Brick Lane is considered the home of London’s best curry. This part of London city experienced an influx of migrant workers in the 1970s, and by the end of that decade, many Indian restaurants opened in the area. The introduction of Indian food in London started at a cafe called Coffee House in the Haymarket area of London in 1773. Currently, there are around twelve thousand Indian restaurants in the UK offering regional styles and specialties from Punjabi grills to Bombay chaat, from the seafood of Goa to the street food of Delhi, from the unique tastes of Calcutta to the spice-packed dishes of Kerala. The capital is replete with Michelin star fine dining restaurants to eateries offering street food. Here are some of the best Indian restaurants in London (in no particular order) that might pique your interest.
10 Best Indian Restaurants in London
Benares, a chic and elegant dining option, is located in the bustling area of Berkeley Square. This Michelin-starred restaurant is within a short distance of the city’s top attractions. You can see the master chefs prepare your meal through the glass-walled kitchen area. Try the soft shell crab with corn spring roll, peanut and apple salad, tandoor roast scallop with cauliflower, or a lamb with pickled artichoke and spinach. The tandoori chicken and lobster biryani here are exceptional. Desserts are elaborate, and the best wine is available to enhance the dining experience.
Tamarind was the first Indian restaurant to win a Michelin star in 2001. At Tamarind, the chef prepares dishes by combining the regional methods of cooking in a tandoor with a modern twist of flavors and textures. The star items to look out for on the menu are Succulent Awadhi kebabs, Tandoori prawn Bachao, Seafood salad, Hyderabadi goat chop curry, Methi paneer, Pudina chops, Aloo saag, Dal makhani, and Kashmiri rogan josh. The desserts to try are orange and chocolate tart, kulfi, and panna cotta. Private dining options are available in the restaurant, with a special menu for up to 12 guests.
Dishoom is a budget-friendly restaurant having three locations across London, including Shoreditch, Carnaby, and King’s Cross. The restaurant features a modern interior with vintage accents. The bright furnishings and charming decor make this place very cozy. It has an impressive array of dishes for every meal, ranging from traditional curries to mouthwatering grills. Their brunch, in particular, is a hit among the locals. Dishoom provides its guests with a fine dining experience with sumptuous meals served tastefully in a luxurious setting.
GymkhanaImage Credit: https://www.anothermag.com/
Gymkhana restaurant, located in the heart of Mayfair, is inspired by Colonial Indian gymkhana clubs. Chef Karam Sethi creates dishes that deliver classic and contemporary Michelin-starred Indian cuisine. The signature dishes to try are wild muntjac biryani with a mint and pomegranate raita, lamb shank korma, and kalonji scallops served with a crisp onion pakoda. You can opt to try the 7-course tasting menu at an expense that you surely will not regret, with dishes like Kasundi kachumber, Kasoori Chicken tikka, Sabudana, and Lentil papad, Shrimp and Mango chutney, and Saffron Pistachio kulfi falooda.
Trishna is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Marylebone village. The decor of this restaurant is light, with white brick walls adorned with film posters from India and pastel China tableware. The doors open onto sidewalk tables for al fresco eating. Trishna restaurant specializes in coastal Indian cuisine. You can choose from a la carte, a five and seven-course koliwada menu, and six-course seafood. The kinds of seafood to try are Nandu varuval (soft shell crab) and prawn toast quail egg with banana ketchup. Do try the kulfi in almond, rose, and plum flavors, for desserts.
London’s Darbaar restaurant serves Indian cuisine by a celebrity head chef who has cooked for the Royal Family and the Prime Minister. The chefs cook using traditional clay ovens and a charcoal robata grill. The famous dishes in Darbaar are Butter Chicken and Kashmiri lamb rogan josh. The chef’s specialties include the Royal Bengal-style wild Madagascar prawns and the Mewari over-baked leg of rabbit served with chili and corn sauce. You can relish the grill set menu, including Macchli bream in banana leaf and a slow-roasted leg of lamb. Do visit the restaurant’s Lotus bar, which whips up classic cocktails with an Indian twist. The favorites include the Lotus Collins with a dash of chili and an appealing turmeric margarita tart.
Kricket restaurant operates in three permanent locations in London. One in Soho, Brixton, and White City. The focus is on delicately spiced dishes inspired by Indian cooking using British ingredients. The lively atmosphere and the menu that comprises a selection of small plates perfect for sharing make it an ideal place to go in groups. A glance at the menu, and you will know what Kricket is all about: combining regional Indian flavors with British ingredients. The standout examples are Samphire pakoras, goose vindaloo, chai Brulee, butternut squash in makhani sauce, Kerala-style fried chicken, skate wing in brown butter, and Bengali trout with Kashmiri chili.
The Bombay Bustle restaurant in Maddox Street, London, is inspired by the tiffin carriers or dabbawallas of the bustling city of Mumbai. The menus are recreations of the city’s most loved dishes, alongside family recipes with seasonal delights. The idea of having small plates on the menu is great, as diners get to sample everything they like. The must-try dishes in Bombay Bustle are Bambaiya ragda pattice, lamb chop, prawn tawa pulao, Duck Chettinad dosa, Rechaedo Goan fish, Adipoli prawns, Kerala home-style vegetable stew with appam, jalebi cheesecake, and Bombay cutting chai.
Located close to Marble Arch and Bond Street, Chourangi restaurant brings an elevated level of flavors and ingredients through authentic Bengali cuisine, beautiful ambiance, and excellent service. Chourangi’s mission is to bring the flavors of Calcutta to London. The dishes on the menu have flavors influenced by the Moghul, European, and Chinese settlers. Visit the restaurant to try the Kamal kakdi chaat, Laal murgi kebab, Chingri cutlet, Tangra chili paneer. For the main course, try their Tiger prawn malai curry served in a baked coconut shell, Kosha mangsho, aam kasundi begun (aubergine wedges cooked in mango and mustard), along with kalonji naan. For the desserts, try the Sondesh puff and Mango bhapa doi.
Gunpowder is a casual dining Indian restaurant in London having three locations. One in Soho, the second in Tower Bridge, and the third in Spitalfields. At Gunpowder, you will find dishes inspired by traditional Bengali recipes with a modern twist. This eatery serves specialties, such as the vermicelli donut (a spiky, crusty, and pastry husk); rasam ke bomb (potato-filled crispy sphere perched on a shot glass of tamarind and mustard sauce); soft shell crab; and languid (chocolate cake served with masala chai custard). Cocktails include a margarita with tamarind spiced water, a puchka spiced rim, and a Cuba Libre with masala coke.
Since Indian food uses various spices and herbs to create incredible flavors and is famous for its rich aroma led to its popularity in Britain. A few popular Indian dishes in London are Chicken tikka masala, Butter chicken, Rogan Josh, Fish curry, Chaat, and Palak paneer. So if you are craving Indian food in a foreign land, then worry not! London has many Indian restaurants suiting all budgets. Get your UK visa or UK visit visa and indulge in the gastronomic delight this vibrant city has to offer.