Visit: 4 February 2023, dinner for 4 people
Awards: 1 Michelin star
Michelin-starred Jamavar London, located on Mayfair’s Mount Street, is the first international outpost of the renowned Indian fine dining concept by LSL CAPITAL, co-founded by Dinesh and Samyukta Nair in 2016. The décor is inspired by the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi, and is very smartly decorated.
The dining spaces, The Dining Room (on the ground floor) and The Game Room (downstairs), are set across two floors, with a total seating capacity of 108. Both spaces feature colonial flourishes combined with the intricate patterns of the Jamavar shawls of India, from which the restaurant takes its name. There is no bar, so you enter the restaurant and are taken directly to you table. The toilets are downstairs.
The tasting menu was priced at £105 with accompanying wines at £90, there is a vegetarian tasting menu, and a full a la carte choice as well. On the a la carte, small plates, inspired by the street food markets of Northern & Southern India, cost between £13 and £30, tandoori dishes between £18 and £52, and main courses between £20 and £39 (for a lobster dish).
Jamavar was awarded a Michelin star, within one year of opening, in The Michelin Restaurant Guide to Great Britain UK and Ireland 2018, but lost it the following year when then Executive Head Chef Rohit Ghai left the restaurant. In 2022, Jamavar regained its Michelin star.
Chef Surender Mohan moved to London in early 2018 to oversee the kitchen. He moved from the Jamavar in Bangalore, which he had opened in 2001.
When we booked the only table available was at 9.45pm. When we arrived, we were informed that we were unable to order the tasting menu as it was too late. It would have been much better if we had been informed when we made the booking that we were not able to order the tasting menu after 9pm, as we would have gone elsewhere. However, we ordered many of the dishes that were on the tasting menu from the a la carte menu, and saved ourselves a significant amount of money (in fact the bill was about half price).
The quality of the cooking at Jamavar is very impressive. For starters we ordered from the small plates a la carte menu. We tried the Tellicherry pepper and garlic soft shell crab, accompanied by plum chutney, garlic chips and homemade garlic pickle, the Narangi prawns with orange blossom butter, coconut chips, garlic, chives, and dried lime granules, the Chettinad chicken croquettes with spiced chicken mince, cucumber-dill salad, tomato and coconut chutney, and the kid goat shami kebab with bone marrow sauce, mint chutney, and chur chur paratha (a very crispy, flaky, layered bread). All these dishes were excellent, with subtle layers of spicing, and precise cooking.
We then ordered Adraki lamb chops, cooked in the Tandoor, and served with royal cumin, fennel, ginger and carrot salad. These chops were sensational, delicately spiced, tender and perfectly cooked medium rare.
For main courses, we ordered the Travancore fish curry with sea bass fillet, drumstick leaves, shallots and Kashmiri chilli; the Old Delhi buttered chicken, which used Suffolk corn-fed, char-grilled pulled chicken with fresh tomato and fenugreek; and the Laal Maas, which was an 8-hours slow-cooked Hampshire lamb shank with Rajasthani chilli. Again, the spicing and cooking were exceptional.
To accompany the main courses, we ordered a pulao rice and the assorted breadbasket, although this only amounted to one type of bread, chapati.
We were informed when the kitchen was closing for the night and asked if we wanted to order anything more, which we didn’t.
Jamavar is an outstanding Indian restaurant. Our initial disappointment about being unable to order the tasting menu was soon forgotten once we started to sample the exceptional food they offer. One take away from this, and other recent experiences, is that eating at 10pm in a Michelin starred restaurant is not for me. I have lost my appetite at this time, and often the waiting staff and chefs have been working very long hours, and they are coming close to the end of their day. I think, for me, eating this late, detracts from the restaurant experience.
Outside the restaurant (in the daylight):