Nirvana Kitchen – A Hidden Marylebone Gem

Nirvana Kitchen is a stylish neighbourhood restaurant tucked away in the beautiful Montcalm Hotel in the heart of Marylebone. The restaurant specialises in simple Pan-Asian dishes that are ideal for sharing. The chef incorporates flavours from the Indian Ocean to the Far East, a menu that clearly goes beyond “simple,” moreover, it’s delicious dining that I was so impressed by.

As we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the lovely hostess. The restaurant features elegant windows, warm woods and leather chairs – it is stylish and has an air of sophistication about it – a restaurant you’d come to to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or a special event.

All of the dishes on the menu sound fantastic – small dishes for sharing, charcoal dishes, curry pots and desserts – all grabbed my attention and had me wanting to try a little bit everything.

Our server recommended the Duck and Watermelon Salad, served with mandarin, pomegranate, basil, coriander, cashew and hoisin sauce. The duck is slow-cooked for 12 hours, making it mouthwateringly tender. The saltiness of the duck combined with the sweet watermelon and mandarin made this a winning dish that kept us coming back bite after bite. For veggies out there, they do a vegetarian version. The table next to us had to ask the server if their veggie rendition was made with actual duck – that’s how good this dish is.

We also shared the Crispy Salted Squid with cucumber, lemongrass and ginger sauce. The lemongrass and ginger sauce really made the dish – a light and fresh dipping sauce that elevated the salty squid. The squid was perfectly cooked – not rubbery in the slightest and delicately crispy. It was so tender and sleekly sliced, which intrigued us so much so that we enquired more about it to the chefs. Later, while searching about it online, we were directed to a set of sleek knives on this site, which are suitable for cooking seafood.

For our mains, we tucked into the Chilean Sea Bass, a signature dish on the menu that the team really take pride in – and for good reason – because it was one of the very best seafood dishes I’ve ever had. Tamarind glazed served with pickled cucumber and caramelised cashew ‘Gajak’ made for an absolutely stunning dish. The sea bass was buttery, sweet, incredibly tender and perfectly cooked. My only complaint is that there wasn’t more! Weeks later, and I am still craving that Sea Bass.

Ciaran went for the Nyona Chicken Curry, Nirvana’s own take on the classic Nyona, which fuses Chinese ingredients with Malaysian spices and cooking techniques. The curry is stewed in a coconut curry with spices, potatoes, and a poached duck egg. I love this dish because it wasn’t too spicy and all of the ingredients added such depths of flavours. Every bite tasted a little bit different – sweet, smokey, and incredibly aromatic. It was incredibly filling, just like any good curry should. To mop it all up, we dove into the Roti Canai – a classic Malay Paratha – it was like a cross between a croissant and an Indian paratha bread – flakey and buttery. I loved it, it was absolutely delicious.

To cap off our incredible dinner, we indulged in a chocolate molten cake with pistachio ice cream – a decadent treat to end our fantastic evening.

All of the dishes at Nirvana Kitchen are outstanding. I was so impressed by the phenomenal cooking and also greatly enjoyed how leisurely our dinner was. All of the dishes came out at a perfect pace – one at a time, so you could take your time to enjoy the evening. The servers are all very knowledgable and friendly.

Nirvana Kitchen is an absolute gem in the heart of Marylebone – perfect for date nights, special occasions or a leisurely dinner with friends. Take my word for it and book it for your next evening out!

Nirvana Kitchen, 61 Upper Berkeley St, Marylebone, London W1H