What better time to round up London’s best, tastiest and finest Indian restaurants than National Curry Week? From Sri Lankan family-style sharing plates to hearty Himalayan infusions, here’s our edit of the tastiest eateries to satisfy your spice fix…
Teeming with modern Indian soul, this colourful Canary Wharf joint is inspired by traditional Indian toddy shops – south India’s roadside drinking dens – and serves up a mighty menu of Asian-spiced sharing plates. Choose between Indian tapas in the Toddy Shop or a selection of heartier mains in the traditional dining area of the restaurant. Be sure to try the tandoori butter chicken thighs with crispy spinach and the Goan prawns served with chilli, rock samphire, cinnamon and tempered coconut rice.
Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5AR
The newest outpost in the gourmet Indian restaurant group, Cinnamon Bazaar is a magical fusion of rustic Indian street food with a signature Cinnamon-style twist. Look forward to a heady mix of fragrant Asian flavours sprinkled with a hint of Middle Eastern charm, including the likes of Iranian chicken haleem; Kabulia kefta with tomato makhani sauce with influences from Afghanistan and Punjab; and Middle Eastern-inspired millet, date tamarind and pomegranate salad.
28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7JS
Dishoom has become somewhat of a London institution amongst Indian food lovers – there are venues scattered all over the capital stretching from King’s Cross to Covent Garden – and each one is always packed. Food is served street-style and designed to be shared, so look forward to delicious plates of chilli cheese toast, gunpowder potatoes and succulent minced lamb kebabs, served alongside biryanis, Ruby Murrays and fluffy handmade naans.
Various locations in London
This small family-run restaurant headed by Nirmal Save, once a chef at Mayfair’s Tamarind, is one of the best places to sample India’s rustic, home-style cuisine – it’s been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its mouth-watering Mumbai-inspired fare. Sharing plates of spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut, chettinad pulled duck and karwari soft shell crab will transport the taste buds to the bustling streets of India, whilst the intimate setting and delightfully friendly staff will make you feel right at home.
11 White's Row, Spitafields, E1 7NF
With its retro ceiling fans, marble table tops and walls adorned with vintage photographs, this Mayfair dining haunt has all the glossy charm of an Indian colonial club, but with the added bonus of a Michelin-starred menu that seriously delivers. Patron-chef Karam Sethi’s (also of Trishna and Hoppers) lays on a wondrous spread of contemporary Indian cuisine based on regional masalas and marinades. Devour plates of fried south Indian chicken wings, pork cheek vindaloo and gorgeous game dishes – the quail kebab and tandoori guinea fowl are must-tries.
42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4JH
Another award-winning Indian eatery (this one is the proud owner of a Bib Gourmand) from the Sethi family who also own Trishna and Gymkhana, Hoppers is one of the very few exclusively Sri Lankan restaurants in the city, and what’s more, it’s incredibly reasonably priced. Aptly named after one of Sri Lanka’s popular dishes, egg-topped pancakes, Hoppers offers a drool-inducing menu that’s brimming with flavour. The restaurant – a small room, with a sexy Soho take on all things Sri Lankan – is always buzzing, and the fiery flavours are guaranteed to get the taste buds tingling. They’ve recently launched a second location in St Christopher’s place, offering up the same sumptuous fare.
Locations in Soho and St Christopher’s Place
Swanky Mayfair haunt Jamavar has just been awarded its first Michelin star for its regional Indian fare. Dishes are served as small plates; delicately spiced, elegantly decorated and brimming with flavour. Look forward to the likes of Malabar prawns – sautéed king prawns cooked in white turmeric, onions and curry leaves; kid goat shami kebab – served with black cardamom, mint chutney and chur chur paratha; tulsi chicken tikka – with sweet basil, pickled radish and raita; and dum nalli biryani – a heady mix of Hampshire lamb with a serving of basmati rice, crispy onions and fresh mint.
8 Mount Street, Mayfair, W1K 2NF
Combining the best British seasonal ingredients with authentic Indian flavours, aromas and spices, Kricket is a casual approach to east-meets-west dining. Dishes are designed to be shared and change depending on the season. During the summer, tuck into Keralan fried chicken with curry leaf mayonnaise and pickled mouli; lasooni scallop with Goan sausage, poha and seaweed; and Gana’s pork cheek coorg with pickled fennel and peanut.
12 Denman Street, Soho, W1D 7HH
From the talented husband-and-wife team behind Michelin-starred home-style kitchen Gunpowder, comes Madame D – a Himalayan hot spot specialising in Nepalese, Indian, Tibetan and Chinese cuisine. Dishes are designed to be shared and include everything from garlic coriander steamed chicken and prawn toast to soft, fluffy dumplings including the incredibly delicious pan-fried Tibetan duck momo and ‘gold coin’ dumplings, named for their shape. Dine by candlelight perched atop long wooden benches that set the scene for friendly communal dining.
2nd Floor, 76 Commercial Street, Shoreditch E1 6LY
This regional restaurant specialises in half plates and full drinks, to give a fun, quirky twist to traditional Indian dining. The specially curated menu, aptly named the ‘discovery’ menu, journeys from the dry plains of Rajasthan, to the rich Punjab in the north, then back down to Kerala in the south, all served in cool, contemporary surroundings. It’s a mix of bright, bold cooking techniques designed to enchant and excite; tuck into tasty plates of Goan pork, Bhori chicken and crabmeat scotch eggs, alongside heart plates of coastal fish curry and spicy venison mince served with organic scrambled egg yolk.
152-156 Shaftesbury Ave, Covent Garden, WC2H 8HL
Tandoor Chop House
Mixing the meatiest elements of a British chop house with the spices of Indian tandoor cooking, Tandoor Chop House specialises in hearty cuts of smoked, spiced meats in the coolest of industrial-style settings. Chomp down on bone marrow naans and chunks of smoky prime cut meats, slathered in aromatic Asian spices and served hot from the tandoor grill.
8 Adelaide Street, Covent Garden, WC2N 4HZ
Following the success of their first Soho venture, barbecue expert Neil Rankin and his business partner Sam Lee are firing up the coals of their second location in the City, which specialises in gin, top quality New World wines and delicious plates of curry cooked on their signature open fire pit. Meat is cooked ‘low and slow’ over oak and charcoal using unique smoking techniques developed by Neil, and there’s a bustling atmosphere; with music, smoke and the live theatre of the open kitchen. Dishes on the eclectic menu include mutton rolls and laksa lamb belly stovies; curries such as lamb scotch bonnet vindaloo; dry goat; meatball marrow masala; and dashi chip shop chicken (a chicken stock-based thick curry with dashi and spices, poured over temper smoked chicken).
30 Throgmorton Street, 2 Angel Court, Moorgate, EC2R 7HJ