I had the amazing opportunity to dine at Colonel Saab, a superb modern Indian restaurant in Holborn, and I am in a state of utter awe. To cut to the chase, I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. But what made this dining experience as ethereal as possible? Quite a few aspects in fact…
For one, it would be wrong to discuss Colonel Saab and not elaborate on how deeply entrenched the restaurant in founder, Roop Partap Choudhary’s, family history. Named after his father, Colonel Saab is a testament to him, and every inch of the restaurant portrays that. Original family photos encased in 200-year-old frames cover the walls, a large portrait of Chaudhary’s father and mother are front and centre of the restaurant, and historical artefacts are plentiful. The decor also comes from Choudhary’s own personal collection of Indian artefacts—my personal favourite is a 600-year-old painting carved into tree bark sourced from the Bhutanese border. The well-detailed décor really elevated the meal itself. If you ever wondered what it is like to dine underneath dozens of handcrafted chandeliers, then book a table at Colonel Saab for dinner as soon as possible.
That being said, Colonel Saab is not merely a case of style over substance. Style and substance interplay and create a unique dining experience like no other.
As soon I entered the restaurant, I was greeted by the exceptionally attentive waitstaff. Our coats were placed in a closet and we were led to our seats where the General Manager himself walked us through our meals and made sure after each of our three delicious courses, we were enjoying ourselves. As someone with a nut allergy, it can be difficult to eat out at restaurants, but Colonel Saab was exceptionally caring and considerate regarding my allergy and made amends to dishes so there would be no compromise on taste because of it.
I opted to try out the Veganuary menu which offered two courses for £29.95 for two courses and £34.95. The Veganuary lineup could make even the most strident of meat-eaters enjoy a completely meat-free meal. I myself do not adhere to a vegan diet and I did not feel like dairy or meat deterred from the meal. In fact, it enhanced it and allowed the vegetables to shine.
For a starter, I chose the Indian fried snack platter. For a main, I got the Chana Masala as well as Dal Tadka and Soya Pulao to share. The starter was an assortment of fried goodies dressed in a delectable spicy, tangy sauce that had me scraping the plate clean. The Chana Masala had a heat to it that was paired excellently with sweet chutney and warm kulcha. The Dal Tadka and Pulao was a heavenly combination. For dessert, I was treated to a creamy rice pudding with crispy crème brule top. Each dish melded with each other and created a tangy, spicy, and flavourful eating journey.
If you have a special occasion coming up (Valentine’s day is just around the corner and there is a special menu dedicated to it!), treat yourself and a loved one to a first-class dining experience at Colonel Saab.
Address 193-197 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Edited by Chiara Masciadri