Restaurant review: Indian afternoon tea at Colonel Saab in Covent Garden
- Published on Saturday, 25 March 2023 12:13
- Last Updated on 25 March 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Located at the former Holborn Town Hall in the heart of Central London, Colonel Saab is a modern Indian restaurant from Roop Partap Choudhary, offering a smart Indian fine dining experience. The restaurant is inspired by the travel tales of Roop’s father, an Indian Army officer Col. Manbeer Choudhary and his wife Mrs. Binny Choudhary across the Indian subcontinent, created by Roop as a “love letter” to his family, as well as homage to India.
Upon entering Colonel Saab, the love for India and its culture is palpable in the air. Colonel Saab is literally a feast for the eyes, with a treasure trove of eclectic Indian art and artefacts collected by Roop Partap Choudhary’s family on their travels, lovingly brought to London.
The decor of the restaurant is a mix of modern and traditional Indian elements, with old-style jazz music playing in the background.
The main restaurant features a carved temple door from South India, you will find a grand, pure silver door from a Gujarat temple embellishing the staircase.
The artwork on the walls is museum-worthy, and each piece has a story to tell: from family wedding photos to the grandfather’s old bed up cycled as various pieces of decoration, hundreds of chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
As you are seated, the staff greets you with warmth and enthusiasm, eager to share the history and heritage of the restaurant.
I even found a special hand-written welcome note on my table that made my day!
The menu for afternoon tea at Colonel Saab is a perfect blend of classic and contemporary Indian flavours, with a modern twist that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight. The menu features an assortment of savoury and sweet dishes. The staff is knowledgeable about the dishes and is happy to make recommendations based on your preferences. They even gave me tips on how to chew curry leaves to lower high blood pressure and make face masks with fenugreek.
My favourite teas of the selection include Persian pomegranate and Spiced Chai.
Starting with the savoury offerings, the menu includes traditional Indian snacks such as samosas, gluten-free corn-based and vegan sandwiches. The samosas are crispy and flaky, filled with a spicy potato and pea mixture that is full of flavour. The finger dhokla sandwiches with coriander and mint chutney and the Vegetarian sandwich are succulent, moist and have just the right amount of spices.
The green mint and coriander sauce is really particular and I’ll probably try to make it myself as an accompaniment to various meat dishes.
Moving on to the sweet offerings, the second tray is full of freshly baked raisins scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, lemon curd tarts, chocolate silk cake and macarons.
What sets Colonel Saab apart from other Indian restaurants is the love and care that has gone into every aspect of the restaurant. Roop Partap Choudhary has created a space that is not only a tribute to his Indian heritage but also a love letter to his family. The staff is knowledgeable about the history and heritage of the restaurant and is eager to share it with their customers. Each artefact in the restaurant has a story to tell, and the staff is happy to tell it.
Staff goes above and beyond above and beyond to provide courteous service. The attention to detail is apparent in every aspect of the restaurant, from the decor, food to the service. Love is in the air at Colonel Saab, and it is evident in every aspect of the restaurant starting from its history.
Colonel Saab is the perfect place to have afternoon tea before going to a west end show, particularly the Peacock Theatre, which is metres away. The restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of Central London and is easily accessible by public transport. It seems also perfect for a romantic dinner, a family celebration or a business lunch with a private room full of elegant Indian decor.
In conclusion, Indian afternoon tea at Colonel Saab in Covent Garden is worth trying even with the kids because it is the most affordable at £48 for two people. The restaurant is a contemporary viewpoint with an old soul. I now would really like to go back to Colonel Saab for a proper meal. The yummy looking dishes that came out of the kitchen while I put on my coat made me want to stay…
To book, visit the restaurant’s website here.
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Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums