street

Soho Wala is excellently located right in the heart of the West End inside the swanky Courthouse Hotel. The menu is mostly made up of small plates and would be perfect for a pre-theatre bite or an after work catch up with friends.

The interior is fairly minimal and airy with small touches of exotic eccentricity. Bird cages hang from the ceiling and artistic imagery of Indian street views line the walls alongside a funky ‘Dream big’ neon sign. We were welcomed with soft Bollywood tunes.

Head Chef Rajesh Parmer has impressive credentials, working at the Taj Hotel group and Silk. His contemporary twist on Indian street food is refreshing and a pleasant surprise for a hotel restaurant.

We started with Kurkure Bhaji (crispy lotus root and okra) and Mirchi Matchstick Chicken with chilli, lime and a hint of ginger and served in a cute little Indian street cart.

A must-try is the Papdi Chaat,cool sweet yoghurt mixed with mint, tamarind and with the crunch of wheat crisps. Finished with sprinkles of juicy pomegranate seeds. One bowl wasn’t enough!

From the clay oven we tried the Hariyali Poussin with hints ofcoriander and mint, mopped up with delicious, crispy Choor Choor Naan, much lighter than any naan we had previously tried.  The Prawn Balchao was a refreshing mix of fruit and spice, perfect with a side of Malai Wali Broccoli and Achar Wali Gobi (chargrilled broccoli and spiced cauliflower with a mascarpone coating).

We had to try a biryani so opted for Soho Wala’s take on the Lucknow chicken. It was delicious!

Although we were full but we couldn’t leave without a taste of the desserts on offer, we shared a punchy mango Kulfi and the Gulab Jamun cheesecake, dumplings of sweetened milk solids with malai crème, decadent and rich!

The verdict
Hotel restaurants can sometimes be a little dull sticking to safe ‘international’ cooking but not here, using the freshest of ingredients Rajesh Parmer has created explosive flavours and ingenious twists. Definitely recommended if you’re looking for a reasonably priced night out in the Capital.

Soho Wala, 21 Great Marlborough St, Soho, London W1F 7HL

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