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Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen – Terminal 5 Hilton

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Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen – Terminal 5 Hilton

Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen – Terminal 5 Hilton

asian restaurant review There are many Mr Todiwalas strewn around the world but there is also “THE” Mr. Todiwala. It’s a familiar name to those who know anything about Indian food in the UK. His iconic restaurant Café Spice Namaste at Tower Hill, and his numerous TV appearances, have assured his high profile; but it’s not his celebrity that has garnered such a faithful following.

asian restaurant review Cyrus Todiwala is a chef, and the showbizzy bit isn’t much in evidence in his restaurants. Yes, ‘restaurants’ plural, as now there is the eponymous Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen at the new Heathrow Terminal 5 Hilton Hotel. He is just the same as ever, visible in the restaurant rather than remaining aloof as the majority of celeb chefs tend to be. He takes notice and cares about his guests.

We arrived on a cold and wet evening to find both Mr and Mrs Todiwala on duty. The “missus” is Pervin and she is one of the unsung heroes of both restaurant teams. She has a phenomenal memory for the previous meals ordered by guests. She is herself a trained chef and has the same passion for food and fresh produce as does her husband. She is a consummate professional but with a warm personality and a sense of humour which has endeared her to diners.

asian restaurant review C and P Todiwala were staying later than they had planned, as one of their regulars (to have ‘regulars’ already in a little over a month speaks volumes) had asked for something a little different, something not on the menu. No problem at Mr. Todiwala's Kitchen. The guest is just as important as the food. I don’t want to give the impression that the table staff hover too closely or watch your every move from a distance. The service is appropriately attentive, with a good number of waiting staff who are indistinguishable from the chefs. OK, the chef jackets and taupe aprons are spotless but one has the impression that each dish has been made and delivered fresh from the open kitchen just for you ...which indeed it has.

asian restaurant review So that’s introduced my readers to the stars, but what of the new stage? When I dream of exotic spots I have a vision of a bungalow (an Indian word), sun-bleached shutters, lime-washed floors, rustic furniture, sumptuous soft furnishings and an elephant called Roy. In truth, I have just added the animally element after visiting Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen, but all the rest of it is indeed also there.

The huge wooden elephant is just about the only overtly Indian adornment in this stunning restaurant. It’s light and stylish with a hint of colonial charm. You know it’s an Indian dining room so the style can just be a testament to good design taste, as the kitchen is to all things culinary.

Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen offers an extensive menu but if you are new to Indian food, as many at this airport restaurant might well be, then consider Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen Menu which will give you an overview. This menu is bound to be popular with rugby players – or American Football players – as the main dishes can be continually replenished. There is also a Gourmand Tasting Menu for those who want a food-and-wine pairing experience.

asian restaurant review Cyrus is Parsee and he has incorporated some of his family dishes into his menu. In fact there is much that will be new to even the most ardent of “curry” enthusiasts. Papaeta Purr Eedu is a recipe from Cyrus’ mum who was a great influence on his culinary repertoire. This dish incorporates both potatoes and eggs, two ingredients that no Parsee would want to live without. This is real comfort food, with ginger and cumin as the main flavourings. The vegetables are topped

Mankyo Chem Peri Peri or “dynamite” squid is vibrant with heat. Baby squid rings are marinated in a fiery Goan peri-peri masala then dipped in wheat, rice and white lentil flour. The squid is fried and garnished with more red Goan-style spices. This is one of the hottest dishes on the menu but there is also flavour that shines through the heat.

asian restaurant review Dhaansaak was bound to be my guest’s choice of main course. He enjoys all Indian food but he does find the Dhaansaak at either venue to be unmissable. This is a classic Parsee lamb dish, prepared in the traditional way. Dhaansaak is composed of two words: ‘dhaan’ meaning rice and ‘saak’ meaning puréed vegetables and lentils with lamb. The rice served with the meat is different from your regular steamed or boiled rice. It’s a brown onion rice, which has a flavour of its own. The lamb was meltingly tender but there were some small and delicate meatballs in addition. These were peppery and moreish and alone would have been a delight with just the sauce and that celebrated onion rice.

Keeping with the theme I also chose another Parsee favourite, a recipe from Cyrus’ great-grandma. Murghi Na Kofta Ni Curry Nay Chaawal is a rich and aromatic dish with lots of ground nuts to make a silky sauce to coat moist chicken dumplings. Simply served with steamed rice, this sauce would have been just as good with some Indian bread. A winner.

asian restaurant review Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen offers some tempting desserts and a little different from those you will find in most Indian restaurants. The ice-creams are unique and there are a couple that I will sample on my next visit. Black Pepper Ice Cream sounds intriguing as does the Stem Ginger Ice Cream, but we chose the Parsee Caramelised Apricot version, which was delicately perfumed by the slowly cooked Hunza apricots so favoured by Indian chefs. The Zafrani Crème Brulée was memorable. A golden-coloured cream with flavour from, well, saffron but also cardamom, to which I am addicted. The caramelised topping was perfect and was evenly speckled with dark burnt sugar. A simple and sophisticated dessert.

Mr. Todiwala‘s Kitchen boasts an Indian Tea Library. This is actually a changing list of exceptional boutique teas that will delight the connoisseur and educate the rest of us. We tried Makaibari Estate First Flush Grand Reserve 2011 from Darjeeling. Makaibari is located at Kurseong, and was the world's first tea factory, established in 1859. Rajah Banerjee, the fourth generation, is now the owner.

We were expecting a special cuppa, but there was also theatre and a thoroughly engaging masterclass. A tray arrived laid with white linen and brandy glasses. I was starting to think this might be a misplaced order for those chunky American businessmen a couple of tables down. No error, these were just some of the props for the unique brewing process.

asian restaurant review The glasses were warmed over steam while hot water was poured over the chosen leaves contained in a handmade ceramic pot. The slowly trickling sand in an egg-timer showed the passing of a couple of minutes. Once the infusion was complete the heated glass was filled with the light amber tea. Yes, it truly was a step up from your habitual dusty teabag. I preferred the first pouring as I felt it had more taste notes and less tannin. If you are into strong builder’s tea then you might like the darker and gutsier second brew. Tea at Mr. Todiwala’s is an event.

Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen is an outstanding example of a remarkable restaurant that just happens to be housed in a hotel. Gone are the days when hotel restaurants were mediocre and dull with a focus on merely fuelling a captive audience. Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen can compete with any Indian restaurant. Nothing mean, skimpy or banal here. This is an apt showcase for the talents of the Todiwalas – Mr and Mrs.

Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Poyle Road
Colnbrook SL3 0FF,
United Kingdom

Closed Sunday

Mostly Food and Travel hotel and restaurant review

Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5

london hotel and restaurant review The new and striking Terminal 5 at Heathrow has some of the best shops around as well some as some good restaurants. They range from the casual and humble sandwich bars to the refined dining venues such as Gordon Ramsay's restaurant which offers a classic dining experience as well as take-away meals for in-flight enjoyment. Yes, plenty of delicious food at the Terminal.

But what of those who are staying? Holidaymakers on the way out or on the way into the UK, and businessmen who need a well-equipped base with good transport connections to central London. Hilton Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 could well fit the bill for both workers and wanderers alike; the Hilton also offers easy access to the M4 and M25.

This particular Hilton isn’t at the terminal but it’s associated with it and just a short distance away. Shuttle buses provide transport every half hour or so for travellers. It’s a quiet location with plenty of parking. We only noticed one flight over the hotel: not sure if that has to do with the benefits of double glazing or advantageous flight paths but we had an undisturbed rest. That is always welcome when one is travelling, and a necessity if one is expected to conduct business.

This Hilton offers 929 sq m of flexible conference space, specifically designed to cater for global conferences, business meetings and events for up to 1170 guests. The Fitness Centre by Precor® will appeal to many who have “enjoyed” a transatlantic flight, or you might simply relax and unwind in the luxury spa with sauna and steam room.

There is a business centre with the latest in audiovisual equipment, and also an Executive Lounge which offers light snacks and drinks from early morning till late night. Less formal that the two restaurants, it’s ideal for colleagues to catch up on the day’s projects or have breakfast while leafing through the newspapers.

london hotel and restaurant review It’s a new hotel and striking. The huge, imposing and galleried reception area reminds one more of The Guggenheim in New York with curved whiteness and sweeping stairs. A coffee bar provides a casual seating area for meeting and greeting but you will likely be more interested in the quiet comfort of your private quarters.

All suites and guest rooms are fitted and fixed with roomy beds, cool linen, covetable bath products, flat-screen TVs and all the luxury one would expect. Attractive muted colours and artwork reminding one that this is Greater London help to create a relaxing bolt-hole for the weary. Not really surprising, this is the Hilton.

Enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in one of the two stylish bars before having dinner at either of the restaurants at the Hilton. Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen is the finest of Indian fine dining and is the eponymous restaurant of Cyrus Todiwala, one of the UK's most celebrated chefs. This evening we chose The Gallery restaurant which is situated on the mezzanine floor and is truly a gallery over that aforementioned lofty reception.

The Gallery is a counterpoint to the exotic style of Mr Todiwala's. It’s a vision of teak-coloured wood and some rather delightful sofas strewn with cushions that will have you lingering over the British-inspired menu – plenty to entice even the most conservative of eaters. The guests are from every corner of the world but are mostly from the US, and those visitors enjoy the superbly cooked meats and fish that reflect the best that’s available in the UK.

london hotel and restaurant review We ordered a cold meat platter and a pork rillette platter. They were both generous boards of food to graze on whilst sipping a glass of chilled crisp white. The potted pork was chunkier than I would have expected from a rillette and that made the starter more substantial and more flavoursome. Rillette is more often a meat paste and seldom bears any resemblance to the original joint in either taste or texture. Executive Chef Paul Danabie presented a pork dish that had real porcine punch. The board of cold cuts showcased some British fare that was the equal of the meats from the Continent. A garnish of traditional yellow piccalilli and some grilled bread completed this spread.

My guest loves duck in all its guises so he chose from the Spit Roast section on the menu and ordered Gressingham duck, which was cooked to succulent pink but without being bloody. Yes, I have heard that some folks like their duck oozing red but I am not keen. This duck was deliciously done, and was accompanied by fondant potatoes with a crusty outside and a fluffy interior.

london hotel and restaurant review There are some Trolley Specials on the menu and these add theatre to your evening. They are dishes that will be tossed and tweaked in front of you before serving. I was looking for something warming and comforting, and lingered over the list of Casserole dishes. Lots here for those with hollow legs: Braised Lamb Shanks or Flank of Beef in Dorset Ale would fill those gaps, but I wanted light and healthy fare and I was drawn to the Casserole of Daily British Fish and Shellfish.

This should surely be a signature dish. Its classy presentation in an individual copper pot leads the diner to expect something rather good ...and this was. Chunks of delicately grilled salmon floated along with cod and mussels and prawns in a light broth. A side dish of steamed broccoli and new potatoes made this a sustaining yet guilt-free option.

Desserts here are traditional and sensible. If you only have a little room then go for the Cambridge Burnt Cream which is the English equivalent of the French crème brulée. Paul presents the cream in a wide shallow dish which allows for a greater ratio of crunchy caramel topping to smooth, sweet and silky cream. This is served with tangy lemon shortbread.

You will likely want some wine with or after your meal and there is a solid bistrot-style list of wines and spirits on offer. Lots by the glass but there is also a trolley which offers tasters from a selection of vintages so you can sample before settling on your favourite. I notice that they also have dessert wine by the glass, which is always an attractive proposition when one needs something sweet but dessert would be too much volume.

The new Hilton Terminal 5 is fresh, bright and well designed. It’s also cosy and tasty and that’s enough to assure the return of those looking for both comfort and amenity. There are lots of airport hotels but this Hilton is up there with the best.

london hotel and restaurant review

Gallery restaurant

Seats:     190
Dress Code:     smart casual
Children are welcome in The Gallery when accompanied by an adult.

Everyday: 6:30-22:30

Business Centre

Hours of Operation
Monday     9:00-17:00
Tuesday     9:00-17:00
Wednesday     9:00-17:00
Thursday     9:00-17:00
Friday     9:00-17:00
High-speed wired and wireless internet access
Audio/visual equipment rental
Business phone service
Faxing, copying and scanning services
Video conferencing available

15 Meeting Rooms
Seating upto 1056
Largest room 8867 m2

350 Guest Rooms
3 Suites

London Hotel review:
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Poyle Road,
Colnbrook SL3 0FF, United Kingdom
Phone +44 (0)1753 686860
Visit this Hilton here
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