Skip to main content

If we could describe this restaurant in three words, it would probably be different, delicious, and unpretentious. Just round the corner from busy Oxford Circus, Manthan is located in the heart of Mayfair and feels like a quiet world away.

It has a sumptuous interior rich in shades of gold and teal, with pendant lamps, elegant ornaments, and glimmering paintings hanging from the walls. Food is served on delicate gold plates. Couples can hide in cosy booths, making it ideal if you are on a date. There is also a bar serving luxury cocktails.

Michelin star chef

Manthan, which translates to ‘to churn and reflect,’ is the brainchild of Indian cuisine guru and award-winning chef Rohit Ghai. He has previously worked at Bombay Bustle, Jamavar (where he accomplished an impressive Michelin star in under a year), Gymkhana, Hoppers, Trishna, and Kutir in Chelsea. Quite the track record.

The menu at Manthan is particularly personal to Rohit Ghai, featuring certain dishes associated with the home cooking he grew up with in Punjab and the local markets of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as well as takes on northern Indian street food. The result comprises inventive Indian food with contemporary touches. Dishes include a peppery Sarson chicken chop with mustard, kachumber salad and mint chutney and a robust Goat shami kebab in bone marrow sauce.

If you’re feeling parched, a large selection of cocktails and mocktails has been compiled by co-founder and front of house Abhi Sangwan, formerly of Trishna and Bombay Bustle. We seriously couldn’t get enough of the Lassi – a Punjabi yogurt–based beverage with a smoothie-like consistency. Each drink is beautifully presented with artistic decorations and thoughtful touches.

Spice odyssey

Diners have the option to choose from the tasting menu, with a vegetarian option, vegan, gluten free, and à la carte menus. On weekdays you can also try the express lunch menu. If you’re feeling particularly pekish, then opt for the five-course tasting menu featuring Ghai’s signature Ghati masala prawns with peanut, sesame seed, and fresh coconut with a bit of a kick, Fish Recheado (sea bass, goan spice, tamarind), and absolutely divine Lamb chop.

As we were told by friendly restaurant manager Dharam the prawns and fish come from Goa in western India while lamb was brought from Wales. The food is incredibly flavourful, visually stunning, and wonderfully aromatic, creating a truly emotional dining experience at Manthan. Spice is present but in no way overpowering, all the flavours are extremely well balanced. Some of the best Indian food we’ve ever had.

Authentic Indian food

For the fourth course, you will be presented with a Sophie’s Choice of Chicken Tikka Masala and Jaffna Lamb, both fantastic and served with Kaali Dal sauce, a flaky, layered flatbread called Paratha, and a bowl of rice which can be topped up as many times as you want. Again beautifully presented and absolutely delicious.

Finish the meal off with Narangi Chocolate and Classical Trio desserts – both stunningly decorated and in keeping with classic fine-dining presentation. The first one is hidden inside a sweet shell with a spoonful of rich chocolate coconut mousse and candied orange. The latter is a meringue pie with Indian sweets encased in a fairly thick pastry base. Don’t forget to order authentic Assam or Masala tea, and by the time you leave the restaurant, you’ll instantly want to book a holiday to India …or at least another reservation at Manthan.

Manthan is located at 49 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PQ. More information can be found here.


Image credits: © Manthan