Tucked away just off of the hustle and bustle of Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia lives a brand spanking new Northern Indian restaurant and cocktail bar by the name of 1947. Here the happenings of this particular year are represented and honoured through recipes and dishes that emerged out of the movement of cultures and people during the Partition of 1947. This is the latest venture for the founders of the award-winning Chai Thali group and is headed up by Chef Krishna Negi, protege of Michelin-starred Vineet Bhatia. The restaurant also hosts some fantastic designs and art from Artisan interior designer, Tammara Mattingly and paper artist Karen Navalta, which means that this experience is not just an adventure for the tastebuds, but the eyes too!
1947 oozes glamour from the moment you approach the venue, when we arrived there were some whacky (and very expensive looking) vehicles outside which immediately capture the attention. You then enter via a darkly-lit, copper-tone staircase before coming face to face with an incredible flower wall (this is set to be the new instagram selfie spot, I can just see it). We then walked through the beautiful restaurant area, past the gorgeous booths with fantastic lighting fittings (seriously, where can I get one of these for my house?) and circular wooden dining tables in a palate of aubergines and deep greens to contrast with the copper and gold elements that are throughout, to where we began our evening, at the bar.
I was excited to get cracking and try some of the drinks from their lovingly crafted cocktail menu, beginning with the Chai Martini – a bit of a wild choice for me given that I’m not a big tea fan but wow. I was blown away by this. it consisted of Masala Chai, Baileys, Kahlua, Vodka and was said to be a twist on the popular espresso martini but with a bit of spice. Worryingly, I feel that I could probably sink too many of these in one night to be considered sensible. It was so flavoursome and the kick of spices and cinnamon reminded me of Christmas, the perfect tipple as the cold weather begins to fully creep in. I also tried the lychee martini which was glorious, which was made of lychee Purée, Kwai Feh, Vodka. This was fantastically fruity and sweet. Definitely much more like my go-to cocktail of choice than the Chai Martini and was enjoyed fully.
THEN. It was dinner time and we were moved to our spot for the evening, our group took up two of the big booths which was great as it meant that we had an abundance of space for all the treats that were going to be delivered to our table. I was so excited for this. Instead of each of us ordering our own starters and mains we decided to let the staff and chefs decide what culinary delights that they were going to conjure up for us. I was a little hesitant to do this at the start as I know that a lot of Indian food can be spicy and this is something I’m not a fan of, but I let them know it wasn’t my favourite and luckily, none of the food blew my head off so I was very happy about that!
The starters were all so delicious, my personal favourite was the Maharaja Prawns which were jumbo prawns lightly marinated in a blend of spices and cooked in the clay oven. These were so good, juicy the flames from the grill just increased the flavours even more. I’m still dreaming about these. we also got to try the mini poppadum, Murg Angare Chicken pieces marinated in traditional spices and roasted in the tandoor, Mini Beetroot masala Uthappams White lentil and rice flour pancakes topped with beetroot
tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves, Asparagus Corn & Coconut Samosas, Grilled Lamb Chops A rack of lamb marinated in Kashmiri chilli and selected homemade spices, Wild Mushroom Tikki & Chickpea Masala Crispy wild mushroom tikki served with a spicy chickpea masala, sweetened yoghurt and tamarind sauce And Chilli Paneer Cubes of paneer and bell peppers tossed in chilli garlic sauce. All of these were incredible and I’m so glad I got to try them all as a lot of these were things that I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself but now I have tried them I just want them all over and over again.
We swiftly moved onto the mains, I was already slightly full by this point but that wasn’t going to stop me after discovering just how amazing the starters were. I’m not going to lie, I can’t completely remember what all of the dishes were as I was just too eager to get stuck into them but I can confirm that they were all phenomenal and you need to get your bum here to decide for yourself and to listen carefully to what each of the dishes was. I think some of the dishes included a cup of butter chicken, Malabar lamb, daal tadka, daal makhani, paneer butter masala, anardana Rita, butter and garlic naans, and kauai tandoori prawn masala. I ate so much I could barely move but I can’t recommend all of them enough. Chef Krishna Negi even came out to sit with us and discuss the meal which was lovely and we got to ask him some questions which was really really interesting.
We then all took to the selfie flower wall to document our evening, absolutely love the colours and the fact its all made from crafted recycled cardboard into 1000s of petals, stems and buds spraying them in rose-gold, copper and frosted plum.
We then went back to the booth for pudding, I didn’t manage much of it as there was literally no room left in my tummy but I did manage to try a little bit of each of the ones that we were presented with which were; Chocolate fondant and vanilla ice cream, Rose Kulfi, Salted Caramel Kulfi, lemon cheesecake and Phirni. I must say that the lemon cheesecake was pretty mind-blowing though.
And just like that, our wonderful evening had come to a close and it was time to roll home. I really was bowled over by 1947, it fully exceeded all of my expectations and was probably the best Indian meal I’ve ever had. I really couldn’t recommend this restaurant enough. One thing I would highly recommend is heading there in a big group so that you can try all of the exquisite menu in all of it’s glory. now that I’ve tried them all I couldn’t imagine missing out on an incredible dish.
Thank you so much for having me as a part of such an epic evening.