Chor Bizarre, Mayfair

It’s hard not to warm to Chor Bizarre. An established gem (almost literally) in Mayfair, that unlike its cool, calm neighbours, revels in its opulence and heritage with colour, glitz and glamour in a way that asserts its confidence.

And why not? This Indian restaurant has been in the neighbourhood for over 15 years with a loyal following and relaxed, attentive and friendly service that puts you at your ease.

The name translates as ‘thieves’ market’, hence the feel of Aladdin’s cave and the fact that all the furniture and furnishings are on sale if you ‘make them an offer they can’t refuse’. They also market the restaurant as a photo shoot venue.

Chor Bizarre Restaurant

My guest and I both tried the Thali, the traditional platter which allows you to try a number of different dishes and offers a range of classics such as a meaty and satisfying lamb kashmari roganjosh; Bhojpuri aaloo, the stuffed potatoes in a rich gravy; and delicious bites of marinaded chicken, gazab ka tikka.

There’s gulab jamun included too, the traditional cheese-based dessert, which, while milky deserts are my nemesis, must be a job well done as I don’t do a bad job of finishing it off.

Chor Bizarre Restaurant

The downstairs private dining room can accommodate up to 30 people: It’s an intimate space but with cushioned benches down the sides and its own bar that creates a functional and cosy space; and this being Chor Bizarre it offers something distinctive with its red decor, appropriately theatrical Bollywood theme and framed pictures of movie stars along the walls.

It would certainly offer a fantastic alternative for an office Christmas dinner or a corporate entertainment event. And there’s no additional charge for having your own staff and bar person.

Looking around at the other diners, including the expected suits, what I really took away from Chor Bizarre was the relaxed and convivial atmosphere they’ve created in Mayfair while still delivering something special.

The style of this restaurant may not to be everyone’s taste, but the food is good with great service and there will be plenty in your surroundings to inspire conversation. It’s bold, it makes a statement, and it’s hard not to enjoy that.

Tip: Chor Bizarre offers a whole host of different special menu options for a variety of occasions so it’s worth checking out their website or giving them a call – everything from ‘eat like a king’ where you can relive a Maharajah’s type dining experience with a 36 course menu to Indian gastronomical tours and learning more about India spices and food.

For other Indian restaurants in London, read our review of Gymkhana and Moti Mahal.

Cinnamon Soho To Open Mid-March

Cinnamon Soho, the third restaurant from executive chef Vivek Singh, will open mid-March, dubbed as the Cinnamon Kitchen’s ‘younger, cheekier sibling’.

Dishes on offer will include sticky desi pork back ribs; seared sea bass with aubergine-potato crush; and vindaloo of ox cheek. There will also be range of Indian-inspired ‘balls’, such as crab cake and Bangla-Scotch egg; and exotic pies, such as Keralan seafood and rogan josh.

Address: Cinnamon Soho, 5 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PF
Phone: 020 7287 6080

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Trishna Celebrates Holi from 5 to 11 March

Trishna will be celebrating Holi, the Hindu spring festival, from 5 to 11 March with a special tasting menu created by Head Chef Karam Sethi.

Dishes on offer will include crab and pollack tikkas with curry leaf, mustard seed and crab chutney; lamb chop with Kashmiri chilli, ginger and mustard mooli; and mango rice pudding.

Trishna restaurant

The tasting menu is priced at £35.50 for four courses (or £64 including wine pairings) or £45.50 for six courses (£88 with wine pairings).

Trishna is located at 15-17 Blandford Street in Marylebone, specialising in the coastal cuisine of South West India.

For further information or to make a booking, please contact your concierge at Bon Vivant. To make sure you’re kept informed of similar updates on a regular basis, subscribe to the blog, our fortnightly newsletter, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook!

Benares Pop-Up Restaurant

Benares, the Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Mayfair from acclaimed chef Atul Kochhar, will be ‘popping-up’ at Meza in Soho for four weeks from 4 May. Drawing on the culinary influences that have established Benares as one of the finest Indian restaurants in London, Atul’s menu will consist of more affordable dishes and sharing platters, with the pop-up opening for dinner from Monday to Saturday until 28 May.

View the Sample Menu.

Address: Meza, 100 Wardour Street, W1F

Website: www. meza-bar.co.uk

Please call 020 7314 4002 to book a table or contact your concierge.

Trishna Restaurant: Not Your Average Curry Night

On 20 March 2011, Trishna restaurant and wine experts WineChap will launch Trishna’s new monthly pairing evenings. Not Your Average Curry Night – Thinking Outside the Bottle will be London’s only regular evening that pairs wine, beer as well as cider with an Indian menu, for £45 per person.

Not Your Average Curry Night is part of a series of celebrations to announce the arrival of new Head Chef Karam Sethi to Trishna restaurant in Marylebone. Karam started at Trishna in February 2011, previously working at Bukhara in Delhi (a regular on the San Pellegrino, World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and Trishna in Mumbai.

For reservations please contact us or call the restaurant on 020 7935 562.