Near+Far’s best restaurants series explores the very best culinary options in the Middle East, and the world. The series offers top restaurant tips and reviews for those looking for the best restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and the most exciting and beautiful destinations across the world. This time we journey to Jamavar London, an elegant Indian eatery on the cobbles of Mayfair set to open in Dubai
Jamvar London Near+Far Rating: 8/10
Why Book Jamavar London
The spotless cobbles of Mayfair‘s Mount Street are home to many a salubrious spot: The Connaught hotel, the polished Audley Public House – owned by chic art dealers Hauser & Wirth – boutiques like Oscar de la Renta, Christian Louboutin and Lanvil and iconic restaurant, Scott’s. Popping out from amongst the awnings is the canary yellow Jamavar London, one of the capital’s chicest Indian restaurants and a regular in the Michelin and world dining guides. Marked by a discreet door and outdoor terrace with a handful of tables, the restaurant lures guests in with the promise of Pan-Indian cuisine and impeccable vibes and delights with a sprawling dining room of black and gold accents spread across two floors and delivering an intimate dining experience. Owned by LSL Capital and the founding family of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts in India, Jamavar takes its name from the intricate 16th-century lace shawls of Kashmir. The restaurant operates five outlets across India, opening in London in 2021. Jamavar is also set to open in Dubai later this year, following the launch of Jamavar Doha in 2021 – showcasing its enduring appeal to diners across the globe.
The vibe: 8/10
Intimate, seductive, elegant and discreet – Jamavar feels like a secret hideaway on Mount Street for in-the-know diners despite being one of the most celebrated Indian restaurants in the UK capital. There’s a warm buzzing glow on a Wednesday evening, with perfectly dimmed mood lighting, cleverly concentrated on the upper floor on quiet nights to maintain ambience, and the restaurant often throws special events – such as Diwali celebrations and themed dining experiences.
The interiors: 9/10
Jamavar takes its design inspiration from the Viceroy’s home in New Delhi, with a glamorous dining hall, intimate bar and residential outdoor terrace. The design is impeccable, with dak timble panelling and brass accents reminiscent of its illustrious address, and period lincrusta wallcoverings, Lutyens-inspired furniture and tapestries transporting guests to the palaces of India. The tones are sumptuous, with forest greens, deep blues and ambers, and checked board dining tables that resemble traditional Indian chaturanga. There’s both booth and table seating, offering guests a range of choices, and lots of cosy corners to hide away in.
The food: 9/10
Jamavar’s menu trots India’s most famous foodie destinations, from the rich royal dishes of the North – and states like Rajasthan and Punjab to the coconut-rich coastal cuisine of Kerala and Goa. Diners will most likely find all their favourites, with some new dishes to try – all cooked to perfection and bursting with flavour. Importantly, all dishes are Halal. On a rainy London night, the pitter-patter of rain faintly heard on the cobbles just outside, we warmed up with a selection of small plates (of which there are 14 to choose from) and tandoor mears. The Malabar prawns are juicy and fragrant (£18), and the Kasoondi Paneer Tikka (£14) with homemade paneer is absolutely moreish.
We chat and snack on a delightful tray of popadums and homemade chutneys and preserves, offering a melange of flavours with every bite. On a cold night, or any night, for that matter, a Biriyani can’t go a miss, and Jamavar’s is stand out. A pillowy bread appears to move – almost blown off by the steam below – and, when pulled off, reveals the softest, flavourful Hampshire lamb (£28 – a vegetarian option is also available). We also indulge in the signature Old Delhi Butter Chicken (£32), a blend of Suffolk corn-fed chicken breast and chargrilled bulled chicken and silky smooth. Of course, we mop it all up with Jamvar’s homemade Kulchas (£11) – three cheese and paneer; sun-dried tomato and basil and sweet and salty peshawari. Truly comforted, we finish the meal with a light trip of kulfi (£11) – dark chocolate & hazelnut chikki, rose & lychee and tender coconut & cardamom – and sorbet, though those with a sweet tooth will delight in the likes of pistachio milk cake and chocolate fondant and traditional gajrela and gulab.
Jamavar is a truly wonderful dining experience. Elegant, yet relaxed, on salubrious Mount Street, yet not all flashy. The interiors are sumptuous, reminiscent of the regal homes of India, and the food lives up to its location and design. For a chic date spot, dinner with friends, or even to seek refuge with warm, delicious food on a cold rainy night, head to Jamavar.