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SEEN Reviews Lunch at Flora Indica: Arcanum Delectamenti

Don’t be put off by the Brompton Road area in which Flora Indica finds itself; it’s dining with none of the expense that you might normally associate with West London. The day we visited, the front windows and doors were open, letting the sun and Earl’s Court bustle in, yet the ambience was more that of a film set with a steampunk wall full of pipes and mysterious valves, plus a blue telephone box that doubled as a bookings station.

Don’t be put off by the Brompton Road area in which Flora Indica finds itself; it’s dining with none of the expense that you might normally associate with West London. The day we visited, the front windows and doors were open, letting the sun and Earl’s Court bustle in, yet the ambience was more that of a film set with a steampunk wall full of pipes and mysterious valves, plus a blue telephone box that doubled as a bookings station.

We were greeted warmly and shown to a table, where we had a good view of outside and inside. We didn’t have a starter, tempting as they were, for fear of blunting our appetites for the main courses. My guest had Grilled Aubergine, Cumin and Masala Paneer with Spinach Aloo. She pronounced it delicious, and whilst never a one to photograph her meals, declared this meal worthy of a pic. True praise indeed and well-merited; presentation is held in high regard at Flora Indica.

Food, cocktails and interiors at Flora Indica

SEEN had the Cashew Malai Barley with Botanical Garden leaves, Vegetables and Grilled Cucumber. This was a subtle blend of texture and flavours but very filling and satisfying. I ate slowly for fear of finishing it too quickly. We shared a side of Flora Tea steamed Broccoli, which was delicate with a hint of chilli.

The desserts did not disappoint. My guest had Cardamom-Spiced Chocolate Mousse with Gooseberries and Chocolate Mint, whilst SEEN partook of Smoked Figs, Tonka Bean Custard, Blueberry Puree and Lotus Root. This was a revelation – at once luxurious yet strangely reminiscent of that great childhood favourite of SEEN’s; treacle pudding. We opted for fizzy water to accompany and had a cup of delicate Chai tea served to us by the friendly Hungarian Manager who let us see the lovely tea blends they have at Flora Indica and gave us a tour of the downstairs Gin Bar that boasts a bewildering array of gins, including to SEEN’s delight – a Cornish gin, which we have earmarked for our next visit.

Food, cocktails and interiors at Flora Indica

All in all, a great destination restaurant that is the polar opposite of stuffy formal, overpriced dining. Attentive and knowledgeable staff, friendly and accommodating hosts and décor that is very different to anything SEEN’s witnessed before makes me think that Flora Indica is set for great things.

Flora Indica

242 Old Brompton Road
London
SW5 0DE
Opening Times: 12noon – 3pm for lunch 6pm – 11pm for dinner Mon – Sun
0207 370 4450
flora-indica.com