Two health warnings at the beginning of this review: first, notwithstanding that I am almost certainly in the wrong demographic fully to appreciate the restaurant, it still wasn’t very good; next, this is in no sense a place to consider going should you care about your health. Nonetheless, Meatliquor clearly is doing something right...
Let’s be brutal and to the point: if you are in the Paddington area and want to eat Middle Eastern food, just hop on any bus or walk 15 minutes until you hit the Edgware Road, where a broad spectrum of excellent, authentic and well-priced options exists. In other words, don’t go to Massis – an over-priced and disappointing alternative located in the Paddington Basin development, offering a poor imitation of cuisine from the region.
My visits to Zayna stretch back over almost ten years and I can think of no occasion when I have been disappointed by this restaurant. It is a small, intimate setting on a side-street near Marble Arch that cooks up some of the most interesting and flavour-intense cuisine from the Indian sub-continent that can be found in London
It seems that if you want to attempt to ensure success in opening a London restaurant then there is a fairly simple formula to follow: you hire a chef formerly at a prestigious restaurant (in this case, Nobu); you offer pan-Asian fusion food; you make all the dishes obligatory for sharing; and you staff the place with trendy and good-looking people.
The British love of curry is well known and all manner of options are available, from Michelin-starred grandeur by the likes of Tamarind or Rasoi Vineet Bhatia to your carpeted local Indian found in almost every small town in England that serves After Eight mints at the meal’s conclusion.
It was a rare and beautiful thing to be greeted warmly and recognised by the manager of a restaurant that neither my dining comrade nor I had visited in more than a year. This set the tone for the rest of the evening.