Brigadiers is a new City venture from JKS Restaurants, the group established by the three Sethi siblings, which has developed a name for itself through revered London restaurants Gymkhana, Trishna and Hoppers. Like its sister restaurants, Brigadiers, which opened in June, is about really good Indian food but it has a very distinct style and atmosphere. The foodie focus at this restaurant is Indian barbecue made with grills, smokers and tandoors and serving it in a space that feels as suited to socialising as it is to formal dining.
Suited to its City setting in the new Bloomberg Arcade, Brigadiers has a boys’ club feel to it and is based on the army mess rooms of India where the military eat and relax. That’s not to say that the restaurant is rowdy – it does have a rather unusual poolroom and offers card games too – but it’s all in the spirit of a salubrious clubbable space with separate and relaxed dining areas.
The restaurant is full of polished teak wood, statues, nets and patterned carpet and the classic feel makes Brigadiers feels a million miles away from the sleek new development outside. There is also a pleasant shady terrace in front of the restaurant with tables perfect for summer evenings if you can nab a spot.
The focus at Brigadiers is all about barbecue and there is an irresistible list of kebabs, steaks, ribs and chops to choose from – each of which is expertly and mouth-wateringly spiced and cooked. Brigadiers also has a rotisserie and wood-oven-cooked selection as well as fragrant biryanis made for two and come served like a pie with a pastry top.
In fact, many of the dishes are designed to share, which is great because narrowing down what to order is decidedly difficult. Highlights include the wood-roasted curry leaf masala turbot, bhuna ghee masala goat chops, and tandoori lamb chops. Although the focus is on meat, there is a good selection of vegetarian options including a roasted aubergine with dal, a deliciously spiced and grilled ‘vegetarian sizzler’, and delicious naans. Alongside the larger dishes, order plenty of the ‘Chhota Chatpata’ or small savoury snack plates including the Arbi Tokri Chaat, a spicy and fragrant puffed rice and pomegranate mix in a crisp potato basket, and the Hyderabadi Jheenga Poori – hot and spicy prawn curry eaten in a fried flatbread.
The drinks list
Brigadiers serves a selection of appetising whiskies from across the world, including Scottish, Irish, English, Japanese, American and Indian drams. The generous menu also includes a nifty flavour map, and the bar staff are experts at recommending a whisky to suit every taste. The poolroom is also home to a rather unique whisky vending machine, accessible with a pre-paid card and home to four vintage and limited edition spirits. Brigadiers also serves a long list of draft and bottled beers, including a Brigadiers lager, great cocktails (including two on draught) and a good selection of wine.
A meal for two with snacks, mains and drinks from £80.
Too many Indian restaurants in the UK are either cheap and cheerful or just too formal and stuffy. Brigadiers really feels like something new – an Indian restaurant that is fun, serves incredible food and drink and is as suitable for a meal with a date, family, colleagues or friends. A great addition to the City restaurant scene.
Brigadiers, 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London, EC4N 8AR, brigadierslondon.com