The legendary Veeraswamy has just
undergone a stunning 80th birthday transformation, which has already
won much praise from guests and critics.
Family directors of Masala World;
Ranjit Mathrani, Namita Panjabi and Camellia Panjabi, the trio
behind Chutney Mary, Amaya and Masala Zone have transformed the
restaurant to the reflect the glamour and glory it exuded in the
National Geographic, the highly respected travel magazine, has
named Veeraswamy as the No. 8 Best Destination & Special Restaurant
in the World in its list of the 10 Best Destination & Special
Restaurants in the World. This award is in the new edition of ‘National
Geographic’s 10 of the Best of Everything’.
No other UK restaurant features in the top 10.
Veeraswamy is the oldest surviving Indian restaurant
in the U.K, and possibly the world. It is one of the oldest surviving
restaurants in London. It is a London institution.
It was established in 1926 at the same site by the great grandson of an
English General, and an Indian princess. The restaurant has been the rendezvous
of rich, famous, and fashionable lovers of Indian food. Customers included
Edward - Prince of Wales, King Gustav of Sweden, Pandit Nehru, Indira
Gandhi, Charlie Chaplin, King Hussein of Jordan, and Marlon Brando.
The décor which is luxurious, chic, and exotic reflects Veeraswamy’s
heritage and evokes Maharaja's palaces of the 1920s. The silver painted
ceiling has been lifted to its original height of 10 feet, while the dark
wooden floor has been laid with handmade Moghul floral design carpets
and Indian black granite speckled with gold.
Vividly coloured turbans
belonging to the Indian Maharajas who frequented the restaurant in the
early years are displayed on the walls. Kalighat style paintings from
Bengal, which evolved during the first 20 years of the 20th century, adorn
the restaurant. Silvered jali screens provide tantalising visual perspectives.
The lighting is dramatic and sparkly, combining rich Indian coloured glass
shades (handis) splendid chandeliers, candle stands, optical fibre lighting,
and illuminated back drops.
It is the ideal location
for visitors to London in the heart of the West End - close to theatre
land, fashionable shopping areas, and the rest of the entertainment district.
It is also the perfect lunch venue with a light airy room located on the
first floor overlooking the buzz of Regent Street.
A new menu of classical dishes from throughout India is served alongside
more contemporary creations. It is prepared by a team of regional specialist
chefs recruited directly from India, each producing their own specialities.
(See Flavours of Our Food)
The other distinguishing
features, which it shares with the sister restaurants, Chutney Mary, Amaya,
and Masala Zones, are food rarely found in restaurants even in India;
dishes prepared authentically and freshly, as in Indian homes; great attention
to food presentation; and wines which complement individual dishes. (See
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Veeraswamy's two fine dining sister restaurants Chutney Mary and Amaya
are the other two leading fine dining restaurants in the UK combining
good real Indian food with style. Masala Zone, their sibling, has also
taken London by storm in combining real Indian food at honest prices with
casual style. (See www.masalazone.com).