Courtyard 51 is now grillin’ Michelin stars

One of the things I love about London is discovering all the little hidden away places that are tucked down the many little alleyways and mews amongst the busy streets of the city.You just never know what hidden gem you’re going to run across, a carefully manicured garden, a centuries old pub or even a lovely Italianate courtyard. I was invited to visit one such place at Courtyard 51, which comes complete with Victorian fountain and reputedly the longest frieze in the world. It depicts all of Shakespear’s plays and links all 8 buildings that make up the courtyard of St. James Court just off Buckingham Gate in Belgravia. Courtyard 51 at Buckingham Gate is now launching their second season of alfresco dining complete with 4 evenings of opera to enjoy whilst dining on their veranda overlooking the courtyard. The entire area will be converted into an open air opera house. I went along to try the South Indian Coastal inspired cuisine by Michelin starred chef, Siriam Ayur, that they will be serving on their opera evenings and that is always available at the adjacent Quilon restaurant. Since it was not exactly a balmy summer’s eve, the clouds were out in force and there was a bit of a stiff breeze, our dinner was moved indoors, to the floor of Quilon. The food, however, was delicious. Siriam explained that a specially modified grill is used to cook the food perfectly. As an example, the freshwater char grilled prawns were soft and succulent, expertly grilled  with none of the hard spongy quality that comes from being frozen and then thawed out. Some other examples we tried from the grill included Mapla Chicken, Curry leaf and lentil crushed fish and cottage cheese and mixed veg grill. A very tasty dahl and assortment of rices were served along with some curried potato and cauliflower. Despite the fact that it was an Indian themed meal, the food was very light and tasty, not too spicy but with a...

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