London has got its fair share of Indian street food haunts, but Hankies is something special. Fresh, fuss-free small plates that are good value in a postcode where it normally wouldn’t makes this a must-visit.
Located in the stunning surroundings of the luxury Montcalm Hotel in Marble Arch, the restaurant boasts gorgeous artifacts, glassware and china sourced from Indian markets and antique stores by chef and Hankies founder, Anirudh Arora. Honing his skills in some of the best restaurants in India and London, Anirudh launched Hankies Marble Arch with a personal mission in mind: making authentic and delicious Delhi street food accessible and enjoyable in a beautiful and curated London setting.
You might be wondering why the quirky name. This is thanks to the roomali roti, a thin, wheat-based flatbread which is hand-spun until thin enough to see through and then cooked on a burning hot tawa. These are then folded into ‘hankies’, which in turn accompany – or enclose – all the dishes on the menu, starters and mains alike. Order a few, there are no rules here – Hankies encourages its diners to indulge.
Anirudh’s menu showcases relaxed north Indian cooking at its finest. The Dahi Bhalla from the small bites section of the menu is a nice choice to lighten up any heat and spice from the grills, pots and pan fry options; lentil dumplings with sweet yoghurt, tamarind, pomegranate and sev helps to balance out the richness from the “mains”.
The yellow chilli garlic prawn skewer is superb, the best thing I sampled here. Wonderfully cooked and plenty of taste from the chive, garlic, shiso and cumin drizzle.
For a classic Delhi-style curry, go for the butter chicken. The pulled roasted chicken is delicious in a buttery tomato sauce with fenugreek and garammasala. The methi lamb is also an excellent dish. It’s rich and well spiced, with slow braised lamb stirfried with fresh fenugreek, ginger and tomatoes.
Anirudh has succeeded in his plans, creating a diverse menu that leaves you spoilt for choice yet wanting more. Hankies Marble Arch is my new street food favourite, with a luxury twist that I will definitely be revisiting.
For more information visit http://hankies.london/hankies-marble-arch/