Curry Cravings in London
In my two years in London, there was one trip I religiously made every other weekend. I researched and visited a curry house, Indian restaurant, Pakistani restaurant etc. to find perfect food that tastes like it does in India. Before I continue any further I would like to add a disclaimer of sorts. All opinions in this post are completely my own and the reader is under no obligation to agree with me. Disagreements are agreeable and welcome because debate is a great source of information and research!
I’ve often been asked by friends who love curry but are not south Asian, what I consider to be good and authentic Indian/south Asian food? My answer to all of them has always been, there are so many elements and cuisines of India that are yet to be discovered by the western world. What has gained popularity is the cuisine from the north of the subcontinent and the south of the subcontinent. After careful research and lots of good food with friends, I’ve come up with a short list of curry places in London that are high on my authenticity scale. This list is not exhaustive as I hope to discover many more.
Located near Whitechapel, this restaurant is the best place for Punjabi cuisine (North Indian, Pakistani) in London. If you love kebabs, Indian breads and Gosht this is the place to be. However, beware of the crowds and its popularity. If you think you can walk in without a reservation, you are sadly deluded. Even with a reservation you might have to wait an hour. Tayyabs does not have a bar license but you can take your own beer.Address: 83-89 Fieldgate St, London E1 1JU
2. Raavi Kebab
This is one of the smallest eat in restaurants. They have amazing Pakistani cuisine and I am in love with their Nihari (Nihari (Urdu: نهاری) is an Indian,Pakistani and Bangladeshi dish. It is a stew consisting of slow cooked beef or lamb garnished to taste and served with cooked brains or bone marrow.). If you plan to go there with a group of twenty people you will be better off availing their takeaway services. I think the whole restaurant can accommodate around 20 people at once.Address: 125 Drummond Street, Camden, London, NW1 2HL
Khan’s has been around for 36 years. They promote healthy eating and serve an array of organic fruit cocktails. I hope the healthy words don’t put you off! They serve the most authentic food from the subcontinent and the best Biriyani (a preparation of meat and rice) possible in London. I am yet to find the perfect Biriyani in London! Try their range of fruit cocktails and sherbets. I promise, you won’t miss the lack of alcohol!Address:13-15 Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, London W2 4UA
The credit for discovering Chettinad (South Indian Village Restaurant) goes to some friends of mine, originally from Tamil Nadu. They were ecstatic to find authentic food from their state and happily introduced us to the Chettinad cuisine. Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu, which is famous for its culinary delicacies. People visit this region to eat their spicy and one-of-a-kind style of cooking. What I like best is their Kolli Dosa, a rice and lentil pancake stuffed with Chettinad style chicken curry. Each of the items in their menu has a short history, along with who first created the recipe that they follow. The restaurant has a large and sprawling seating plan and the staff are very knowledgeable.16 Percy St London, Greater London W1T 1DT
Ceiling fans, retro Bollywood posters and Kati rolls. The Kati Roll and Company could have well been a small restaurant on the side street of a city in India but instead, it is in the heart of London, right off Oxford street. This restaurant is the itinerant shoppers salvation. Hot rolls that give you instant energy and you don’t need fancy cutlery.
Reasonably priced, it has vegan, vegetarian and of course non-vegetarian options. All manner of soft drinks and decent chilled beers are also served. The only hot drink served is masala chai and it is really not the best. I would be happier if they served normal tea as well. After all hot & milky masala tea is not the only type of tea drunk in India. However, I am willing to ignore the tea and forgive them because they are the best at making Kati rolls.
Late evenings are the rush hour and you’d be lucky if you get a seat (a corner of a bench or stool)! But they do takeaway and many people prefer that option. It is a nice change from the typical curry houses!Address: 24 Poland Street London W1F 8QL
So, next time you are in London, do visit my favourite restaurants that specialise in cuisines from the Indian subcontinent.Written by Amrita Dasgupta - Visit my blog for more food and travel stories
I love to travel, discover new things, experience new cultures and then I get back home and experiment with the new food and recipes I discovered on my travels. My blog is about all those life experiences. If you’ve enjoyed this post, keep in touch with Drifting Traveller on Twitter and Facebook or by adding my blog to your RSS feed. Follow my blog with Bloglovin or Networked Blogs! If you really like reading the Drifting Traveller why not share it with people you know who'd like to read it too.