Located on the ground floor of the 5* Montcalm Hotel, just around the corner from Marble Arch is pan-Asian restaurant, Nirvana Kitchen. Featuring dishes inspired by India, Thailand and Japanese the smart dining room features beautiful lighting and large round tables with a calm ambiance.
The menu starts with small plates, working up to larger charcoal dishes and huge bowls of warming curries but all are designed to share with the table.
We started with the black cod, which had unexpectedly been coated in a crispy batter and served with a fresh green sauce – one of our collective favourite dishes of the night. A large portion of slow cooked duck was refreshed with large segments of mandarin, pomegranate, basil, coriander, cashew and hoisin sauce – it reminded us of duck pancakes, without the pancakes. Classic Japanese beef tataki had been given a twist with Nirvana Kitchen choosing to use very tender slices of venison instead. Topped with tart berries in a yuzu soy sauce, it went down a treat.
Onto the mains where you’ll find plenty of options covering fish, meat and even curries – so you’re sure to find something to keep the whole table happy.
A light option is the Chilean seabass which is served as a meaty, fuss-free fillet and daintily wrapped in a leaf. The tamarind glaze and accompanying courgetti was reminiscent of this Hemsley + Hemsley recipe we’ve tried at home. We also tried a typically Korean dish – Beef Bulgogi. Thin strips of marinated beef were beautifully presented alongside interesting vegetables like purple potatoes chokha and achari carrots. A pretty big dish for one person, this is a good sharing option.
Our favourite area of the menu though was Nirvana Kitchen’s ‘pots’. A gloriously big bowl of warming lamb massaman curry was a delight to mop up with a classic roti.
Be warned – even the desserts are made for sharing, so no need to order one each! We all tucked into a beautiful rainbow bowl of fresh fruit, white chocolate, raspberry mousse and honeycomb, the perfect way to end the night – and just made for Instagram.
Service was a little strange at times, but warmed up towards the end of the meal – or maybe that was the expertly made espresso martinis? With larger plates reaching up to £28 (for the lobster curry) it’s not cheap, but is fitting of the area and clientele.