Michelin-starred restaurant Quilon redefines South-west coastal Indian cuisine with authentic passion and skilled creativity
Though we’re open to just about every cuisine around the world, Indian food holds a special place in our hearts. We both love the variety of spices and exotic smells of Indian food. When we heard that there was a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in London, we knew we had to check it out!
The atmosphere of Quilon is also a balancing act as it fuses modern and casual design. Watercolor paintings bursting with vivid color and Indian scenery make the space feel as lively as the aromas of spices, which fill the room enticingly. The artwork in Quilon is by the famed Indian artist Paresh Maity and is definitely worth a second look. Overall, the design of the dining room is sleek and calming. The delicate, yellow lighting of the restaurant makes Quilon inviting and comfortable while maintaining sophistication.
The brilliant mind behind Quilon is Chef Sriram Aylur, who has been cooking since he was a child. He was influenced and inspired by his father’s restaurant in India. Chef Sriram was invited to open Quilon in 1999, where he met the challenge of introducing this coastal Indian style to London, a city that had never seen it before. Chef Sriram’s dedication to his culinary passion earned him a number of awards in the last decade, including a Michelin Star in 2008, which he has kept every year since.
An alluring mix of progressive and conventional dishes, is what you’ll find on the menu, which collaborate and stand alone nicely. The dishes are healthy and culturally rich, respecting the roots from which they were inspired. There is a fair share of standard Indian dishes on the menu, like mini masala dosa stuffed with potatoes and vegetables, Malabar lamb Biryani served with basmati rice, and a variety of paratha. Quilon’s modern style becomes apparent in their signature dishes, like the Black Cod, Asparagus and Mange Tout, and Lobster Butter Pepper.
To get the full Quilon experience, we recommend going with the tasting menu so that you can try the dishes you’ve never heard of before. The tasting menu is perfect for sharing, and you can sample unforgettable dishes like the Chicken Sukhe –chicken cubes marinated with ground lentil, chili, coriander, and cumin. The more accompaniments you order for your meal, the better! We adored the okra pachadi –fried okras with yogurt, ground coconut, cumin seeds, and mustard. The classic pachadi is tasty as well – pineapple and pomegranate combined with yoghurt, coconut, cumin seeds, and mustard.
Make sure you get the chance to wind down with a drink at Quilon’s bar, Q Bar, and admire the romantic ambience. The Q Bar is lined with a flickering candle wall inspired by a Hindu temple in Kerala, and decorated with soothing earth tones. Q Bar makes an amazing atmosphere for cocktails before dinner, special occasions, or casual sipping.
The beer list at Quilon is especially impressive, with a variety of world beers, British beers, and vintage beers. The wine list features 135 different wine bins. If you’re looking for something a little stronger, Quilon has over 50 whiskies and other expected spirits. Sample one of their ten mixed cocktails, like their signature Quojito cocktail, made with chili-infused vodka, bitters, mint, and soda.
When we arrived at Quilon, it definitely didn’t feel like a typical Indian restaurant, but the recognizable aromas of Indian spices were warm and inviting. The drinks, cuisine, atmosphere, and service combined to provide a well-rounded dining experience that felt emblematic of Indian culture and evident of a passionate chef. When we left Quilon, we were stuffed, satisfied, and in complete awe that Indian food could be so refined.
For more information about Quilon, visit their website