A Soho favourite for four years, award-winning pan-Indian restaurant Carom has undergone a fabulous transformation in time for spring, presenting a fresh menu alongside its new look.
Part of the D&D empire, the Carom kitchen is led by Executive head chef Vishnu Natarajan offering diners elegant Indian food with a twist in the heart of Soho.
The classic Carom menu has been updated with a selection of new plates focused on sharing. A unique and dramatic Navagraha dish inspired by Hindu astrology is the perfect sharing-style dining experience: featuring nine sample-sized curry dishes to represent the nine planet and lunar nodes that make up Navagraha, the platter will including Shalgam lamb, Alleppy prawn curry and Paneer saffrani among others, served in antique-styled, hand-hammered copper tableware. Other sharing boards include a 3.5ft Tiger prawn skewer served with Carom’s bukhara naan and a Goan dip, while singular dishes feature White crab puttu with onion, coconut, curry leaf and shrimp chutney and Kodi Vepudu curry; an Andhra speciality with chicken and cashew nuts. Desserts include White chocolate and cardamom mousse and Indian opera cake. Additionally, Vishnu has created an authentic and excellent value tasting menu, including four courses with matching wine for £45 per person; dishes include Chilli squid and Juniper chicken tikka.
The 250-cover restaurant has also been transformed. Five main areas including a beautiful marble-veined communal table have been designed with a new soft metallic colour palette of brushed gold, silver and copper, with subtle hues of dusky blue. Contrasting raw textures and natural material accents lend an elegant atmosphere.
Carom is a buzzing example of the best Indian restaurants Soho has to offer. With its fan new look and excellent cocktail list, Carom makes a great spot to drink and people watch before a night out – as well as a place to feast.
The menu is a challenge, only because we want to order everything, so we are guided through the house specialities by the charming staff and settle on dishes including Potlis or vegetable parcels, with mint and tamarind chutney, Malabar jumbo prawn, Shalgam Lamb, and a Pumpkin paneer curry. Carnivores are particularly well catered for at Carom, veggies, less so. However, a word with the waiter and chef himself produces some additional vegetarian dishes off-menu that make my friend swoon. Spice hounds will love the intensity of the hot plates, although there are plenty of milder options available for the novices. Everything comes beautifully presented and there is plenty to share, so much so that we bring a doggy bag home. Indian food is often rich and somewhat greasy but there’s a lightness of touch in this kitchen that elevates the obvious to the sublime. After a final course of a vegetarian biryani we call it a night, not before a sneaky sticky toffee pudding is proffered – and devoured. Aromatic and buttery, it’s by no means traditional but this pudding is a highlight of the meal, and a glorious example of the talent in this kitchen.