Bistro is housed within the grand St. James’ Court, a Taj Hotel. The restaurant is classic yet modern, and the space is filled with clean lines and natural light. Ideal for celebrating a special occasion, or simply enjoying a lunch with friends, Bistro provides a menu filled with fresh and local produce that caters to all tastes.
The à la carte menu offers a diverse range of dishes from across a wide range of cultures. It is rare that a restaurant is able to dedicate the time and expertise needed to honour dishes from so many different cultures simultaneously, whilst delivering food that is consistently of luxury-dining standard. Bistro achieves this effortlessly. The restaurant also boasts an impressive drinks menu to complement each of the courses, and staff are knowledgeable and helpful with regards to recommendations.
Starters range from British tomato and roasted pepper soup, through to Greek salad, Italian antipasti bruschetta, or Japanese-inspired prawn tempura. We settled for 2 Indian-inspired dishes as recommended by the chef. The first of these was the Bistro samosa chaat, served with onion, tomato and coriander salsa, a duo of tamarind and mint chutney, and an ingenious crunchy vermicelli sprinkle. Famed for being an Indian savoury snack or street food, Bistro’s reimagining of this dish was nothing less than delicious. Presented beautifully, the samosa chaat was the perfect mix of textures, spicy, and flavourful. This is a must-try when dining at Bistro.
We were also presented with the Scottish salmon on naan, which came served with dill cream cheese, baby capers, salad greens, and Kalamata tapenade. This seemed at first to be a somewhat risky dish, with influences from India, Scotland, and Greece all fused together into one plate. However, once again, Bistro’s ingenuity and flair for innovation resulted in a truly unique and delectable dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, this starter will not disappoint.
The mains are equally diverse, with homage paid to British cuisine through dishes such as ‘The London Platter’ which contains fish and chips with tartar sauce, glazed bangers and mash, tenderloin pie, Scotch eggs with curried mayo (once again a slight twist on the original!), and house salad. Those more in the mood for Italian food may opt for the macaroni al forno, whilst someone with a penchant for Asian gastronomy may choose the chilli garlic fish. Equally, if guests desire a burger or grill, there is a wide selection including The Taj Burger, rosemary and garlic rubbed Angus, or pesto-grilled salmon. Guests are made to feel that the possibilities are endless, and all tastes are catered for.
We first tried the aloo gobi, categorised on the menu as an ‘Indian Comfort Food’. This warming, flavourful curry consisted of potato and cauliflower, with onion tomato masala and fresh coriander, served with paratha. We also ordered some white rice and garlic naan, and all the components together worked beautifully to provide a filling, thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, particularly suited to those with a vegetarian diet. We also had the pleasure of sampling the braised Sussex lamb shank, which was presented with a rogan gravy, creamed potato mash and seasonal grilled vegetables. The lamb was cooked to perfection; it fell off the bone and melted in the mouth – delicious. The other accompaniments of the dish were also cooked very well and the dish in its entirety proves a good option for those in the mood for a roast dinner with a unique, Indian-inspired, twist.
For anyone with room left, the dessert menu also offers a plethora of delicious and assorted choices. We ended our meal with the chocolate fondant, with a marshmallow centre, vanilla ice cream and caramelised popcorn. Alongside this, we also opted for Indian Flavours, a unique and imaginative compilation of Indian delicacies consisting of saffron cheesecake, carrot halve cremeux, mango surprise, and gram flour tuille. Rounded off with a cup of English Breakfast Tea and an espresso, our visit to Bistro was a wonderful opportunity to challenge our taste buds with delicious cross-cultural food in an elegant and unforgettable location. High recommendations all round.
41 – 54 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AF