Flora Indica is a restaurant nestled on the Brompton Road just south of Earls Court. It’s a rainy Friday evening and we‘re the first through the door, we have our pick of the restaurant we opt to sit by the window and watch the world go by. I can only imagine what a wonderful spot this would be on a warm summers evening with the bi-fold doors set back.
We are welcomed with smiles and warmth as we settled into our seats and are given an overview of their extensive menu. Tapas style dishes to start and modern twists on the high street classics for mains we are already overwhelmed with choice and ask our affable waiter to guide us through the menu which he does with aplomb.
We start with sharing plates and there is already a fight to keep the lion’s share of our favourites. Now, I ‘m not too keen on lamb as a rule but after an instance from my partner to try his dish I do so and am completely blown away. The tender Suffolk breed chop with a tandoori and gram masala seasoning is so incredible I begin to reassess my life choices. We shove forks into each other’s plates, dishes of achari tender broccoli and seviya chicken wings in the most incredible tangy spring onion dip. Our mouths are alive with flavours and textures.
As we finally lift our heads to admire the décor we notice the restaurant is now almost full and humming with happy diners. Flora Indica has a very unique style, holding up to 70 diners, the atheistic pays homage to the Scottish botanists who travelled through India during the Victorian era. It was here they discovered thousands of exotic plants that eventually made it into a botanical catalogue published in 1855. The restaurant shares its name with the books title and the tribute doesn’t stop there, the steampunk curiosities and heritage Harris tweed fabric give this place an individual style. The menu is also just as characteristic as the interior and has been specially created to feature modern and innovative takes on traditional Indian flavours and fine British ingredients.
We spy other diner’s dishes and get rather excited for our incoming mains. Monkfish and prawn Bengali in a tangy, sweet creamy sauce and a tender tandoori chicken does not disappoint. We sip on a bottle of perfectly chilled French viognier to wash our meal down with and round off our mains with crisp chilli and garlic naan and sautéed curly kale and cabbage, a wonderfully paired flavour explosion.
The atmosphere in here is soft with jazzy takes on modern pop songs playing in the background. Even though we are perfectly full and wouldn’t usually go for a pudding after a meal of this style and size we are talked round and are very delighted we did. A Shahi brioche tukda which is a sticky sweet infusion of pineapple, pistachio crumb and saffron cream and is the perfect amount of light and fluffy sweetness to finish things off. The rain has cleared, and we leave with belly’s full and a promise to return again (very) soon.
242 Brompton Road