Jamuna is the kind of restaurant that would flourish in France, but may struggle in the badlands of West London. The French are quite prepared to judge a restaurant by its food alone, and Jamuna's is pretty flawless.
While most of London's gourmet Indian restaurants try to prove their authenticity with carefully-researched regional cuisine - and staff in extravagantly silly traditional costumes - Jamuna offers the sort of sturdy Tandoor fare one would actually enjoy in a smart Mughal restaurant on Delhi's Connaught Place. The ingredients are of an extremely high standard, the spices subtle, varied and delicately balanced, and everything has that soft, falling-apart texture that can only be achieved with perfect timing.
However, this is Paddington, not Paris, and the English care about more than the food when they're spending this much on a meal. Tinny piped music on a loop meant we enjoyed, among other things, a twangy guitar version of 'We're Walking in the Air' three times during our meal. When we asked for some suggestions with the wine, our waiter just shrugged. There was no pudding offered, or coffee.
And this is for a very, very pricey restaurant. A main course, rice and dal is liable to set you back over £30, enough for an entire thali in many of central London's best gourmet Indian restaurants. For that kind of money, you really feel that they should get the details right.
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