Indian Restaurants in London
1. Potli Indian restaurant in Hammersmith 319-321 King St - W6
“Exceptionally flavoured, and unusual, ‘street-food’ dishes” – “the spicing makes them stand out” – have earned consistently high marks for this “inventive” Indian for much of the decade. It compares well with the better-known Indian Zing just a few steps closer to Ravenscourt Park tube station, and is “well worth a try”.
2. 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 two-year-old sibling occupies a railway arch within the new Battersea Power Station development.
3. Bombay Bustle Indian restaurant in Mayfair 29 Maddox Street - W1S
The “fantastic”, “properly spicy and tasty” Indian cooking at this Mayfair three-year-old is “definitely of the quality and invention of Jamavar” – its celebrated stablemate nearby. Taking inspiration from Mumbai street and comfort food invites the comparison to an “upmarket Dishoom”, while the departure of founding chef Rohit Ghai has thus far only had limited impact on the excellent ratings.
4. Pure Indian Cooking Indian restaurant in Fulham 67 Fulham High Street - SW6
This “real local gem” north of Putney Bridge serves “delicious and unusual Indian food” – and is “refreshingly free from the usual clichés”. Owner Shilpa Dandekar is a “great and innovative chef” – she trained at the Taj Group and worked under Raymond Blanc – and her cooking is “beautifully presented”. Only the “rather ordinary room” gets brickbats – “more prestigious surroundings required!”.
5. Cinnamon Bazaar Indian restaurant in 28 Maiden Lane - WC2E
This Covent Garden outpost of a grandee of modern Indian cuisine “means you get the quality of The Cinnamon Club at a more affordable price” – “really interesting food”, “spiced with expertise”. There’s a particularly useful pre-theatre menu.
6. Grand Trunk Road Indian restaurant in South Woodford 219 High Street - E18
“An exceptional local” – this Woodford four-year-old (from the ex-manager and ex-head chef of Mayfair’s Tamarind) delivers “a real treat of modern, well-spiced food”, and draws fans from north London to Essex. On the downside, the “noisy” room “could be more cosy”.
7. 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” in the last survey, however, and those who found the staff “over-stretched” were more likely to judge it “too expensive”.
8. 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).
9. Hankies Marble Arch Indian restaurant in Marble Arch 61 Upper Berkeley Street - W1H
Anirudh Arora’s two-year-old, north Indian, street-food café on the West End’s ever-bustling Shaftesbury Avenue also has a new outpost in a smart hotel dining room, near Marble Arch. The duo’s title refers to classic Roomali Roti: bread, hand spun into thin sheets, cooked and folded into a ‘hankie’, and both branches win praise for “great food at a relatively small price”.
10. Benares Indian restaurant in Mayfair 12a Berkeley Square House, - W1
Mixed reports in the last survey on this swish first-floor Indian, in the heart of Mayfair, which severed ties in August 2018 with its original founder. Fans said it was “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 waned, though, with gripes re-emerging about its slightly “dull” interior, and with concerns about cooking that “may not justify the price tag”.
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