GS Magazine last featured Veeraswamy fifteen years ago as it celebrated its eightieth birthday.
Now, at the ripe old age of ninety-five, the restaurant is looking as bright and fresh as it ever has.
Probably more so, having recently undergone a light refurbishment.
Veeraswami is not only Britain’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, but also steeped in history and celebrity.
It was the haunt of Edward, Prince of Wales, and soon became a favoured destination of the rich and famous.
Over the years the likes of Winston Churchill, Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Sharon Stone, Pierce Brosnan, Princess Anne, King Hussain of Jordan and Indian Maharajas and Maharanis from Jaipur and Baroda (Vadodara) have enjoyed its patronage.
The 110-seat dining room has impressive views onto Regent Street from its first-floor location.
The newly upgraded, luxurious, and exotic décor is evocative of 1920s Indian glamour, with period art, sculpture and artefacts, an eclectic Rajasthani turban collection, and beautiful hand-woven carpets.
There is also a private dining room seating up to twenty-two.
The menus are a combination of classic and contemporary dishes, prepared by a brigade of specialist chefs from all over the Indian sub-continent, featuring highlights from each region.
Notable favourites are Kashmiri Roghan Josh, Lamb Chops Asaf Jahi, Lobster Malabar Curry, Roast Duck Vindaloo, Bori Chicken Biryani, Malvani Prawn Curry, and Bengali Chor Chori.
Desserts include Almond Halwa Tart, Caramelised Banana Kulfi, and Tandoori Nectarines with Pistachio Gelato.
The wine list has been chosen to complement the cuisine, and there is also an extensive cocktail list with numerous exotic spices and seasonal flavours.
Veeraswamy was opened in 1926 by Edward Palmer, an Anglo-Indian who initially came to England in 1880 to study medicine, but his passion for Indian food led him to become a spice merchant and creator of fine curry pastes, pickles, and chutneys.
Veerasawmy (note original spelling) was named after his grandmother.
Under new management in the 1930’s the name was accidentally changed because of a printer’s error and the variant stuck.
The family directors of Masala World now own the restaurant who also own Chutney Mary, Amaya, and the Masala Zone chain of restaurants.