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Chor Bizarre (Restaurant)

Picture of Chor Bizarre in Mayfair, London

16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4HW
Cuisine: Indian Average Price: £55.00
Tel: 02076299802 | Email to Chor Bizarre | Transport: Green Park | Write review

Chor Bizarre Review

Best for: Authentic Indian food, unusual dishes.

Great: For that Indian feeling in Mayfair, décor, friendly service.

I am back in Anjuna once again chomping down a huge masala dosa for breakfast. It's the wet season so the heat is formidable and swift showers can be expected at any moment. Suddenly I'm transported to a higher class eating establishment in Amritsar called “The Brothers” where I’m sampling my first Thali with a Czech guy I met hours earlier when we watched the nightly Attari/Wagah Indian/Pakistan border ceremony.

Chor Bizarre aims to represent the diversity of Indian cuisine by taking dishes from all over the country. Within two courses it’s whisked me back to two fond travel meal memories that are almost 2000kms apart. The menu is unusually varied with plenty of surprises and no Contiki tourist treat dishes – all those vindaloos, jalfreizis and madrases are in hiding and the regular British Indian restaurant visitor won't find a Punky in sight.

With the South Indian Food Festival running, I leave it to the restaurant's friendly manager to select our meal. We begin with the obligatory popadums and dips but unlike many Indian restaurants, the popadums come spicy or plain, and the thick sauces taste freshly made.

Our first surprise is a combination of crisp semolina and wheat biscuits covered in chilled yoghurt, chutneys, ginger and hot spices – a dish that caught my eye but scared my more cautious sister. Beautifully presented, it's a strange but wholly pleasurable combination of sweet and savoury that's almost like three courses rolled into one and reminded me of Bhel Puri on an extremely wet Mumbai day on Chowpatti Beach.

From the semolina wheat biscuits, there's an extreme rollercoaster ride of taste sensations whirling us across country. Lacking any table manners or an audience, I am tempted to lick the Mysore masala dosa sauce pots clean. Luckily, I don’t because a huge Tandoori sampler platter follows along with yet another starter: Apam with chicken stew all the way from Kerala. Already feeling pregnant with twins, we almost wish the family pets were under the table, although the chef's exquisite cooking would be wasted on Detective Fingerling and Pingus Ming.

An intermission is required so the manager holds up the mains and I listen in on the conversation between the suited duo at the next table who were earlier heard (in a rather uncustomary Indian restaurant fashion) refusing to share their dishes:

“If you're 40 and you're doing a 50 million deal, you're washed up, unless, like me, you work for yourself. He's got a face like a scrubbed arse...”

Catching another snippet of this rather dreary and somewhat bitchy conversation, I try to focus my attention on the angry donkey opposite and the aggressive facemask below. Perhaps they’re ex-business partners of this detestable man who’ve been cursed to a life as wall hangings.

Thankfully, not all the clientele in Chor Bizarre resemble this sorry pair. Although predominantly business folk, there are at least two other tables we label ‘young’ and a loved-up couple of noticeably mismatched age.

Chor Bizarre combines beautiful intricately carved deco, representative of the India found in the Thief's Market that the restaurant takes its name from. There are ornate wooden pillars, marble and glass-topped tables, display cabinets filled with old artefacts, an old singer sewing machine, and a four-poster bed converted to tables and old consulate chairs.

The arrival of a Maharaja's Thali and two extra dishes brings mixed feelings of delight and fear as we look at the busy table grabbing hold of our twins. It'd be rude not to at least sample each dish and we're both soon in agreement that the methi murgh, kesar elaichi gosht and dal makhni are favourites, alongside the earlier gazabka tika. Contemplating a termination, we brandish the dessert menus, lacking the normal selection of mass-produced ice creams presented in fruit husks.

Virtually bursting with food from all over India, we waddle out of Chor Bizarre hoping the colourful bangles we've been given will detract from our yoyo bellies. I'm disappointed by our Mayfair surroundings. One visit to Chor Bizarre and I'm once again craving calls of “Namaste” and the insane bustle of the colourful Indian life. more

Customer Reviews for Chor Bizarre

Average (based on 8 votes): 8 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Chor Bizarre.

“Chor Bizarre is one restaurant out of those hundreds where dining comes with absolute pleasure. When I sat down in the colorful environ with my family, the entire place had a vibe that can only be experienced. I totally loved the food, my kids said they haven't had this simple yet amazing food outside in a long time. What made the entire thing so special was that everything added so beautifully to the evening, from the helpful service to the neat food, it was all in all 10/10 experience!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Barbara Adams, London (7 years 21 days ago)

“What I love the best about Chor Bizarre is the food and wine-pairing menu. Just loved the suggestions mentioned and upon trying, I actually felt it was the best idea to take on. The food is good especially the Dakshni crab cakes and prawn-tak-a-tak . The place is a must visit for anyone who loves Indian food and a different kind of an ambience to dine.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Kate, Lancaster (7 years 5 months 16 days ago)

“Food was delicious and we all had a great time.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
James, Mayfair (8 years 4 months 5 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Chor Bizarre

“Great food and an interesting, appealing atmosphere - best restaurant in the area.”
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james, covent garden (8 years 5 months 4 days ago)

“Came back after a long time and Chor Bizarre was a nice surprise. The food was interesting and reasonably priced. The service was attentive and friendly.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
[ Unknown ], London (8 years 8 months 7 days ago)

“Chor Bizarre has an excellent service and exquisite decor. Superb restaurant to have Indian food. The 50% discount works out as good value in London too!”
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[ Unknown ], London (8 years 9 months ago)

“Lovely place for a romantic meal. Excellant service and very friendly staff. Food fabulous!!”
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Londoner, London (8 years 10 months 4 days ago)

“Our experience at Chor Bizarre was quite good. The staff is friendly and the food is amazing. The staff guides you well in choosing your drinks that goes well with the food!!... We will be going back soon.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Charles.Cheers, London (9 years 4 months 27 days ago)

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Additional Information

Chor Bizarre Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Indian
  • Average Price: £55.00

Chor Bizarre Food Menu

Chor Bizarre London, like its New Delhi counterpart, is partial towards Kashmiri cuisine and is the only restaurant outside of the Kashmir valley that has access to the secrets of 'Wazwan' - the legendary ceremonial feast of 36 courses. Chor Bizarre is thus able to offer a traditional 'Tarami' in addition to other 'Thalis' - a sampling of dishes from various parts of India, to make your gastronomic journey complete. Chor Bizarre also serves 'Tak-a-Tak' platters, a range of 'Chaats' (Indian street fare) and prides itself on a large vegetarian repertoire.

Updated 24/08/2006

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"fantastic fresh food. I'm very keen and fussy on my food. really I did enjoy the fresh food, good atmosphere and the friendly staff. well done and keep it up" Which venue is this?


"Very bad experience. Booked a table, before paying making sure that the table will not be moved at some point to make space. Looks like the woman taking bookings called Candice will promise you anything..." Which venue is this?

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