Like most Londoners I know in this day and age, my lunchtimes are usually spent rushing at pace through our grey, smoggy streets, slaloming the charity muggers and tourists before grabbing a sandwich from the place with the shortest queue and getting back to my desk before you can even say “givemeabreak”. So when I was invited to visit the Spice Market, at the very swish W Hotel, I almost snapped their arm off. An actual lunch break? At somewhere fabulous? YES PLEASE.
We arrived at 1pm and were immediately impressed by the restaurants interior – blacks, golds, deep wood and jewel colours everywhere you look. Fixtures and fittings are of the highest quality, as you’d expect, and they have one of the best bathrooms I’ve visited in a while (always a selling point for me. I’m odd like that).
The Spice Market lunch options include an amazing set menu, which starts at just £16 for 2 courses, or £18 for 3. Even before tasting a bite we agreed this was great value – the service and decor alone warrant that.
So. On to the food. OH MY GOD THE FOOD. Most dishes are designed to share, and as we weren’t quite sure what to choose, my colleague and I enlisted the help of our Waiter – whose help, knowledge and advice were invaluable. I seriously advise asking them for their recommendations if you visit – if our selections were anything to go by – they certainly won’t let you down!
Our choices included Salmon Sashimi on a Crispy Rice Cake, which was, genuinely, one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted. The kind of delicious that makes you want to stab your sharing partners hand with your fork so they’re distracted and you can eat it all. Seriously, this was a dish I never wanted to see end. Please, please try it, and if you don’t like it….well, you will, so I can end this sentence here.
We also shared the Chicken Samosas and Crab Dumplings – both of which left us smacking our lips and fighting over the last piece. Seriously scrumptious.
We probably would have been happy just sharing lots more starters but thought we’d venture on to some mains (rude not to really). We opted to share Lobster Pad Thai, which was generously scattered with delicious morsels of lobster and brilliantly flavoured. We also picked the duck curry – which had the softest, most tender pieces of juicy duck in a rich and moreish sauce – again – top marks from us both.
The waiter had recommended us a the Sancerre to accompany our dishes and this also went down an absolute treat – as did the home-made fresh ginger ale we tried.
Now. By now you all know that we only write about things we love at TLLWTL. However, I appreciate in this instance I am positively gushing with compliments. Let me assure you – from my experience at the Spice Market, they are all thoroughly deserved. This was by far the best lunch I have had in London for years – and I devoured every last mouthful with absolute pleasure – the experience was faultless – and it’s not often I can say that.
Photos via Time Out and The Telegraph