HomeReviews - UKQuilon (Indian Fine Dining) – Westminster, London

Quilon (Indian Fine Dining) – Westminster, London

Advertisement Advertisement HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu (exc. game that’s prepped & cooked separately) • Alcohol served

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceIt’s always an exciting affair having the opportunity of reviewing a Michelin-starred restaurant, particularly one located barely a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace.

Quilon is an Indian fine dining establishment whose distinguished history saw it achieve its first accolade a couple of years after it opened with the Best Indian restaurant Good Curry Guide Award in 2001.

After a number of awards and nominations, the talent and hard work of head chef Sriram Aylur finally saw him awarded a coveted Michelin star in 2008, which Quilon has successfully retained ever since.

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceThere’s no doubt that this 92-cover venue bears all the hallmarks of sophistication, with a monochromatic colour scheme and a carefully lit interior that helps compliment the restuarant’s dark brown wooden decor.

Described as “a restaurant within a Michelin-starred restaurant, with its own entrance, bar, dining room and private kitchen”, there’s also a plush private room located downstairs which allows guests the opportunity of sharing an intimate culinary experience with their own personal chef.

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Private dining room for 18.

Inspired by the cuisine of India’s south west coastal region, Quilon’s menu centres around seafood, and the dishes of Goa and Kerala in particular.

And while there’s also plenty of meat and vegetable options to choose from, the only section on the menu not Halal, and thus prepped and cooked separately, is the game meat.

Located around the corner from St. James’ Park tube station, Quilon is also not too far from Victoria Station.

Of course, given that the restaurant is located in Westminster, those travelling by car might want to remember that Congestion Charge applies from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6.30pm.

DRINKS

Drinks Beverages Cocktails Mocktails Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Apple Mojito – cloudy apple, ginger and mint; Zingy – muddled raspberries, passion fruit juice and orange juice with lemonade; Coast Guard – watermelon and coconut – £11.00 each

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceThere’s been a number of high end restaurants that end up, quite surprisingly, neglecting their non-alcoholic drinks menu. Not at Quilon! Here, not only do they serve you complimentary shots of a potently spicy tomato-based drink that’ll have you primed and ready in no time, but well conceived and precisely executed mocktails.

The best was undoubtedly the Coast Guard, which was unlike anything we’ve ever had before! This was essentially an ice slushy which, though comprising of only two elements, namely watermelon and coconut, had us fooled into thinking there was rose water therein given its mellow sweetness. With a lovely frothy top, this light and fragrant beverage has to be in contention for our end of year awards.

The Apple Mojitoa was an extremely good concoction, with the heat of the ginger helping to offset the sourness of the mint, before lingering pleasantly thereafter.

As for the Zingy, then this attractive glass was a beautifully balanced fruity affair in which the lemonade and orange only just managed to temper the sweetness of the passionfruit.

SAUCES

Sauces Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Complimenary assortment of sauces and papadums

Light, crunchy papadums accompanied by a trio of tantalisingly distinct sauces that enthralled one after the other.

Take the Tamarind Ginger, for instance, in which the heat was so ferocious that even the oil will have your taste buds running for cover.

On the other end of the specturm was the Lemon & Chilli with Garlic wherein the former was quite timid and the latter only barely coming through. There was then the mildly flavoured Tomato Chilli which was pleasant enough.

But arguably the best was this green paste, that had a hummus-like texture and a wonderful cardamom fragrance, with some heat lingering in the background.

STARTERS

Salad Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Quilon Salad – heirloom tomatoes, baby gem, watermelon, squash, avocado, fennel and micro herbs with curry leaves, goji berry dressing and balsamic glaze, £11.00

A colourful array of contrasting tomatoes coupled with micro herbs, segments of watermelon and squash, and so much more, all combining into a summery plate of fresh flavours and textures.

If you close your eyes and imagine hard enough, you’d think you were enjoying this in some remote village in Italy.

A selection of seafood items presented atop a boat meant that this was always going to be the review’s showstopper.

A Fisherman’s Catch that netted in perfectly cooked (and we do mean perfect): pepper shrimp, which offered a crispy exterior with a touch of heat; cafreal, which, while being as tender and as delicate as you’d want, had the taste of the sea coming through; a lightly marinated grilled scallop whose melt-in-the-mouth softness was unparalleled; and a crab cake you can find out more about below.

In all, an outstanding assortment that we could have ten times over.

Crab Cakes Salad Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Crab Cakes – claw meat with curry leaves, ginger, green chillies and cooked on a skillet, £13.00

Yup; we’re that important now! As for the not-so-important pair of fish cakes, then encased in a delicate crispy exterior was this dreamily soft and flaky crab claw mixture, whose sweet meat required the pungency of the mustard sauce to impart a touch of heat.

In addition, the salad side was dressed in a lemon drizzle which helped cut through the mustard’s pugency.

LAMB

Biryani Rice Lamb Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Malabar Lamb Biryani – lamb cooked with traditional malabar spices in a sealed pot, with basmati rice

RECOMMENDED

Who would have doubted this Malabar Lamb Biryani? An absolute triumph in every aspect, with spices layered so skilfully that the heat came through in progressive waves, though without ever being harsh in nature.

Not only was the rice aromatic, fluffy and straight-grained, but also contained fried onions, which added a touch of texture, as well as some smoky-sweetness.

Lamb Shank Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Braised Lamb Shank – slow cooked with freshly ground herbs, spices and chillies

“Slow cooked” indeed! This Braised Lamb Shank practically fell off the bone at the merest glance, it was that soft.

What’s more, the spices used were so carefully measured, that not only did the relatively thick curry sauce offer just enough chilli heat to keep things interesting, but the balance achieved meant that this was one of the best dishes had on the day.

SEAFOOD

Cod Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Baked Black Cod (half plate) – spiced chunks of baked cod. Half Plate £16, Regular Plate £32

RECOMMENDED

Cod Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceWe completely understand why this glazed portion of utterly delicious cod has been designated a signature dish.

Presented simply, with a beautifully attractive dark charred top, this fish flaked apart to reveal glistening segments of moist and tender flesh, whose delicate smoky-cum-sweet taste was nicely tempered by the lemon dressing of the accompanying salad.

One of the best fish dishes we’ve had so far this year, and definitely the best cod!

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Quilon Fish Curry – halibut simmered in coconut, chilli, and raw mango sauce, £25.00

Fish Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceThe subtle use and balance of spices continued with this Quilon Fish Curry, which allowed the cubes of halibut to be enjoyed for all they’re worth.

While this flatfish is known for being one of the more difficult fishes to execute correctly, this particular one only further underlined the chef’s mastery in cooking seafood.

As such, we were presented with fine-textured chunks of soft halibut floating in a generous quantity of watery curry that was just sweet enough to appreciate.

But to really enjoy the curry’s soothing nature, we would recommend dispensing with any and all plates, and just enjoying the dish straight from its container.

Seafood Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Seafood Moilee – halibut, prawns and potato gently poached in a moilee sauce, £14.00

RECOMMENDED

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceDon’t waste your time ladling this on to a flat plate. The secret behind savouring such a tremendous sauce for all its fishy goodness, is to enjoy it… directly!

Again one of their signature dishes, this Seafood Moilee contained cubes of halibut, potatoes and some prawns, all cooked with absolute precision.

As a result, the watery sauce, with subtle undertones of mustard and spices, was another accomplished one, which carried that unmistakable taste of the sea; thus, making this an extremely addictive eat.

Grab yourself a large spoon, treat this like it’s a soup, and commence slurping… quietly, of course (it’s a high end eatery after all)!

NON-VEGETARIAN TASTING MENU

Chicken Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Mangalorean Chicken – pieces of chicken cooked in finely ground spices, £22.00

Again, dispense with any plates provided, pull up this bowl of Mangalorean Chicken and down it like you would do any other soup.

With its curry being more robust than the fish dishes above, both in terms of its spices and its consistency, the chicken was indescribably succulent and tender.

As a matter of fact, one of the Lions mistook this for another halibut dish. In any case, the sauce was just as addictive as the Seafood Moilee, with a subtle sweetness that’s complimented by the heat of the finely ground spices.

VEGETARIAN

Okra Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Crispy Okra – thinly sliced okra, batter fried, tossed in onion, tomato and crushed pepper, £12.00

These crispy and crunchy okra fries were a tad oily, but dangerously addictive nonetheless given the masala batter they were freshly fried in.

An excellent side if you’re looking for some textural contrast.

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Coconut with Asparagus and Snow Peas – sautéed with mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated coconut

A well conceived and masterfully executed signature dish this, with the freshness of the lightly sauteed asparagus and snow peas allowed to come through without being overpowered by the addition of the green chillies.

Satisfyingly crunchy, with the subtle aroma of the mustard seeds bringing the entire bowl together, in spite of the indiscernible coconut.

ACCOMPANIMENTS

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Malabar Paratha – soft refined flour dough beaten to thin sheet and folded to form layered bread, cooked on a skillet with pure ghee, £4.00

RECOMMENDED

It isn’t often that we’d recommend a paratha. As such, you can imagine how impressed we were with this Malabar variety.

Just zoom in on the image above, and if you’re a paratha-connoisseur, the visual evidence ought to be enough in justifying said recommendation – golden crispy, light and buttery, flaky and crumbly, and layers upon layers of goodness. We could have devoured a dozen of these. A triumph!

DESSERT

Dessert Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Baked Yogurt – palm jaggery, mango, lychee, £10.00

RECOMMENDED

Making our way through this trio of Baked Yoghurt bowls was a delightful journey in itself, with each one differing ever so slightly in texture on account of the fruits used.

As such, the white lychee bake was the softest of the lot. With an almost malai-like consistency (malai being the layer of fat collected off the top of heated non-homogenized whole milk in the Indian subcontinent), the lychee came through faintly.

As for the mango, then this was sweet, with the green variety used no doubt, and extremely good.

Finally, there’s a reason why we’d never heard of a palm jaggery baked yoghurt before – it was invented by the chef himself. And what a light-bulb moment it must have been too, because this stole the show, with its gentle toffee flavour and ultra smooth consistency. Unreal!

Dessert Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Hot Vermicelli Kheer, £10.00

Dessert Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceIf you’re looking for a variety of bits and pieces, then this medley of disparate desserts is the one for you.

Essentially three separate elements on a single plate, we decided that the Hot Vermicelli Kheer just pipped the rose-flavoured ice cream to the post.

While the former was outrageously smooth and velvety, with the fragrance of the rose scent capturing the senses and holding them, the latter was unbelievably good, relatively sweet and creamy, and infused with the soothing aroma of cardamom.

As for the cardamom-flavoured coconut cake, then this had a soft potato cake-like texture à la Indian barfi. And lightly dusted in cocoa powder, it had a lot going on for something so small, being sweet and quite tasty in its own right.

COFFEE, TEA, INFUSION

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham Palace

Masala Chai, South Indian Latte – £5.00 each

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceWhat better way to end a meal than a strongly brewed Indian Masala Chai and South Indian Latte.

Although the familiar taste of boiled milk was certainly present when it came to the chai, one Lion said he would have preferred a little more masala to his.

His colleague, however, enjoyed it for what it was. Whatever the case, this would be a soothingly good end to any meal.

Quilon Restaurant Indian Fine Dining Michelin Star Curry Westminster London Buckingham PalaceAs for the latte, then it was smooth, strong and heady, which, when had with the jaggery sugar, would serve as a perfect tonic for any spicy meal.

What’s more, the teas and coffees come with a restaurant-stamped piece of chocolate, which was actually pretty darn good for what it was.

Quilon will then end proceedings by offering a container carrying half-a-dozen complimentary discs of white and dark chocolate, with, of course, that Indian twist to them.

You wouldn’t expect anything less from a fine dining establishment though would you?

THE ROAR
Quilon
4.5 FTL's Roar
4.8 Pride's Roar (2 Roars)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 14/04/19
Facilities
  • DISABLED FACILITIES
  • CHILD SEATING
  • FREE WI-FI
Summary
As a fine dining restaurant that's proved its consistency by retaining the one Michelin-star it was awarded back in 2008, you wouldn't expect anything less from Quilon than a mastery of flavours and textures of the regional cuisine of India it's representing. Their ability at balancing the use of spices in such a way as to allow their seafood dishes to sing for all they're worth, is a clear indication of said mastery.

Overall, while there wasn't anything that wasn't executed to an extremely high standard, Quilon appears content in presenting good solid dishes, done with care and precision, without looking to push the boundaries of gastronomic innovation.

With that said, however, if you're looking for Indian food from the south west coastal region of the country - a cuisine which isn't as readily available in Indian establishments here as other regions are - then Quilon is definitely the place, especially if you're looking for great food to round off a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Menu Recommendation

Drink - Coast Guard

Starter - Fisherman's Catch

Main - Lamb Biryani/ Baked Black Cod

Dessert - Baked Yogurt

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ATMOSPHERE
SERVICE
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Quilon
41 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6AF.

T: +44 (0)20 7821 1899 | W: www.quilon.co.uk | E: dine@quilon.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (Lunch) 12:00–14:30 (Dinner) 17:45–23:00 | Sat (Lunch) 12:30–15:30 (Dinner) 17:45–23:00 | Sun (Lunch) 12:45–15:30 (Dinner) 17:45–22:30

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