"A light, healthy meal you will really enjoy eating"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
La Porte des Indes inhabits a converted two-storey Edwardian townhouse, which from the outside is so unassuming it may as well be a shop that’s long closed for business. Once inside we initially wonder whether we’re in a hotel, or perhaps a riad, as there is a dome shaped glass ceiling which allows natural light to flood in, as well as plenty of greenery and a humongous waterfall in the middle. Indian paintings and artefacts adorn the walls, in a cluttered yet homely sort of way, and a stately marble staircase leads upstairs, where there are more tables.
Part of the Blue Elephant Group, the menu prides itself on offering French-Indo fusion food (bouillabaisse with spices, magret de canard with tamarind sauce), however despite the odds we are here to sample the “650 calorie light lunch menu”, because who wants to count calories when they’re eating out?
Lunch is priced at £19, to include a glass of freshly squeezed juice and three courses, the main dish being a choice between salmon cooked on the tandoor grill and Portobello mushroom with mint chutney.
We like the fresh juices very much, (sweet and refreshing orange, passion fruit and lemongrass, and a reviving watermelon drink) along with the poppadums which have been spiced up with cumin seeds, and the Bombay street food-style amuse bouche, a chickpea cake with yoghurt wrapped in thin pastry.
The starter is a dish of broccoli florets marinated in yoghurt and cream cheese along with lime juice, lemongrass and spices. Grilling them on the tandoor has made them crispy while retaining crunchiness, with a citrusy, bright flavour.
One main has two salmon steaks coated in mustard, chilli and fennel; the piquant fish flakes away beautifully. The other is a flat mushroom topped with herby, minty chutney, both dishes come with little piles of red rice, a mushy, spicy lentil daal, and naan with cumin seeds.
Dessert is a sweet lychee and rosewater sorbet, an ideal palate cooler. A delicious meal, plus afterwards we feel satisfied and energetic rather than wanting a snooze on the sofa.
Leila reviewed La Porte Des Indes on Tue 03 Apr 2012