Seasoning Restaurant 2010 – review

Seasoning RestaurantMy advice would be to book your table now! Seasoning will very soon be busting at the seams with discerning customers who are looking for fine food, and décor to match.

Seasoning does not scream stereotypical Indian restaurant. It projects cool class, or uncluttered chic with a hint of stylish subcontinent. There is a quite magnificent wine cabinet which also helps to elevate the restaurant above from the common. The guest book boasts notables from the arts and media who have already found this haven.

White walls and pillars are punctuated with original paintings, and these canvasses will be for sale. Yes, the theme is unmistakably Indian but a world away from watercolours of the Taj Mahal at sunset. Think contemporary and wall-worthy. Striking.

A wide flight of stairs takes one to The Spice Room. This is a function room with a capacity of another hundred or so guests. There is a nook housing the disco equipment and a small private area called the White Lounge for more intimate meetings. This lower level has a kitchen used to prepare food for the popular catering element of the business. They have ten years experience of catering at some rather swanky venues such as Banqueting House, Sheraton Park Lane and many others of equal standing. They also travel to Morocco, Portugal and Dubai to cater.

Returning to the main restaurant, the owners, Salil Bhatia and Nitin Munglani, have made an inspired choice of seating: chairs in clear Perspex with an almost classic design having high, rounded backs which my guest pronounced as extremely comfortable. This furniture helps to maintain an open and light atmosphere on a restaurant floor with 100 or so covers.

You’ll not go to a restaurant for a nice sit down and a gaze at some pictures. One could feel tempted to linger at the bar area which is modern and a departure from the dark wood panels of yesteryear. It’s likely you’ll be there for the food, and the quality of the surroundings encourages the visitor to expect something rather good.

We enjoyed our welcoming popadoms which were not the typical, uniform, frisby-like specimens but were light and had a hand-made quality. Then it was on to the starters: the menu takes a step away from the banal offerings of most high streets. It boasts a good many items that might not be found in your local restaurant, and speak more of food in India rather than that contrived just for the European market.

Each of the starters were attractively garnished and cooked to perfection. The Sheekh Kebab had a melting texture, a suspicion of ginger and a stuffing of paneer. We also enjoyed the Tandoori Paneer marinated in warming spices. Tandoori Prawns were moist and flavourful. Chicken Tikka was a good illustration of why it is Britain’s favourite dish. And Aloo Tikki goes to the top of my best loved starters. Don’t even consider ordering this to share. You’ll be starting the evening with a fight and that’s never a good thing. This is comfort on a plate but it’s seldom seen on restaurant menus.

Seasoning Lamb Chop

The main dishes were as tastefully presented as the starters. No dented metal platters here but rather Scandinavian-looking oval boats. Paneer with Spinach was delicate and accompanied Murg Makhani, Rogan Josh which had evidence of real whole spice, lamb chops that one could cut with a spoon and Daal Makhani which my guest and I both agreed was the best we have tasted in a very long time.

The service was polite, efficient and unobtrusive. The other guests were European and Asian and several seemed to be regulars. Word is getting around that the new restaurant (it has been open only since April) is a good bet.

The chef is proud of his butchery skills (buying carcasses and cutting these himself) and also his use of spices – no artificial colourings or commercial spice blends. The dishes have far less oil than one has come to expect from restaurant-style Indian food. This is far nearer the quality that one would experience when eating at the homes of health-conscious Indian friends. This food doesn’t rely on fat to give richness.

Seasoning is a shining gem of a restaurant. The owners have lavished as much care on the décor and music (jazz that perfectly matched the surroundings) as they have on the menu. There will be a few changes to the menu in October although I can’t fault this existing one.

The restaurant is just a few minutes walk from West Kensington and West Brompton Underground stations and that short walk is worthwhile. My guest and I will both be regulars at this establishment. It has raised the bar for neighbourhood Indian restaurants.

Seasoning Restaurant
84D – 86 Lillie Road, Fulham, London SW6 1TL
Tel: 020 7386 0303
Fax: 020 7386 5888


Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018