InterContinental London Park Lane (Ramadan Menu)HALAL STATUS Halal options • Alcohol served
Well, we were invited down to try one of three Ramadan set menus designed by Senior Sous Chef, Lalit Kumar, and available at the Wellington Lounge from 9pm.
With only one being served on any given day – each one being £49 per adult, £35 for 13-17 years, £29 for 7-12 years, and free for under 6-year-olds – we had the opportunity of trying Iftar Menu 3, which had the following four courses:
- Shorba: Vermicelli and chicken, fresh coriander.
- Mezze: Beetroot hummus, labneh, dolma, marinated olives, khobez bread.
- Mains: Cheese sambusek, meat manakish, chicken shish, roasted lamb sausage, mint tzatziki, grilled chuck eye beef, baked salmon, spiced curry sauce, green beans in tomato sauce, vegetable kabssah.
- Desserts: Sliced fruit platter, mixed baklava, carrot pudding, orange blossom walnut cheese cake.
To get a better understanding of Chef Kumar’s thought process behind this menu, be sure to checkout our interview with him in the video below.
As for the typical introductory summation of the interior, then we’ll dispense with that on this occasion and merely repeat the above: an award-winning, 5-star, luxury hotel!
To open the fast, we were presented huge dates, that were gorgeously plump and soft, along with freshly squeezed watermelon juice and milk.
While we appreciate the fact that these were put up to encourage the purchase of the mocktails below, we would have preferred our watermelon juice chilled.
These Botanical Mocktails certainly looked the part, but they didn’t all deliver in the way that the hugely impressive Nuts About You did. The layers of complexity that defined this unbelievably well crafted drink may be the reason why this will be shortlisted for our end of year beverage award, it was that good. The subtle interplay of sweet and citrus tones required relishing this aromatic concoction with slow measured sips.
Although the creamy sweetness of the coconut in the Mango Colada succeeded in tempering the dominant flavour of the pineapple, the mango was barely discernible.
As for the Berry Jam Session, then in spite of its pretty presentation, what this required was stronger strawberries to help complement the apparent strength of the fresh basil therein. What’s more, it didn’t take long for the disproportionate ratio of ice to take its toll in watering things down beyond the point of no return.
A fragrantly buttery and lightly aromatic broth, with tender pieces of pulled chicken, and plenty of diced cucumber and tomatoes to make this a fitting appetiser to any iftar meal.
The best part of this mezze platter was easily that vibrant pink Beetroot Hummus. Its silky smooth consistency will have you tearing off chunks of the thin Khobez Bread to spoon up great big dollops of this healthy dip. One of the best Beetroot Hummus’ we’ve had!
The Labneh was textured and had a nice sour piquancy, while the stuffed Dolma, hidden neath a moist and freshly made tabouleh, had a firm meaty texture and was deliciously flavoursome. As for the marinated olives, then these were of a superior type.
While it was easy enough to work out the rationale behind an assortment as diverse as this – later confirmed by Chef Sharma in his interview – we never anticipated it being presented in an Indian thali of all things. This truly was a celebration of cuisines from across the globe; but was it a coherent munch? Well, let’s just say it was intriguing enough, with a mixture of the good and not so good.
The good was definitely the duos-on-a-stick, with the roasted lamb sausage being soft, tender, herby and quite wholesome, and its chicken counterpart being crunchy on the outside and fairly moist on the in.
And though the crispy-skinned salmon was slightly over, it also didn’t help that the grilled chuck eye beef was served luke warm, resulting in an overly chewy mass which kept us masticating for far longer than our fatiguing jaws could take.
Despite the meat manakish’s fried minced topping being decent enough, we found the pastry base to be on the thick side.
As for the cheese sambusek, then this was well made with the pastry being crumbly in texture. The large pear drop-shaped samosa though was a dense affair, with the entire thing erring on the dry side, and thus being quite unremarkable.
Otherwise, we enjoyed combining the fragant vegetable kabssah rice bowl with both the mildly spicy curry sauce and the crunchy green beans tossed in masala-oriented tomato sauce. Be sure to add a dollop of the mint tzatziki sauce to help counter the gentle heat therein, while mixing things up with the pickled vegetables.
Peculiarly, however, the thali also came with a bowl of mayonnaise, which just seemed out of place.
All in all, a pick ‘n’ mix thali that will have you curiously scratching your head right the way through this culinary journey.
Another impressive assortment that had some surprisingly good selections, the best of which being the carrot pudding, which was soft and almost gelatinous in nature, just the right in terms of sweetness, with perhaps a hint of rosewater too.
The orange blossom walnut cheese cake too was a delicious little mouthful, with the light zestiness of the orange coming through nicely, and the nuts contrasting well against the creamy softness of the cheese.
As for the dainty mixed baklava, then these weren’t overly saturated, which is always a good sign, nor overly sweet.
- YES/ NO
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- FREE WI-FI
Well, we did better than that, we went to try it. Conceptually, while it was well conceived, with plenty of thought put into making this as unique as possible, it may come across to some as somewhat disparate in nature, with a true pick 'n' mix affair all brought together in a traditional Indian thali.
In addition, certain items could have been better executed. Nevertheless, there were some tasty elements here, including a mocktail that knocked us off our collective feet (in contention of being shortlisted for our end of year beverage award).
Given it's an award-winning luxury establishment, the menu will set you back £49pp (excluding the 12.5% discretionary charge). But, with surroundings such as this coupled with impeccable service, it's not just about the food as it is the complete experience.
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