With the redevelopment of Victoria I’ve been excited to tell you about new places such as M Victoria Street, Kouzu and UNI, but there’s a high quality restaurant in Victoria which I’ve never reviewed…in fact I’d never actually been there. Though Quilon has been in Victoria since 1999 and has held a Michelin star since 2008, in my ten years of living in the area I was still yet to try the Indian restaurant.
Our visit was sort of accidental. It was Christmas Eve and we’d popped to the famous Goring Hotel for a glass of festive fizz, our intention was then to go for a light bite of sushi at Kouzu, located directly opposite the hotel. Kouzu was closed but we were in high spirits and wanted something a bit different so we headed to Quilon! With a Michelin star to pre-empt opinion and a location in the luxurious Taj Hotel, it was clear Quilon wasn’t going to be your standard curry and we were looking forward to trying the high quality Indian food.
And fortunately they were open and had table to spare, we were quickly sat down and soon supplied with cute mini poppadoms, tomato, coconut and mango chutneys. These were immediately gobbled up, lovely little crisp bites without any grease… they were so moreish.
To start we opted to share two dishes, chargrilled scallops with mango chutney and chicken sukke which were chicken cubes marinated with roasted ground lentil, chilli, coriander and cumin. Our shared starters were split so that we got half each on one plate, a great touch which made sharing much easier. Both the chicken and scallop were cooked perfectly and were incredibly tender, though I would have preferred a touch more spice.
Next a little complimentary extra, a delicious spicy tomato soup, not really a palate cleanser but a lovely addition to the meal.
The menu at Quilon is South-west coastal Indian and brings together the cuisines of Goa and Kerala. The menu, created by chef Sriram, is predominantly seafood but there is plenty of meat, poultry and game on the menu too for those with carnivorous tastes. Food and service at Quilon is fantastic but I felt it was a little let down by the decor, white table clothes, slightly sludgy coloured decor and retro artwork, I was surprised as it wasn’t refurbed that long ago.
Our aromatic baked sea bass was full of flavour and perfectly cooked with delicious accompaniments of fingerling potatoes.
And a large juicy and slightly sweet chargrilled prawn with peppercorn and chilli; though it is only one prawn and not enough for a main course alone. While there are choices of saucy curries, you can also make super healthy choices at Quilon, and many of the options are baked, grilled and marinated.
Our final main was a lamb biryani cooked with malabar spices with basmati rice. A tasty dish that certainly wasn’t too dry as it contained such juicy hunks of lamb and sweet spices, a perfect compliment to our lighter fish dishes.
There is a vast choice for vegetarians too and I was keen to try the aubergine which was presented in two ways; baby aubergine masala and mashed baby aubergine with spices. Spicy and slightly creamy, I’m a big fan of aubergine and I would have happily had this dish as a main course.
Despite the slightly old-fashioned decor, I’d still highly recommend Quilon – for fine-dining Indian in London it is still one of the best.
41 Buckingham Gate
0207 8211 899