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Hardeep Singh Kohli's top 10 UK Indian restaurants

vdeep hardeep
Paul Johnston

Comedian, broadcaster and chef Hardeep Singh Kohli is well known as a champion of Indian cuisine - he cares deeply about the humble curry's place in British culture, as evidenced in his latest radio documentary 'Crisis in the Curry Kitchen', which examines the declining number of Indian chefs on Britain's high street (on a lighter note, he's also launched his own chilli-eating competition). You can listen to the radio show right now over on BBC iPlayer; of course, you can also do your bit for curry culture by getting out there and eating loads of it. Here's Hardeep's recommendations for ten of the finest Indian restaurants in the UK - including a familiar spot in Leith...


1. Obviously my place, VDeep in Leith, is going to get a mention! I'm clearly biased but craft beer, banging tunes and wholesome food is what we aim to offer...

2. But in terms of the Scottish Indian restaurant revolution there's one man that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Monir Mohammed is the man behind Mother India, the only place I'll eat Indian food outside my mum's house. The branch on Infirmary Street is the place to eat in Scotland's capital.


3. Monir's newest venture in Glasgow, Dining In, is set alongside the Argyle Street branch of Mother India Cafe. Dining In is Monir's pet project offering more finessed food. He's got Scotland covered.


4. Lahore Kebab House is the beating heart of Pakistani Punjabi food in LDN. This place is functional because the food is the star. Tandoori lamb chops, the daily specials and the Shahi Mattar Paneer.

5. The Cinnamon Club is one of those places where memories are made. There are few dining rooms as august, as majestic, as breathtaking as this former library. Vivek Singh and his dedicated team make magic in the kitchen. A special place.

6. It's difficult to compile any list of great UK restaurants without mentioning Gymkhana. This Mayfair newcomer had taken the LDN good scene by storm. It feels like it's been around forever. Great cocktails, great service and food that has the critics chirping.


7. This and That in the Northern Quarter is over of those places you would never, ever stop and eat in unless you were told to do exactly that. Frill-free, this glorified cafe reminds me off Punjabi truck stops. The food is homely, delicious and cheap. And you'll have change left over for the tram home... 


8. Leeds is do lucky to have Bundobust. So lucky. And I'm so lucky that my pal Scott took me there. (Always brave to take an Indian chef/food writer for a curry). This unremarkable looking place serves remarkable craft beer and even better gujerati vegetarian food. It's a game changer. Everything it does, it does right.


9. Birmingham has Lasan. Lasan epitomises modern British Indian food. Stylish surroundings, exceptionally knowledgeable staff and perfectly executed food. I've always been a big fan of England's second city mostly because it has the chutzpah to create and deliver. Chef Akhtar Islam was born to cook. Luckily, I was born to eat.


10. Ganesha is by far and away the most highly regarded Indian restaurant in Bristol. Simple food, affordable prices, freshly cooked, it's no wonder it commands the fierce loyalty that it does.

Check out more Indian restaurants on Time Out Edinburgh.