I had a cheeky peruse of TripAdvisor after I went to Lal Qila and prior to beginning my review. I was absolutely gobsmacked to see it was ranked 52nd of all the restaurants in London. Punters must have gone to a different restaurant to me.
Alarm bells rang as soon as I asked if the waiters could hang my coat up for me (a rather sophisticated, pricey little number from Monsoon that I have seen other restaurant staff in the past treat with the care such a fancy thing deserves). Imagine my surprise (and chagrin) to learn that they didn’t have pegs to hang coats up on! What’s the point in having such lavish interiors (as Lal Qila certainly did), if you don’t even have a basic necessity such as coat hangers?
With my mac slung over the back of my chair, we turned to ordering drinks. I distinctly remember ordering a beer, because that's my modus operandi at restaurants, but the waiters seemed to decide to ignore me entirely, and serve me a Coca Cola, under the guise that that was what I asked for. I know damn well what I asked for, and that definitely wasn’t it. When I asked for the correct drink to be presented to me, the waiter went about a bout of trying to re-write history, and convince me that that was what I ordered. Nah mate.
Now, to the food. To its credit, it definitely wasn’t the worst Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to – that would be Tandoori Nights *shudder*. But it sure as hell wasn’t close to coming to the best. I had a mellow cheese-infused dish, which was inoffensive but also unexciting. The rice was soft but tasteless and the Na’an bread utterly uninspiring. All in all, Bland with a capital B.
I have pored over the TripAdvisor page and it definitely links the same address of the Lal Qila I went to. Perhaps the 52nd best restaurant in London had to be accessed by walking into a wardrobe in the place I went to, Narnia-style. Because the place I went to definitely wasn’t it.