There’s another Guglee in Swiss Cottage, but this West Hampstead branch is the one that people rave about. A gaudy looking Indian restaurant on West End Lane, it’s small, with interiors that are basic (think wipe down white pleather seats), but in quite a cosy, unthreatening way. Serious Indian fans go here regularly, often alone. On my Tuesday night visit it was heaving.
Mango lassi was a real highlight: creamy with a lovely tart twang. Unfortunately, the rest was a massive disappointment. A platter of five starters arrived late and almost cold, with a mushy masala dosa and a dry onion bhaji. The lamb rogan josh was completely forgettable. It was surprising because the takeaway vegetable biryani I’ve previously had from here was a soft, intensely buttery pile of rice spliced with green beans, herbs and crisped-up little onions. Another good takeaway dish was the ‘Veggie Veggie 5’: hunks of smoky cauliflower and tiny peas coated in sharp, red juice. It can’t be just the fact that it was a takeaway: it must be the luck of the draw.
The kind of devotion its fans show must be founded in something. Try Guglee, then cross your fingers.