Darjeeling Express | Carnaby Restaurant
The Darjeeling Express.
It’s how the tea leaves.
And it’s also a restaurant on the very top deck of Soho’s Kingly Court, opened by self-taught chef Asma Khan who has been honing her skills for the past half decade at her Darjeeling Express supper-club – garnering some strikingly good reviews all the while.
The place itself is bright & airy, with high ceilings, and large windows spilling light onto the beige & blue pastel walls and the worn wooden floor. At one end you’ll find the open kitchen, which is proudly run by an “all-women team of housewives”, who’re putting together a menu (which changes every 8 weeks) of home-style classic regional Indian dishes.
The small stuff ranges from Nepali-style spinach pakoras made with mustard greens grown by retired Gurkha army personnel in Woolwich Arsenal; to Tangra Chilli Garlic Prawns, whose Indo-Chinese spices reflect the fact that Kolkata, where they originate from, is the only Indian city with a Chinatown.
Larger dishes include Goat Kosha Mangsho (a slow cooked Bengali curry “with the occasional potato”); Venison Koftas cooked with shikar masala (hunting spices); and Kali Mirch Saag Keema – spinach with minced beef and dry chillies. And every Monday, the whole restaurant goes meat-free, too.
Taking cues from the kitchen, they’ve got originals like their Curry Leaf Martini (with vodka & a curry leaf infusion), a rum & mango-laden Calcutta Cup, and for their twist on an Old Fashioned they’ve added Darjeeling syrup. It seems when deciding how to add Indian flavours to whiskey…
…they got it down to a tea.
NOTE: Darjeeling Express is open Mon-Sat, 12-3 and 6-10pm. You can find out more and book on their website HERE.
Darjeeling Express | 2nd Floor, 6-8 Kingly St, W1B 5PW
Want to check out what’s underneath Kingly Court, too? Then head all the way down to Cahoots.