Best Thali in London by Dipna Anand

I’m back! It’s been a whirlwind of travels over the last month, which has been fabulous. My best birthday ever spent in Greece and cruising the Adriatic and the Med. I was in stunning Kotor in Montenegro on the actual day, and how wonderful that was. Love exploring new countries, and the more I cruise, the. more I love it!

Dodgy wifi connectivity and action-packed days spent exploring have meant my blogging opportunities have been very limited. Well, that’s my excuse anyway…but now I’m home in London and ready to start sharing lots of deliciousness with you. Beginning with a visit to Dipna Anand’s new restaurant set in the historical Somerset House on London’s Strand.

The construction of Somerset House began in 1547 as a palace for Edward Seymour, Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset. When he was executed at the Tower of London in 1552, the almost-completed palace passed to the crown. After that, it was home to various royalty, government and military bodies until the original building was demolished in 1775 and work immediately began on its replacement. The Royal Academy of Arts became the first resident of the new Somerset House in what’s now known as the North Wing. In 1997 the Somerset House Trust was established to preserve and develop the building for public use, and in 2000 it opened to the public for the first time in a century.

This stylish building with its large courtyard and beautiful river views is home to all sorts of exhibitions and events throughout the year. And since November 2021, it’s also been an excellent place for Indian food as Dipna Anand opened her restaurant there in the South Wing. The restaurant runs the length of the wing with huge windows overlooking the Thames, an inviting bar area and stylish seating throughout.

What’s on the menu

There’s a selection of traditional starters and mains and an irresistible thali offering with meat and vegetarian options. I love a Thali, so we decided to start our lunch by sharing the meat thali. Best way to sample as many of the dishes on offer as possible. The feast of flavours includes a lamb samosa, onion bhajis, Delhi-style makhani chicken, keema peas, dal makhana, pilau rice, buttered naan, raita, a mini poppadom and mango chutney.

Here’s a close up of the delectable dishes. My favourites? The spicy lamb samosa with beautifully light and crunchy pastry, creamy chicken perfectly spiced and those keema peas in spicy mince. A great combo of dishes to be enjoyed together.

We shared the South Indian prawn curry and some plain basmati rice for our second course. Plump, juicy prawns in a mild, creamy sauce, all topped with curry leaves. Curry leaves are one of my absolute favourite ingredients and totally make any dish. Yummy.

Here are some shots of the stunning interior in the interconnected rooms. We ate in the last one in a window-side booth.

This is the bar – how welcoming does that look?

Today’s price point

Our food came to £39.75. One plate of Thali and a South-Indian prawn curry and rice. Plenty for two for a lunchtime treat.

A lovely bottle of French Pinot Noir was £32,

Dipna Anand at Somerset House is in the South Wing of Somerset House on The Strand WC2R 1LA.

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