With the promise of elegant interiors & good high-end Indian food, 1947 London seemed like the perfect restaurant pick for a special occasion. It’s a place that’s designed for it – from the glitzy entrance to the flower wall, the restaurant gives you the perfect backdrop at every corner to take photos for whatever occasion you’re celebrating. Although I must say, initially, the loud music by the entrance nearly put us off as it was almost like stepping into a club. But thankfully, the music was turned down to a manageable volume as the evening went on and we got to enjoy the vibrant & bustling atmosphere more.
1947 Restaurant: food inspired by 1947 India
1947 is a significant year for India. It is the year when the infamous partition happened, with mass population migrations from one region to the other. By no means was that a glorious historical event. However, the movement of people also led to different cultures & regional cuisines coming together, which inspired the food menu at 1947 London Restaurant.
Run by Michelin-experienced executive chef, Satyabrata Jena, 1947 Restaurant’s menu features a range of pan-Indian dishes, from small plates to sharing bowls, as well as biryanis, rice, breads and desserts inspired by the Tangra Chinatown of old Calcutta. Chef Satyabrata Jena previously worked as Head Chef at the likes of Jamavar, Gymkhana, Brigadiers, etc. and is no stranger to the Indian fine-dining scene in London.
All meats served are halal at 1947 London. Alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food at 1947 London (what we ordered)
Date of visit: April 2023
Chilli Chicken Chop (£16)
We started off with some large chunky pieces of chilli chicken chops that set the tone for the evening. Featuring a tandoori marinade, the chicken chops offered a tingle of spice and were generally tender & succulent to taste. It wasn’t a blown-away flavour party but it was certainly a solidly delicious starter dish. The mint & green chilli chutney on the side paired well with the chicken and was essential in adding an extra kick to the meat.
Tandoori Smoked Lamb Cutlets (£28)
Every time we visit a high-end Indian restaurant, lamb chops are a must-order. With a nice subtle char on the outside, these Tandoori Smoked Lamb Cutlets had a tender bite and were piquant in flavour. They weren’t bad at all but we would’ve liked a bit more robustness and flavour intensity. The likes of Copper Chimney & Gymkhana had set the bar high for tandoori lamb chops and I couldn’t help but compare them. On the side, the lamb comes served with a mixed sprout & corn Kachumber salad, which was nice but, in our opinion, could benefit from serving it with extra mint & green chilli chutney as well.
Khaas Lamb Shank (£28)
For mains, we went with the lamb shank, which was undoubtedly a showstopper to the eye. The lamb shank was slow-cooked to a soft tender texture and falls easily off the bone. Despite bathing in a vibrant Awadhi-spiced gravy, the flavours were more on the mellow end. It was decent with a rich & creamily-textured gravy but could use an extra kick of spice & robustness to tickle the palate and for further flavour depth. Nonetheless, it was still good to mop it up with some Cheese & Bombay Onion Naan.
Chicken Parda Biryani (£26)
Between chicken and lamb biryani, we were recommended to go with the former. The pastry top was the draw for me but, unfortunately, that was about it for the dish. Beneath that pastry was just a rather mediocre-at-best biryani. The flavours were plain and simply failed to make an impression. We packed up the leftovers to take home by the end of the meal. Thankfully, the biryani did taste better the next day as the flavours developed overnight. But still, when dining at the restaurant, it was a rather forgettable dish.
Cheese & Bombay Onion Naan (£7)
The most outstanding dish, for us, had been the Cheese & Bombay Onion Naan. It was addictively delicious, to say the least, and got us fighting for the last piece. The naan was absolutely moreish to taste, with a teasing amount of aged cheddar cheese laced with the natural sweetness of onions and spikes of aromatic spices that danced around the palate. As mentioned, we thoroughly enjoyed savouring the naan with the lamb shank.
Lachha Paratha (£6)
Unfortunately, the same praise can’t be said for the Lachha Paratha. They’re decent, but nothing quite as outstanding as the Cheese & Bombay Onion Naan. The Paratha was mildly buttery to taste but could certainly use an extra pinch of salt to perk up the flavours. Some parts felt just a teeny bit too thick and we would’ve preferred it to be a little flakier in texture.
Gajar Halwa Tart (£11)
Moving onto desserts, we had the Gajar Halwa tart, which we thought was an interesting take on the Indian classic. The gajar halwa itself was decent, encased in a tartlet crust topped with strawberries & berries. The custard came served on the side, spiked with Kashmiri saffron, for you to pour over the gajar halwa tart. It’s certainly something different and unique, offering a varied texture and a creamy richness from the custard.
Dark Chocolate Fondant (£14)
Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a chocolate fondant. A classic pairing of a warm Valrhona dark chocolate fondant and ice cream is a timeless dessert for a reason. Featuring a gooey and melty centre, the chocolate fondant was sufficiently good but I wouldn’t say it’s a wowing one. It comes served with a vanilla-infused milk ice cream, which was quite milky in flavour and I would’ve personally preferred a stronger hint of vanilla in it.
Passionfruit Mojito (£12)
For drinks, 1947 London has a selection of mocktails to choose from and the Passionfruit Mojito hit the spot. Blended with passion fruit puree, passion fruit juice, lime, mint and soda water, the mojito was very tropical & refreshing to taste. Even though we enjoyed it, £12 was still a bit of a steep price for it, in our opinion.
Restaurant Review Summary
1947 London certainly has its charms and it’s not a bad contemporary Indian restaurant in town at all, overall. However, we did find it a tad bit overpriced for what it is. The food was decent but, for a fine-dining experience, we felt it was missing a wow factor. It fared better than a few other Indian restaurants we visited but the flavours could use a bit more of an oomph and stronger intensity to elevate the food from decent to phenomenal.
We enjoyed the overall experience at 1947 London but couldn’t say we absolutely loved it. Other than the loud music at the beginning of the meal, we also find ourselves seated in a rather crowded spot in the restaurant where tables were arranged a little too close to our liking. Service was a bit of a hit-and-miss as well throughout the evening. It wasn’t the easiest to get the waiters’ attention and it’s the little things that made it a less-than-perfect evening such as having to chase the staff for the menu after sitting down for 10 minutes with no one paying us any attention, or having to ask multiple times (when it’s already difficult to get staff’s attention) to have our water glasses refilled. But apart from these hiccups, everything else had been good and it’s a decent restaurant to visit.
All meats served are halal.