If you are looking for a classy yet quirky restaurant, Flora Indica is one to consider that delivers on both fronts. Firstly you have to understand it is a modern British cuisine restaurant with Indian influences. It is inspired by the determination of Scottish botanists such as J.D.Hooker, who co-wrote the Flora Indica, which was a comprehensive index of the plants of British India.
The spectacularly designed restaurant has a steam punk theme throughout with a Doctor Who-esque telephone box as a reception and steam pipes gracing both floors of the restaurants. The main dining room space has sparkling, crystal lights adorning their walls which resembles beautiful floral patterns.
What might catch your eye straight away is the 63c Duck Egg. Why 63c you might wonder? It is the ideal temperature to poach an egg for 1 hour to obtain the best results. You suspect they might have cooked their version here for under an hour, as some of the egg white was still clear and very runny. Nevertheless the smoked mayo was flavoursome and had great textural contrast with the crisp nest and kalonji seeds. The razor clams had a beautifully rich honey broth; the dish was tasty but ever so slight.
You might worry vegetarian dishes are not filling, but their grilled aubergine main dish looks like a vegetarian steak and there are also the addition of cumin and masala paneer and spinach aloo.
The exoticism of the menu continued with the desserts which contained innovative offerings like rhubarb sorbet, smoked figs and the use of lotus roots and tonka bean custard. Thankfully none of the dishes are overly sweet or heavy, so you have no excuses to not try a 3 course meal.
With their expertise on all things botanical, ordering a cocktail is a must at Flora Indica. Even a simple mocktail like shrub soda comes with multi-coloured test tubes and an in-depth explanation of how a similar version was made back in the Victorian times.
Prices are generally on the high side, but if you want somewhere to impress a date, a work colleague or a member of the family, Flora Indica will definitely achieve that. It is unlikely they would have tried any food or cocktails quite like what is on offered at this stunning restaurant.