Indian Restaurants in London
1. Cinnamon Kitchen Indian restaurant in City 9 Devonshire Sq - EC2
“Bright, interesting flavours” from an evolved menu that’s “delicately prepared” win a thumbs up for Vivek Singh’s “well-appointed” duo of modern Indians. The original, inside a large atrium within a City development, benefits from a big ‘outside’ terrace; its year-old sibling occupies a railway arch within the new Battersea Power Station development.
2. The Cinnamon Club Indian restaurant in Westminster Old Westminster Library, Great Smith St - SW1
“Still a classic” – this “elegant” destination in “Westminster’s lovely former library” has long been one of London’s most pre-eminent posh Indians; and its “interesting and idiosyncratic” cuisine has made it “something of an institution” (including amongst the politico classes – “being within division bell distance of Parliament, there’s a fair chance of spotting a well-known face or two”). Its enjoyment was “tempered by episodes of wobbly service over the last year”, however, and those who found the staff “over-stretched” were more likely to judge it “too expensive”.
3. Salloos Pakistani restaurant in Knightsbridge 62-64 Kinnerton St - SW1
Posh Pakistani, hidden away in a Belgravia mews townhouse for more than 40 years: some may find it “stuffy”, while others praise the “great ambience”. It’s certainly “not the cheapest”, but it’s survived on its “stalwart, authentic, fantastic food” (particularly lamb chops).
4. Benares Indian restaurant in Mayfair 12a Berkeley Square House, - W1
Mixed reports this year on this swish first-floor Indian, in the heart of Mayfair, which severed ties in August 2018 with its original founder. Fans say it’s “still excellent, despite Atul Kochhar’s departure”, serving “very nicely balanced, spiced and well-prepared” Indian cuisine that offers “a real twist compared to what’s usually found in the UK”. Its ratings have waned, though, with gripes re-emerging about its “windowless”, slightly “dull” interior, but more concerningly about cooking that “may not justify the price tag”: “just go to Dishoom, get better food, have more fun and save your cash!”
5. Babur Indian restaurant in Forest Hill 119 Brockley Rise - SE23
“In Forest Hill… who knew?”; this “off-the-beaten-track” culinary mecca has, in fact, been “brilliant for years” (it opened in 1985) and “these guys just keep on delivering the goods”. It’s not just the “magnificent cooking”, often featuring game, or “seriously divine cocktails” (some of them “super spicy”) – the ambience too “is strikingly elegant given the mundane locale” of the distant south London ’burbs. Top Tip – “best experienced when they do their special seasonal menus and events”.
6. Gymkhana Indian restaurant in Mayfair 42 Albemarle St - W1
“Still at the top of its game” – the Sethi’s “posh Indian” in Mayfair is “worth the hype” and remains the most-mentioned Indian in the survey on account of “memorable and beautifully flavourful” cuisine delivered by “warm and friendly staff” in an enveloping, old-colonial-style setting: “get a booth on the ground floor and prepare to be transported!” Top Menu Tip – “How I love the tandoori lamb chops. After a marinade in spices, these thick pieces of meat become so succulent, tender and taste-laden, are magnificently presented and really delicious on the eager palate!”. NB: Just as the survey closed, in June 2019, a fire gutted the restaurant and according to its website it remains “closed until further notice”.
7. Paradise Hampstead Indian restaurant in Hampstead 49 South End Rd - NW3
“Lovely neighbourhood Indian” near Hampstead Heath that’s deservedly popular for its “tasty food from an interesting menu” and “reasonable prices”. Now run by the second generation of the founder’s family, who provide “exceptionally friendly service”, its only drawback is that it “can be difficult to get a table”.
8. Brigadiers Indian restaurant in City Bloomberg Arcade, Queen Victoria Street - EC2R
“Mindblowing!” – this “colonially-themed” yearling in the City’s Bloomberg Arcade is “another smash hit from JKS” and “probably the best place to eat in the Square Mile” right now. Occupying a “comfortable (slightly macho) sequence of little rooms”, staff are notably “patient and helpful”, while foodwise “the focus is on Indian sharing plates” with “insanely good” grilled meats (lamb chops in particular), plus “all your local curry favourites, dressed up with wonderful, perfumed aromatics and dazzling dips”. “They don’t pull any punches when it comes to heat in dishes either”, and “there’s a strong drinks menu too” – you can see “thought has gone into the beer selection”. With numerous TV screens, “it’s a great place to watch sports” (“they even have a pool table!”)
9. Kutir Indian restaurant in Chelsea 10 Lincoln Street - SW3
Rohit Ghai has done it again at his late-2018 newcomer: the latest occupant of the “cosy” and “romantic” (if “on-the-quiet-side”) Chelsea townhouse, which for many years was another premier Indian (Rasoi Vineet Bhatia, RIP). Practically all reports are a hymn of praise to his “faultless cooking”, which has immediately propelled it into London’s very top tier for nouvelle Indian cuisine.
10. Bombay Palace Indian restaurant in Bayswater 50 Connaught St - W2
“A wonderful taste of India!” – the cooking at this plush venue tucked away behind Marble Arch has returned to the heights following an extended period of closure after a fire a few years ago. “The makeover looks great” and “the food is still consistent and authentic”, according to relieved regulars.
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