Popular long-standing south Indian vegetarian restaurant, now under new management.
This review is taken from the 2015 edition.
Vegetarian dining can be a minefield of narrow and samey choices. Not the case at Kalpna, whose menu declares a dedication to the pleasures of Indian vegetarian food. The interior is curiously decorated with mirrored mosaics and plaster relief under comfortable and romantic lighting. The menu is as interesting as the interior, drawing inspiration from various styles of cooking from Punjabi and Gujurati to South Indian. The rajma galouti starter (grilled lentil and bean patties on crispy bread) with its delightfully contrasting textures and punchy flavours earns top marks. Their signature main dish, dam aloo kashmeri (potato 'barrels' stuffed with paneer, veg and nuts dressed in sweet honey, ginger, almond and saffron), is sure to please. Save room for dessert and sample the fluffy gulab juman or the skilfully crafted kulfi, both made in-house. After 30 years in the game, Kalpna is still creating top-notch vegetarian food with an inventive menu that will have you salivating, no matter your dietary persuasion.
- High point: Inventive and exciting menu
- Low point: The sweet sauces can be overpowering
- Notable dish: rajma galouti
- Private dining: Up to 25 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs
- Capacity: 50
- Largest group: 50
- Open since: 1982 although new management took over in 2016
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 2
- House wine: £15.50 per bottle