A review of the Colonel Saab restaurant in Trafalgar Square, London

In the heart of Trafalgar Square, in London, lies an essential address for lovers of refined Indian cuisine: the Colonel Saab restaurant. Immerse with me in the gastronomic world of this establishment where authentic flavors and a warm atmosphere promise a memorable taste experience.

A warm welcome added to an extraordinary culinary experience

We owe the enigmatic Colonel Saab, aka Colonel Manbeer Choudhary, an Indian Army officer, and his wife Mrs. Binny Choudhary, a memorable evening in what is undoubtedly one of the best Indian restaurants in London. Although I wasn’t able to thank them in person, it’s only fitting to pay tribute to their fine cuisine inspired by their travels.

Atmosphere and Decor

Entering through the rather ordinary door of Colonel Saab, one does not expect to discover such a sumptuous interior. The heart of the establishment is a magnificent marble bar, once the pride of the Maharaja of Patiala, crafted by Asprey. Hanging from the ceiling, rose-tinted Firozabad glass chandeliers add drama while the brick and terracotta walls are adorned with artwork.

The interior is a veritable Ali Baba’s cave with 17th and 18th century paintings, framed letters, 16th century Tanjore art on wood, and even 18th century porcelain plates that remind me of those from my Grandmother. Carved wooden doors from temples in Gujarat and Nepal, as well as a precious Rabab lute, complete this fascinating collection.

A Gastronomic Tour in the Heart of India

The evening began with the Memsaab tasting menu, offering classic Indian dishes and regional specialties revisited in a contemporary way. The Rasam, a tomato and lentil soup served with mini idli and puff pastry bites, set the tone. This dish, while incredibly spicy for my palate, was so delicious that I couldn’t resist finishing it despite the burn.

  • Marwad’s Raj Kachori: Puffed rice ball filled with spicy chickpeas, potatoes, pomegranate seeds, boondi, topped with yogurt, tamarind sauce and green chutney.
  • Anglo-Indian Chicken Chops: Shredded chicken croquettes, spicy Madras style, served with salad and grape and tomato sauce.

After a mango sorbet to refresh the palate, we were served the Nada Fish Curry (for me) and the Sunday Lamb Curry (for my partner). Both dishes came with steamed rice and a smoky, earthy dal makhani.

A Smooth Finale

We closed the feast with a raspberry, pistachio and coconut tart, accompanied by berries and crushed pistachios, as well as a Mishti Doi cheesecake. The latter, a Bengali dessert made of sweetened and flavored yogurt, topped with jaggery syrup, was irresistible despite our satiety.

Verdict

Colonel Saab is a visually stunning and gastronomically exquisite restaurant. The flavors are rich and pleasant, making each bite a discovery. An absolutely delicious evening.

Useful information

  • Memsaab tasting menu: £80
  • Food and wine: + £50
  • Food and cocktail pairing: + £60
  • Food and Champagne pairing: + £105

Location: Colonel Saab, Trafalgar Square, 42 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD