Saturday morning had Londonist sitting in on a cookery class at “chic and contemporary Indian restaurant” Moti Mahal (near Covent Garden at 45 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5AA). The student/teacher ratio was low (about ten in our class). And, our teacher, head chef Anirudh Arora (aka Chef Ani) was brilliant. His guided tour of Moti Mahal’s thriving kitchen impressed us, as did his mellow yet authoritative manner while sharing his cookery skills. Indeed, the knowledge imparted was both practical (how to hold a knife, what’s the best brand of Basmati rice) to ingenious (awesome recipes and fascinating stories).
The class ran from 10.30am-12.30pm, followed by a three-course lunch of the dishes we had learned to prepare … including tasty and incredibly tender Tandoori chicken supreme; morsel-y Devon crab cakes; delicate pan fried red mullet; phenomenal Rogan josh; delicate and irresistible saffron rice; and, rounding out our fab meal, baked yoghurt with figs and cardamom. Enhancing the experience further, wine consultant Richard Weiss provided the class with his insightful (and hilarious) take on how to match wine with food. The insight came via his introducing us to Fleur de Lotus, a lively and drinkable wine from the Josmeyer Estate in Alsace. The hilarity ensued as this cheeky sommelier explained his ‘doggy-style’ approach to pairing cuisine to wine. As we lingered over lunch, consensus among our classmates was glowingly positive about the course: memorable, worthwhile and (most importantly) delicious. We all seemed to appreciate most the opportunity to witness firsthand the odyssey a dish takes from concept to kitchen to served plate.
Obviously, such a privilege does have a price. £55. Still, Londonist found the cost to be good value for money. The info provided was educational; the food was gorgeous, more than ample and elegantly presented; the wine over lunch never stopped flowing. It was a really fun way for Londonist to spend a Saturday.
You’ve got two more chances to attend this cookery class: Saturday, 25th October and Saturday, 29th November. Visit the Moti Mahal website to book.
Photography by Chris Osburn