Imli Street

Restaurants, Indian Soho
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
6 Love It
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Imli Street
Lia Vittone

A much-needed makeover has enlivened this affordable offshoot of upmarket Indian restaurant Tamarind. The bland decor has been replaced with exposed brickwork, school-style tables and trendy hanging lights, giving the place a cool industrial vibe. A new menu features small plates of South Asian regional favourites.

We liked the naan pie – an Anglo-Indian interpretation of shepherd’s pie made with tender chunks of garlicky lamb, buttery mash and a surprise topping of crisp-baked naan. Plump southern prawns, stir-fried with caramelised onion paste, spiked with chilli and ginger and finished with bites of green peppercorns, was another star dish. Even the weighty Punjabi samosa, filled with cumin-spiced potatoes, was pimped up with creamy yoghurt streaked with fresh mint chutney and sweet tamarind sauce.

Sadly, the Indo-Chinese marrow dumplings didn’t hit the spot – although simmered in a tangy toasted garlic and chilli sauce, they were let down by a raw cornflour aftertaste. But slow-cooked railway lamb curry, with its tender braised meat and pungent fried onion masala, was enjoyable.

Soho’s media set seem to approve of the new incarnation, but staff need to get to grips with the menu.



Venue name: Imli Street
Address: 167-169 Wardour St
Opening hours: Meals served 8am-11pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11pm Sat; 9am-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus/Tottenham Court Rd
Price: Tapas £2.95-£9.95.
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
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Samantha H

In a busy area full of packed restaurants Imli Street sits just above average, mainly helped by the fact you can book a table. As a group of 5 on Friday evening, we left it to the last minute to book (after a few glasses of wine) and this was the closest spot with availability.  When we arrived we were told that by booking online we actually just added ourselves to the wait list which was a bit annoying (definitely not what I thought I was doing when I booked!).  However, they seated us relatively quickly after a bit of a fuss. The food was reasonable, nothing amazing.  The portion sizes vary wildly from dish to dish which makes some good value and others definitely not.  It wasn't even down to what was in the we were comparing chicken with chicken.  Service was attentive and the place had a nice busy vibe.  I wouldnt recommend trekking to go to Imli Street but if I was stuck in the area on another date with no where to go I wouldnt be against trying it again.

Justine A.

If you're near Oxford Street and want a tasty meal without putting your name on a two hour wait list, and your craving the next best thing to Dishoom - Imli is a good steer. I've been here several times and it's great for cocktails around the bar, naan how it should be, and according to a friend who has spent time in Bangladesh it has the most authentically delicious chaat in London. The Papdi Chaat (the stripey green dish in the photo) is the reason I keep coming back! That and the minimal wait time for a table in Soho on a Friday night. I say try it!

My rating would be more of a 3.5 if there was such a thing. 

Maggie W
Staff WriterStaff Comp

I enjoyed eating here - good food (some of the best naan I've ever had!) and good service. It's also reasonably priced. We especially enjoyed the chickpea starter and lamb roganjosh.


Unfortunately, Imli st is a hectic, careless place with pseudo-Indian food that is peppery but devoid of taste. Customer beware. When I ordered lamb curry, I got precisely two small morcels of lamb in a large sauce.


It was okay. Preferred the previous incarnation. I loved the thyme lemonade which is absent from the new menu but the passionfruit and lime iced tea was almost as good. Halfway through ordering the waiter informed us there would be complimentary plain rice and lentils. This could have been mentioned beforehand as some people had already ordered rice. Food arrived quite quickly. They didn't have the potato curry for some unknown reason.


Very disappointing brunch at Imli. Coffee was terrible. I ordered a flat white and received what looked and tasted like instant coffee made with hot water and a layer of foam on the top. Was suggest the barrister attend a course to learn how to make coffee. I ordered Poached eggs with hollandaise and spinach. I asked for spinach instead of bacon, which was on the menu. The waiter's response was odd when i requested this, stating 'he would see what he could do'. I fail to see how it is difficult to replace bacon with spinach. The food was poor. I small piece of bread with spinach, a single poached egg, and a dribble of hollandaise. The egg was hard, so I sent it back. If a chef can not make a poached egg, they shouldn't be doing breakfast. Over all: terrible coffee, small portions, poor food, mediocre service. I will not return.


Having spent most of my life in India and originating from foody-mumbai, I was really disappointed with Imli. We were out as a corporate team of over 15 members for an early Christmas dinner and were directed to their Christmas set menu. the set menu had 2 options, Set Menu A £23.95 and Set Menu B £28.95. The Set menu B was simply Set Menu A plus a couple of added main course dishes. After waiting for half-an-hour, when we checked on the food, we were told that we were yet to decide the Set Menu we would like to go ahead with. 1. If the restaurant had gone ahead with the starters, it would have saved time as both set menus had the same starters. But, they decided to wait and wait and not approach us until we questioned the food order. 2. The dishes on the Set menu sounded authentic but were not the ones we ordered. The chef really needs to re-train himself on the dishes. a. Chicken hariyali was a dish on the menu....i.e. hariyali signifies greenery...also the green base for the curry made from corriander, chillies, etc...but the dish was yellow...based on turmeric and fresh cream ....the dish didn't taste great either b. Goan fish curry...- I know this better, as I originate from Goa......It's supposed to be a coconut base curry..thick curry..made with typical Indian fish types e.g. pomfret, rawas, surmai, halwa.....but this dish was a sweet tomato curry paste... and had tilapia pieces...absolutely ridiculous... 3. The pudding/sweet dish on the menu was 'White chocolate and chilli Panna Cotta with chocolate brownie and raspberry coulis' - How indian is that??? there are amazing Indian sweets that people would love to taste..!!! 4. To make matters worse, they offered 'orange sorbets' to the vegetarian folk in our team, and when questioned why didn't they offer the vegetarian folk with the same dessert as us, they replied that 'pork gelatin' was used to prepare the earlier dessert. One of our team members a 'muslim' was offended as he wasn't told that it had 'pork' extracts....another gaffer..!!! Would I visit the place again or recommend, you probably know the answer already.. A big NO!!!

R Sood

We chanced upon Imli via theatre and meal deal on 15 Feb 2012. It was nice ambience, good service and very enjoyable experience on the whole... Starters choice of alu tikki and papdi chaat was yummy though bhel puri was a let down- so try avoiding that. Mains were just right portions and though hubby found lamb mince hot, kids' enjoyed chicken tikka thoroughly. I preferred their mixed veg free dish more than my matar paneer :) They gave a scoop of ice cream too... Would recommend a visit for certain...


A thoroughly enjoyable meal and one of the best indian meals I've had out ever. Good value for money and excellent service