Eat Here: 1947 London, FitzroviaBy Angelica Malin
Looking for a new restaurant in central London? It’s about time you tried 1947 London, a brand new opening from the founders of the award-winning Chai Thali group, in the heart of Fitzrovia. We popped down to try this latest opening, here’s what you need to know:
1947 London is a new Northern Indian restaurant and cocktail bar, set in an opulent underground space below Charlotte Street. Expect a sparkly, glitzy interior, with lots of personal touches. Interior designer Tammara Mattingly and paper artist Karen Navalta have worked together to create a high-end, shimmering escape from London’s grey streets – expect plush curved booths, great for group dining, soft, ambient lighting and metallic gold details everywhere. The design has touches of coppers, golds and greens throughout, with lots of velvet and velour soft furnishings. There’s even a flower wall on the way in, with the restaurant’s name in bright lights…. Basically, it’s an Instagrammer’s dream.
The menu here is inspired by India’s rich history; Chef Krishna Negi has created a menu which nods to recipes that evolved out of the movement of peoples and cultures during the 1947 Partition. The menu is split into nano plates, small plates, sharing bowls and sides – it’s easy-to-navigate, and great for sociable dining with friends. If you’re a greedy eater like me, you’ll love it.
We started with a selection of their nano plates, including mini poppadums, with a delicious coriander-infused dipping sauce, grilled Padron peppers, stuffed with a homemade spice mix, and, my personal favourite, the avocado Bombay Bhel. Imagine a rice salad, featuring a medley of crispy rice puffs served with chopped avocados, tomatoes and a spicy tangy sauce – it’s basically a pimped up Bombay mix, and we loved it.
Moving onto small plates, highlights included the Maharaja Prawns (a must-order), which are lightly marinated in a spice blend and then cooked in a clay oven. Soft, juicy and tender, these are easily some of the best prawns I’ve had in London. We also sampled the Chilli Paneer, where cubes of paneer and bell peppers are tossed in chilli garlic sauce, for a sweet and tangy flavour kick, and the Baby Squid with garlic and green chilli. What I love about the food here, is that they are not afraid of spice – everything is hot, bold and bursting with flavours. As a spice lover, this totally worked for me, but they will happily tweak the dishes to your liking.
Moving onto mains, there’s so much to choose from. If you’re a meat-eater, try their Lamb Dum Biriyani from the Sharing Bowls selection. It’s a glorious dish, featuring aromatic basmati rice and pieces of tender lamb, cooked in a dum style served in a pastry sealed pot with a burani raita. They open the pastry lid at the table, revealing the beautifully cooked meat below. A dish that’s perfect for your tastebuds and your Instagram stories alike.
Plant-based eaters, don’t fear – the vegetarian options here are really good. We loved the simple beauty of the Aloo Udayagari, which features potatoes cooked in a simple green masala made from coriander and fried curry leaf. For greens, the asparagus and sugar snap peas tempered with mustard seeds and garnished with fresh grated coconut are delicious, and, on the curry front, the Paneer Butter Masala, with cubes of paneer simmered in a buttery tomato sauce flavoured with sun-dried fenugreek leaves, and the Daal Makhani, are both sublime. In fact, the curries are so good, that we end up ordering rounds and rounds of carbs to go with them – I highly recommend the Lachha Parantha, for a buttery, indulgent treat.
Ending on a sweet note, the Mango Kulfi is a delicious, almost nostalgic ice cream treat that will round your evening off perfectly. All in all, the food at 1947 London is really good – simple, flavoursome and just hits the spot.
We drunk wine all night, first a Sicilian white, and then a bottle of Gavi, because it’s Wednesday night, so, Gavi. There’s only 3 white wines on the list by the glass, so you may be better off ordering a bottle. Next time we visit, we’ll be trying the Chai Martini, methinks.
All in all, I was really impressed with the 1947 London. The staff were super friendly and accommodating, helping us navigate the menu and not caring a bit where I asking to try different wines and couldn’t decide on anything. The staff seem so genuinely passionate about the food and restaurant, encouraging us to try dishes and recommending their personal favourites. The decor is stylish and swish, without feeling stuffy, and the food is just really, really good. For an easy date night, dinner with friends or a quick bite in central London, I’d recommend 1947 London in a heartbeat.
To find out more and to book, visit the 1947 London website here.