Spice Market

10 Wardour Street, W1D 6QF
(0207 758 1088;  spicemarketlondon.co.uk)
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

The scene: Its sister restaurant in a trendy part of New York is already a fashionable haunt, so there are high expectations for this London opening at the new W Hotel. Inside, vibrant reds and golds are splashed on to deep mahogany woods, there are 600 wok lamps creating ambient lighting and a 24-metre-long wall housing jars of colourful spices.

It’s lively, with an open kitchen near to where we sit upstairs, although you almost feel that you’re intruding on the busy chefs. Opt to sit at one of the sleek booths where you’ll have a corner of the restaurant to yourself.

The grub: We order the tasting menu. It should come with a warning, as it’s five large courses. Expect a fusion of Asian street food with a Western twist. Each course is impressive.

At a push, the vegetarian Green Curry could do with a bit more flavour, but that’s the only slight criticism. From the Pressed Tofu, Bok Choy And Coriander served with Ginger Fried Rice to the Halibut With Malaysian Chilli Sauce, it’s all a whirlwind of classic flavours and classy designs.

Behind the bar: Beers, including Ashai and Tsing Tao, as well as a fine list of cocktails and a select list of wines.

Bill please: Can be pricey – or there’s a pre-theatre three-course menu for £20pp.

Verdict: Upmarket, but it’s worth it.


– Carol Driver