Chor Bizarre – eclectic Indian cuisine

Our visit to Chor Bizarre in Mayfair was by invitation, and we were totally spoilt.  Having the opportunity to try several of the dishes on the rather eclectic menu, which covers feasts like the famous Kashmiri Wazwam, South Indian Tiffin, the quintessential Indian street food Chaat, along with other well known Indian dishes.  I am going to have to use the word eclectic a lot as that very much sums up Chor Bizarre. The decor is both stylish and eclectic (and some of it is even for sale). The  food is equally eclectic covering several Indian regions, we ordered a fairly mixed range of dishes.  Sambar, Gazab ka tikka, a lovely mild dish with very moist chicken marinated in cheese and cream that is also served in Chor Bizarre’s New Delhi branch.  Dakshni crab cakes, light and as spicy as advertised, Lamb Rogan Josh, Pepper Scallops, Baghara Baingan and Palak Makkai a rather delicious spinach dish.

The restaurant has an extensive wine list which they are happy to match to your food, something I always struggle with in Indian restaurants.  For a useful guide on pairing see Charles Metcalfe’s Chor Bizarre Wine and Food matches. We had a nice bottle of Castillo de Clavijo Rioja Crianza, which only really worked with the milder dishes.

I very much wanted to try their Tandoori pineapple dessert, but alas after our feast I had no room, I just managed to fit in some mango sorbet and a nice glass of dessert wine.

Chor Bizarre which translates as Thieves Market has a nice relaxing buzz to it, on our visit it comfortably handled groups, couples and single dinners.

I have indulged at top London Indian restaurants like Benares and The Cinnamon Club, and dined at numerous less expensive establishments. My favorites include places like Dockmasters HouseCafe Spice Namaste and The Mint Leaf, and now I can happily add Chor Bizarre to that number.

Chor Bizarre is managed by Old World Hospitality.  They have several restaurants in London including one of my favorites Tamarai in Drury Lane.

Marks out of 10

Food 6.5

Service 6.5

Ambience 6.3



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Tamarai – gets it right again

This was our second visit to Tamarai.  It’s always interesting to make return visits to the places where you have had an especially good culinary experience, to see if they are consistent.  For our first review see:-

We had the same toptable deal of 50% off the tasting menu, the contents of which  had not changed since our last visit. This was not a problem as we had really enjoyed that menu.  It’s a well thought out selection of beautifully balanced dishes, with the little extras you typically get in high end restaurants, i.e., the amuse bouche and the palette cleanser.

We found on this visit, that the food and the service were just as good as the last time.  So it’s full marks for consistency, and for having regular top table deals. This place is now firmly on our list of venues to return too.

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 6.8

Ambience 7


Tamarai – lotus eating

Tamarai is a late night Bar/Club/Restaurant in Drury Lane with a pretty good reputation for its pan Asian fusion food. We found them when reviewing Top Table deals for January. Tamarai were advertising a 50% discount on their 9 course tasting menu (full price £52). Too good to miss.

Night clubs are not exactly known for good food, and we were a bit dubious about this place, as we navigated our way thorough the corridors and down the stairs to the restaurant, which basically did look like a dark night club with tables on the dance floor (slight exaggeration, but it definitely had that vibe about it).   However this place was a revelation, as it served up delicious dishes one after another, with no dip in the quality which started high and did not drop.

It is hard to pick out standout dishes when all the food is good, but I especially enjoyed the snow crab with coconut, and the rather amazing chicken salad, which was refreshing and spicy (neat trick). Even the strawberry and basil palate cleanser is worth a mention. The main courses were Thai Green curry and lovely almost meaty prawns in a barbecue style sauce. We then finished with White Chocolate Ice Cream and Fresh Fruit Kebabs.

As well as the tasting menu we ordered the flight of wines (5 glasses for £17),  which were a good accompaniment.

The staff were plentiful and the service was efficient.

I would even suggest if this Kitchen moved above ground to a fashionable location, like Mayfair or Chelsea, that they would not need to offer deals to attract custom. Definitely the best Pan Asian food we have ever tasted.

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 6.8

Ambience 6



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