There are many places to eat on Wardour Street, so trying to pick a dining destination can be tricky. However, when it comes to eating at Imli the decision is easy. Imli is an Indian restaurant with a twist; it specialises in Indian tapas. So whether you want a hearty meal or just a few light bites, Imli can provide for all states of hunger.
Its large windowed front and friendly disposition encourage you to investigate further and you’ll be pleased that you did. Inside it is very spacious and has deep reds and gold colourings making it a rather soothing environment. The aroma from all the different delectable spices hits you as you enter, making you keen to try the menu out quickly.
Although there are many little plates and thali style platters, one of the most interesting and innovative dishes Imli provides is their take on the British lunchtime staple: the sandwich. Instead of your usual ham, cheese and pickle, you can have a ‘naanwich’ containing either chilli chicken, spicy lamb or paneer and spinach (all at £5.95). Presented in three bites, the naanwich is stuffed with fantastic ingredients. The naan is light and adds a new depth to your typical sandwich. With the chilli chicken the meat is tantalisingly juicy and the addition of mango makes the dish that little bit more special. It is a very healthy alternative to the standard lunchtime sandwich.
However, if you want something slightly more traditional, the platters are definitely a good place to start. Five small ramekins are filled with different tasters that complement each other. The lamb curry platter (£9.95) for instance has a salad, a savoury dish, lentils, seasonal vegetable of the day, the curry with a side of rice and samosa and the dessert placed in the middle. If you like to pick at things when you go out, then this meal is ideal. You get to try a lot of high quality dishes for a fraction of the price. In this platter, all the dishes are quite delicate, except the lamb which has a rich and an addictive sauce, and the flavours are all quite balanced which is the sign of a good Indian meal. The dessert – similar to a rum baba – is called a gulab jamun. It’s a milk dumpling dripping in a sweet syrup and its doughy goodness really rounds off the meal.
Imli is a restaurant which strives to give great service and interesting and different foods. Normally if a place is filled with people from the cuisine’s origin, then it is a very encouraging sign and proves that their dishes are authentic. If you want some top notch Indian food in the centre of London, then Imli is the place to go.