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London's best Indian restaurants

Find more than just a slap-dash curry at this list of Indian restaurants in London – from restaurants serving classic Moghul food to modern interpretations of pan-Indian cuisine

Indian restaurants in London offer a Bollywood symphony of flavours and cooking styles. If you're looking for something beyond your bog standard Brick Lane curry, the list below should fire you up. From homely dhal dishes to Punjabi-grilled meats worth queuing for, discover the best Indian restaurants in London.

The best Indian restaurants in London

Amaya

Specialising in stylish pan-Indian tapas, Amaya is favoured by a clientele of well-heeled professionals blessed with good taste and deep pockets. Ask for a table by the open kitchen for a view of chefs working the clay tandoor, charcoal grill and griddle. Recent menu additions include fragrant and tender chicken thighs steeped in fresh turmeric with lime juice then seared in the tandoor. Amaya’s own-made paneer is outstanding and beef makes a surprise appearance with a splendid sirloin boti.

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Belgravia

Apollo Banana Leaf

Apollo Banana Leaf is an authentic rendering of South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine – and for great value. Though prices have increased, they remain fantastically keen: especially when you factor in the BYO policy. Spices are at authentic Jaffna (north Sri Lankan) levels: a single chilli icon on the menu is to be taken seriously, two plus is for the brave. ‘Short eats’ (street-food snacks) join the likes of a rich, warmly spiced crab masala – claws and all.

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Tooting

Brilliant

The glitzy interior doesn’t hint at Brilliant’s longevity, but this Southall landmark has been trading for nigh-on 40 years. The owners, the Anand family, hail from Kenya, and the menu reflects this in starters of tandoori tilapia fish and mogo (cassava-root chips). Nevertheless, it’s for exemplary versions of straightforward Punjabi cooking that the restaurant has gained acclaim. Fish pakora followed by methi chicken karahi remain sublime options.

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Southall

Chai Ki

In a city where many of us still think of Indian food as an either/or situation (hottest thing on the menu lads/chicken korma wimps) it's a pleasure to eat in a restaurant where the special spice blends are really allowed to sing. It's frankly a surprise to find it in Canary Wharf, but once you're in you can choose between eating Indian tapas in the Toddy Shop – the slightly less formal front section of the restaurant – and the more traditional dining area at the back, where you can order three courses.

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Canary Wharf

Cinnamon Club

There’s a gentleman’s club feel to this grand, Grade II-listed Victorian building. It’s an established haunt with a fine-dining menu of updated rustic and regal pan-Indian dishes. Cumbrian farmers have chef Vivek Singh to thank for his signature Herdwick lamb curry, the browned onion paste fried to a russet-brown and spiced with ginger, cardamom and fiery chillies. The kitchen also excels in seafood. Prices are pegged at the sharp end, although the set menus are affordable.

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Westminster

Cinnamon Kitchen

There’s something almost karmic about the location of this sibling to the Cinnamon Club, occupying as it does a former warehouse of the East India Company. And it occupies it stylishly, with walls in soft pewter hues inset with lustrous mother-of-pearl patterns. Most dishes emerging from the conventional kitchen are clever, not contrived. The menu might be fairly short, but the queue lining up for a taste of it is decidedly long.

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Aldgate

Dishoom

A swish Bombay brasserie in the style of the old post-colonial 'Irani cafés' of Bombay. The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on Irani café food with birianis, bhel (crunchy puffed rice with tangy tamarind chutney) and even pau bhaji (toasted white bread rolls with a spicy vegetable stew as a filling). The black dal and bacon naan are practically household names, causing queues for a table. This Covent Garden branch began the Dishoom story, but all other branches – Shoreditch, King's Cross and Carnaby Street – get a holi high five from us.

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Covent Garden

Dosa n Chutny

Rarely have we seen such a perfect dosa: crisp on the outside, moist and rice-fragrant on the inside, a perfect oval bent over in the shape of a curling leaf. The accompanying sambar (spicy lentil dip) is rich and sweet, in the Chennai style, the coconut chutneys fresh. Most of these meals cost under £3. It’s true that this South Indian and Sri Lankan café might not have the most alluring of interiors – it is lit like a Tamil truck-stop – but at least you get to see movies on the flatscreen TV by way of diversion.

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Tooting

Gymkhana

Patron-chef Karam Sethi's (of Trishna and Hoppers also – find both below) Gymkhana has the look and feel of an Indian colonial club with its retro ceiling fans, marble table-tops, and yesteryear photos. Bar staff theatrically deliver Indian punches in sealed medicine bottles, accompanied by silvery goblets. Sethi lays on a splendid spread of modern Indian dishes based on regional masalas and marinades. Find fried South Indian chicken wings, Goan pork vindaloo and game on a separate menu – don't miss the muntjac biriani.

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Mayfair

Hoppers

The Sethis strike again with this Sri Lankan restaurant, specialising in…well, you know. As you might expect from a no-bookings joint in Soho, it’s small but stylish. The menu is also stylish, taking on Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Slender breaded and deep-fried mutton rolls, roast bone marrow with a fiery ‘dry’ sauce and buttery roti, an unapologetically spiced guinea fowl curry and hoppers every which way. String hoppers (steamed rice noodle ‘pancakes’) come with not just a classic mild coconut pouring curry but with a terrific fresh coconut sambol.

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Soho
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Find more Indian restaurants in London

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By: Time Out London Food & Drink

Comments

23 comments
Roger
Roger

I am surprised that Monsoon Indian Cuisine is not on the list! They provide quality food service to the customer..

David B
David B

Last time I had a chance to have a meal in Bengal Village which is situated in 75 Brick Ln London E1 6QL. The food was delicious. It has various offers to provide for the customers.

Bilal A
Bilal A

Shahana Restaurant and buffet, 200 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW. The best buffet at only £9.99 per head is amazing. 26 dishes in the buffet and dishes change daily. 6 starters, 16 main course, 4 desserts. Also includes Naan and roti. A must try

Dan W
Dan W

Cafe Spice Namaste rocks in the East and Benares rocks in the West but  the list is pretty much bang on as Lahore,Amaya and Tayabbs are very good restaurants.

I went to Dishoom Shoreditchlast week and was dead impressed.


Angela S
Angela S

Roti Chai in the West End serves Indian street food and curry dishes with a twist. Check it out!

Raj M
Raj M

I have visited most of the above restaurants and they are ok but I much prefer Chak89 in South London. I think the above have been picked because of their location rather then the quality. I think a Indian restaurant should be judged on the food, service and decor and not the location. 

SGK *
SGK *

Everyone seems to have an opinion with Dishoom -- what stands out for me are the excellent cocktails, brilliant table service, consistency of food preparation.  They have forged a simple menu of good quality dishes and built good customer service around it.


Also agree on Diwana Bhel Poori -- great place especially on Sundays.  


I am underwhelmed with everything on Brick (Oil Slick) Lane.

James D
James D

These all look like they would be delicious to eat. I have always wanted to try a meal from a different country and culture. I think that the next thing on my list is India food. I would love to try one of these meals! Which would you recommend that I try? http://www.haveli.us

Aditi S
Aditi S

Cinnamon Kitchen is best among all the Indian Restaurant in London

John James
John James

Neither my many Indian friends or I share your praise for Dishoom - which is mainly style, with uninspiring and slapdash food content. Lahore Kebab food is generally swimming in oil. Brilliant is Kenyan Indian food. Roti Chai inconsistent with a limited menu. For me the Masala Zone restaurants represent a good combination of value, proper Indian food, with good service and interesting interiors in central London. Outside central London, I rate Vijay highly.

Dazza V
Dazza V

Khan's in Baywater is the best Indian cuisine I've ever tasted - clean, rich, balanced flavours and not greasy at all. Also, Ganapati in Peckham do the most amazing flaky, buttery paratha.

DR KAMAL MOHANANI
DR KAMAL MOHANANI

indian cuisines out side india, delicious,testy,-dr kamal mohanani

mary hathway
mary hathway

Recently I visitied sister restaurant of best Indian restaurant the Cinnamon Club in Soho. It is a great value for money and offers a twist to the Indian favourites. My best bet was their award winning ( Time out's favourite too) the balls and Roganjosh pie. Cinnamon soho www.cinnamonsoho.com is a must visit if you are travelling and looking for best and affordable Indian food.

mary hathway
mary hathway

Recently I visitied sister restaurant of best Indian restaurant the Cinnamon Club in Soho. It is a great value for money and offers a twist to the Indian favourites. My best bet was their award winning ( Time out's favourite too) the balls and Roganjosh pie. Cinnamon soho www.cinnamonsoho.com is a must visit if you are travelling and looking for best and affordable Indian food.

Sapu
Sapu

I second Maxine's comment re Babur. Far by the best Indian reestaurnt I've visited in London, or even in the UK! The menu is inventive & the food is mouthwatering. I'd also vote for Diwana Bhel Poori on Drummond St. Amazing selection for their buffet especially the salads.

samuel imeh
samuel imeh

Good makes a good Health.I love Best & sweet meals.

DaveDoesLDN
DaveDoesLDN

I think you need a separate list just for Brick Lane. In particular I would have added Aladin to this list.

shweta
shweta

I visited all of them, and being an Indian, I can vouch that none of them...read...NONE OF THEM..sell real Indian food...all are crap and trying to fool around by just adding cream, yoghurt and some pickle.

David B
David B

Hi Shweta, I've heard comments like this before. however, have you ever been to the Raj in Blackheath? It seems very authentic and tastes great!

Gordon Bayes
Gordon Bayes

I agree with the list, however i have just found a new restaurant on Hammermsith Grove called Mezban. The food is delightful and service was top notch. I even got a chance to speak to the chef who has worked in some of the oldest well known Indian restaurants in London. Allround a beautiful little restaurant with brilliant service and the food to match it.

Tom Hall
Tom Hall

Needoo Grill just around the corner corner from Tayyabs is equally good and cheap but far less busy! The food is almost identical due to the old head chef of Tayyabs moving to Needoo. THE best in London

Sarah Clemence
Sarah Clemence

The best thing about visiting Brick Lane is that you get a variety of choice, there is only about 30 plus Indian restaurants. I usually visit Papadoms a venue that has been used by our company on several occasions.

Debbie
Debbie

Some good indian restaurants in the list but for sheer quality and flavour of foods at reasonable price I would say some Brick Lane restaurants are the best. If you are going for good food and dont mind decorations I would say visit two of my favourites in London Sheba Restaurant in Brick Lane or Bengal Village and try some awesome dishes,