Amongst the bustle of Soho and myriad of cramped eateries is a spacious new Indian vying for the lunchtime crowd. I say Indian, but Carom is definitely not a traditional curry house and has incorporated an Anglo-Indian theme to distinguish itself.
I went to try out the lunch menu which is designed to give a snapshot of what’s on offer and tempt you back for a night out. Targeting the work crowd with limited time, there are three options: a fish, chicken or vegetable wrap, a lunch box or a curry.
The drinks menu, however, is extensive. My companion described the ‘A.C.E. of hearts’ cocktail as a ‘work of art’. A delicious blend of apple, elderflower and gin filled a basin-like cocktail glass adorned with an artfully cut cucumber. I was attracted to a refreshing ‘Myrthil detox’ with fresh blueberry with pomegranate juice.
Although fairly sweet for a healthy option, what was most memorable was the unusual aftertaste of cardamom and cloves. Later in the day I might have been more tempted to try some Indian wine or whisky as opposed to the usual curry accompanying beer.
Anyway, back to the food. The fish wrap was a roti bursting with char-grilled salmon, avocado, chutney and salad. It was a filling tasty choice and fairly reasonable at £5.50 (or £4.50 to take away), my only criticism being its luke warm temperature. Did it want to be hot or cold we pondered.
The lunch box was a delight; both visually and edibly. A compartmentalised box contained a veggie concoction, dahl, salad, raita, mini poppadams, steamed rice and a pudding. All for only £7.45. The inclusion of a chicken or lamb curry only put the price up slightly. It was mild, relatively light and enjoyable to so many tastes. The bread and butter pudding with a crunchy sugary top slid down and didn’t induce too much of a slump if you have an afternoon at work to consider.
Carom is certainly worth a look if you want to get out of a lunchtime rut of overpriced egg sandwiches. That’s if you don’t walk straight past. If you fail to spot the menu, from the outside you might think it’s a little cinema or shopping arcade.
Our window spot allowed us to watch the stream of Soho inhabitants. Glancing up at the swathes of red and pink fabric I could see how it transforms into a swish cocktail bar in the evenings where you can install yourself in one of the many booths. The concept of smaller sharing dishes is a feature of Carom at night. Something that appeals, as long as it doesn’t extend to their cocktails.
100 Wardour Street
Tel: 020 7314 4002