Craving a curry in the West End? Check out this hot new curry spot in Mayfair.
A spicy new Indian restaurant on the extra-bougie Maddox Street, Lucknow 49 dishes up curries, biryani and other mouthwatering dishes inspired by the cuisine of Lucknow, a city in northern India with a distinct gastronomic vibe.
As founder Dhruv Mittal explained, up north, ‘chewing’ was considered a bit basic by the influencers of yesteryear, and so the region’s chefs schooled themselves in the fine art of slow cooking.
And slow is the operative word. L49’s taargosht, above, gently renders a leg lamb in trotter stock and thirty different spices, for ten glorious hours. By the time it hits your table, it’s ready to melt into molten meaty marvellousness on the palate, and is basically a Flavour Banger. (See also: Dishoom have launched a banging new breakfast menu.)
The tender trend continues across the menu: chicken thighs slow cooked with onions and cashews, okra slow cooked with yoghurt, moong lentis slow cooked in milk, and soft beef patties prepared to a recipe designed (or so legend has it) for a toothless nawab. If nothing else, it’s quite possibly London’s most flavourful feast for the dentally challenged. The team also do rice real nice (the owner also founded Soho’s DUM), serving up a biryani spiked with goat, saffron and perfumed roots.
We were taking an evening off the booze, but can confirm the tea-based mocktails were a refreshing and citrusy hit – just uplifting enough to inspire the next bowl of slow-cooked sinfulness.
The Lucknow vibe is intimate, cosy and casual, straddling as it does two worlds – for the weary Oxford Circus shopper, it’s something a little special, yet by Mayfair standards, it’s practically cheap and cheerful. Like most Indian joints, vegetarians are well-catered for, but next-to-nothing on the menu is vegan-by-design, so do enquire ahead if you’re strictly plant life-only.
In short, Lucknow 49 is totally worth a visit, and the set menu, at £25, is a bit of a steal if you’re off to the theatre later or concluding a day’s jaunt in the West End. And curry connoisseurs will want to suss it out for sure. Slowly does it…
Location: 49 Maddox Street, W1S 2PQ. Nearest station is Oxford Circus. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: open for lunch (midday – 3pm) and dinner (5.30pm – 10.30pm) on Tues–Fri and Sunday; all day (midday – 11pm) on Saturdays; closed on Mondays.
Price: the three-course set menu is £25 (until 7.30pm only), while a la carte could be £55-ish inc. wine and service.
More information: on their website.
*Secret London was invited to review the venue on a press night.
More culinary adventures: the best restaurants in Covent Garden
Also published on Medium.