London’s new, luxury Indian dining concept Colonel Saab
The food is absolutely stunning, the menu introduces you to progressive takes on nostalgic dishes, from caramel and banana paniyaram with jaggery sauce at breakfast service, Doodh Maach – hake in Bengali sauce – on the A La Carte menu, to dosas and Khaati egg rolls with different, traditional fillings on the lunch menu and smoked duck and mango salads or Kolhapuri Lamb Chops served at dinner.
There are nostalgic touches from Choudhary’s childhood in the form of Lunch Tiffins or “Dabbas” – beautiful, tiered brass containers used to serve lunch in India, which provide a unique, light lunch offering.
Dining at Colonel Saab is also a feast for the eyes, with a treasure trove of eclectic Indian art and artefacts collected by his family on their travels, lovingly brought to the space under challenging conditions. Downstairs, a grand, pure silver door from a Gujarat temple greets you, while upstairs features a carved temple door from South India. The opulent dining room is bathed in light by a canopy of ornate chandeliers from Firozabad.
A drinks bar made by Asprey for the Maharaja of Patiala takes pride of place in the private dining room, while 17th and 18th century Tanjore paintings and handwoven Persian silk carpets adorn the walls and precious decanters and crockery from the palace of the Maharaja of Faridkot shimmer in cabinets.
The restaurant it a museum itself, it has made its home in the elegant, former Holborn Town Hall and the menu – catering breakfast to dinner, daily – and museum-worthy artworks are a homage to Choudhary’s travels across India with his mother, Mrs Binny Choudhary and father, Colonel Manbeer, who was given the honorific name ‘Colonel Saab’ – shared by the restaurant – while serving in the Indian Army.
Choudhary is on course to set a new benchmark in London, continuing the family tradition of celebrating the vibrant and diverse culture of India’s food and history with humility, elegance and originality.