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Friday, 27 April 2012

Q at Quilon, Westminster


At 20, I’d drink my age in pints; then, all swirly-eyed, park the dozen pakoras and fiery phaal curry that had seemed like a good idea at the local Traj Mahal on some poor hopeful lumber’s swirl-patterned Brentford Nylons sheets. Attractive. At Q at Quilon, Scottish Ceilidh lager or Indian Mongoose might appeal were I still a beer Hoover. As it is, sipping cocktails (two, max) such as tonight’s fine £8 tamarind margarita and cardamom martini better suits the Don Draper-debonair pose I like to think I’ve perfected over the years. Talking of Draper, couldn’t this bijou new lounge - all 1960s Madison Ave muted luxe with a hint of Hindu temple - be a set from Mad Men?  But in deepest SW1, you’re more likely to spot wadded American tourists and a Westminster bigwig (a stiff Whygras - that’s Indian single malt and grappa - might loosen up Baroness Warsi) than blue-sky thinker Shoreditch ad-lads. We pick at refreshingly un-starry Michelin-starred chef Sriram Aylur’s elegant tiffin - crispy fried silver fish, spiced shrimps and chilli yogurt chicken goujons - a seductive calling card for Kerala whose lighter style of Asian cooking he favours. I’ve never visited that Indian state but, give me a tenner for every time I’ve ended up in a right state at an Indian and I’ll fly there...first class.
41 Buckingham Gate SW1E 6AF www.quilon.co.uk