Indian Restaurants in Spitalfields
1. Cinnamon Kitchen Indian restaurant in City 9 Devonshire Sq - EC2
Vivek Singh’s “interesting and innovative” Indian duo still inspire their numerous fans with “delicious” Indian dishes; and the EC2 branch also has the benefit of a “lovely ‘outside’ space” (in fact within a large atrium) that’s “unexpected” given its Square Mile location. Its three-year-old sibling is within the new Battersea Power Station complex. Even some fans, though, have found both locations “less interesting that they were” of late, with incidents of “atrocious” service a particular drag on the general mood. Hopefully, this is a temporary post-pandemic blip – the historic performance here has been consistently good.
2. Gunpowder Indian restaurant in City 11 Whites Row - E1
“Brilliant Indian cuisine with an experimental flare” – “glorious morsels of street-style foods” on “tapas-style” small plates – has earned all-but-universal praise for this popular duo, first in Spitalfields and more recently on the South Bank near Tower Bridge (“handy before or after the Bridge Theatre”). Now their signature “tender lamb cutlets” and Kowari soft-shell crab can be sampled at a high-profile new venue in Soho’s Greek Street, opened in late 2021. “You always over-order because everything sounds so good!”.
3. Tayyabs Pakistani restaurant in Whitechapel 83 Fieldgate St - E1
“An institution and rightly so.” “You don’t come to this 500-seat BYO in the East End for the dining experience: you come for the amazing Punjabi food.” “Still up there with the best” – the lamb chops in particular “are to die for”. “Terrible service but great buzz and great food.” “Such a brilliant place to take out-of-towners. Not fussy: fully authentic.”
4. The Halal Restaurant Indian restaurant in Aldgate 2 St Mark Street - E1
East London’s oldest Indian (established 1939 in Whitechapel) briefly found fame in late August 2020, when it was reviewed by Marina O’Loughlin for The Sunday Times. Run by four generations of the same family – and with somewhat antediluvian decor – it’s not the place to uncover the latest in food fads; or as Marina eloquently put it: “it tastes like the past, deliciously”. Reports please!
5. Dishoom Indian restaurant in Shoreditch 7 Boundary St - E2
“The new Covent Garden branch of Dishoom is spectacular and the food is still ace” – our poll’s most commented-on chain continues to win overwhelmingly rapturous reviews. It helps that the “very different” Indian menu is a winner: “super-tasty” and “excellent value”, with the “out-of-the-box” breakfast options a particular fave rave (“have a bacon naan and a cup of chai, and the world feels a better place”). But, actually, the stand-out feature is the “always buzzing and fun” atmosphere at its individually designed branches; and post-lockdown, WC2 took the wraps off a successful makeover, which mines the heritage of Bombay theatres and early Bollywood talkies. It helps that service is “slick”, from “courteous and attentive staff who never push what they want to sell”. The catch? “painful and lengthy queues” for walk-ins which have, if anything, worsened since they introduced reservations in all locations.
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