Restaurant Review: Indigo at One Aldwych Hotel, Covent Garden in London
The majority of gluten and dairy free menus struggle to strike any kind of fancy I find although after having taken a look at the menu at Indigo, the fine dining restaurant at One Aldwych, my thoughts toward weren’t as I had expected. The award-winning restaurant has recently transformed their menus to be completely gluten and dairy free meaning no one misses out. With an aim for regular diners to not notice too much of change from the original menus Executive Chef Dominic Teague has placed Indigo in a league of its own within the industry, and if my evening is anything to go by it’s a positive one.
Many gluten and dairy free establishments compromise on the taste and flavour of their dishes, opting for the new, trendy ingredients and resulting in menus that are almost unrecognisable. I was thankful to find this was not the case, popular dishes have been lovingly tweaked, and the consistency of their menu is refreshing. Delicately presented starters included quinoa salad with peas, broad beans and smoked almonds and cured loch duart salmon with citrus fruit, coriander and avocado. Somewhere in the middle of these we picked out the terrine of corn fed chicken which balanced on top were leeks and pickled shimeji and the organic rhug estate pork, sliced to the similarity of carpaccio with hunky chunks of pork crackling.
The selection of mains did not disappoint either, with popular options you would expect to find in any similar non-gluten / dairy establishment. The people pleasing attitude with less of a focus on the calories, the beer battered ‘day boat fish’ is listed with everything you should expect to find: mushy peas, hand-cut chips and tartare sauce. Loin of rabbit with polenta and garlic was thoughtfully dished up and a sirloin member from their grill was a satisfactory blushing. All items from the grill are served with hand-cut chips and herb salsa with a large, caramelised roasted shallot on top adding sweetness to the cut.
The attentive and maybe rather brave waiter announced to us that Indigo has ‘the best’ chocolate mousse’s in the city; intrigued, we ordered with the caramelised banana. Served with bitter chocolate and custard, a difficult one to present but much more enjoyable to taste. Polite, warm and helpful staff make Indigo’s menu shine to its foremost, each and every one, more than happy to divulge their knowledge on this new menu. Hidden away upstairs on the mezzanine the buzz from the grandeur of the bar below filters up to the intimacy of Indigo, with our table having a view downward, the restaurant is described as the ‘perfect spot to people watch’.
Indigo seem to have its priorities in the right order and this is totally reflective with the menu. Dominic outlines that ‘it is not about jumping on the latest food fad – the priority has always been to create beautifully prepared, simply delicious dishes without compromising on quality ingredients or taste. That they happen to be gluten and dairy-free are a bonus.’ Three out of five women in our modern day suffer from IBS and often need to completely eliminate gluten and / or dairy from their diet; with this in mind restaurants and their menus are continuingly going to have to adjust to this in order to keep up. Many fad-restaurants that don’t have their ducks in a row I find dull and unexciting, a bowl of raw quinoa or lentils – no thanks. Indigo have clearly shown that flavour, taste and indulgence of popular dishes, that we all love, do not need to be compromised.
Address: 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ / 020 7300 0400