A gleaming new restaurant located within the iconic Old Westminster Fire Station, writer Giverny Masso heads to Yaatra for an evening of attentive service and inventive Indian decadence
Yaatra is a new Indian restaurant and bar located inside the iconic Old Westminster Fire Station building. It boasts an inventive à la carte menu and selection of tasting menus bursting with dishes inspired by both famous cities and lesser-known villages across India, led by executive chef Amit Bagyal.
My guest and I are seated in the decadently-decorated Ruby Restaurant area, which has velvety crimson chairs and burgundy walls. The restaurant also has multiple other spaces, each with their own unique character, including the Sapphire Restaurant and the Watch Room for a small private group.
The entire venue is fully booked and bustling with chatter and clinking glasses as we are seated. We are treated to a selection of the finest vegetarian dishes on the menu, chosen for us by the attentive staff.
The Food and Drink
To start, we begin with the Darjeeling Momos (£18), which are steamed vegetable dumplings, the Khubani Paneer Tikka (£14) and the Uttar Pradesh (part of the tasting menu). The momos float in a thin and fiery sauce, and are well complimented by the milder paneer dish, which has been cooked to the perfect supple and fluffy texture. The Uttar Pradesh, which consists of creamy Saffron malai foam, khasta biscuit and nuts, is unusual, tasting more like a dessert. However, as someone with a sweet tooth who is not opposed to the concept of a pre-meal pudding, the dish wins me over with its contrasting velvety and crunchy textures.
For mains, we try the Heritage Garden of India (£26). This is effectively a plate of different stand-alone vegetables – including Tandoori broccoli, carrot, beetroot, padron pepper and crispy courgette – that have each been cooked to perfection. However it’s hard to justify the hefty price tag attached to this particular dish.
We are also treated to the paneer version of the the Murg Makhan Masala (£28), cooked in a creamy onion and tomato sauce. It’s a wet, flavoursome dish, and contrasts enough to the paneer starter that I don’t tire of the soft cheese.
For dessert, I’m taken by the Rasmalai (£9.50), which is a very moreish strawberry cheesecake accompanied by a palette cleansing kalamansi sorbet.
It’s also important to mention the restaurant’s drinks list, which includes an extensive wine collection and 11 uniquely crafted cocktails (including three non alcoholic). A particular favourite for me was the Fire Station Martini (£12.50), which felt both light and festive with vodka, Prosecco, egg white, vanilla syrup and Passionfruit Puree and Liqueur.
The Wordrobe Verdict
The space itself is divine, the staff are attentive and the menu is erupting with creativity and finesse. However with tasting menus starting at £95 per head (not including drinks) and main courses on the à la carte menu starting at £26, this is not your every day eatery, and seems suited to a special occasion.
Make it happen
Where: Old Westminster Fire Station, 4 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB
Words by Giverny Masso, writer