Picking Indian Restaurants

October 12, 2006


cadcy9xf.jpgJen may be a die hard Indian takeaway fan, but she’s not afraid to experiment. So when I receive her request for some “real” Indian restaurants, I get ready to push the boat out.

Most Indian restaurants in the UK are run by cooks from the Sylhet province in Bangladesh. Taffy explains it beautifully, so I won’t bother. Basically, the food is delicious but not Indian. It was created especially for the British beer and curry palate and is dished out by Bangladeshis.

You can spot a true Indian restaurant instantly by looking for the following:

  • A menu bereft of any balti, madras and phal. Chicken tikka masala has infiltrated some authentic restaurant menus however
  • Saree clad aunties and elderly uncles eating. Older Indians never eat anything they can cook better themselves at home



12 Responses to “Picking Indian Restaurants”

  1. curry lover Says:

    June 10th, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Lahori Karahi on london hounslow. best. fact

  2. Food blog Says:

    April 19th, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I’d love to see some guest posts fom you for http://www.mypiggywiggy.con please contact me.

  3. Deetta Marcantel Says:

    March 14th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    This is the initial time I have commented listed here and I need to say you give genuine, and quality facts for bloggers! Great position.

  4. pam anne tener Says:

    October 8th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    i was given a free gift when i ordered online of a u cook cuury pack from indian food spices and was wondering if any one else has tried it, i found it easy to use and very authentic

  5. Tavia Says:

    August 7th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Ragam, on Cleveland Street it Fitzrovia (nearest tube probably Goodge St) is outstanding. The best Indian I’ve ever been too. It’s South Indian food, so lots of Dohsas and fish curries. It looks like your average, englishified curry house on the outside, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of those places that’s so good you almost don’t want to tell everyone because then they’ll all start going there and then you might never get a table again.

    Ganapati, on Holly Grove in Peckham is also really stellar. I know, something has to be pretty good to get you to come to Peckham (unless you’ve actually been there before and you know that parts of Peckham are really lovely, and rather posh) but this place, also South Indian food, is really, really lovely. Just come back from there tonight actually, feeling rather full and fat.

  6. jayne nulty Says:

    January 18th, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Dear Mallika

    I found your website when I was looking through some of the restaurants for research purposes and found that you have missed Cafe Spice Namaste near the Tower of London.

    Most innovative, fresh varied food and try and meet Cyrus & Pervin the husband and wife team who make the experience a treat.
    I cannot eat Indian food at any other restaurant now and do not forget to try their pickles.

  7. bigkhany Says:

    July 15th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    im sorry to say ive been all over uk to tryed so called indian cusine in chip shops,fast food outlets.
    south ( tasteless )
    west ( uncooked )
    east ( confused )
    north we have changed english,italian,french,turkish and so on to asian style and our deli’s

  8. aMIT Says:

    June 27th, 2007 at 8:19 am

    What about America? Is is true too that Vikas Khanna is the most famous Indian Chef in the World? I like your choice, many are mine fav too….

  9. Ananiya Says:

    May 29th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    vama rocks as you recommended

  10. Jen Says:

    November 24th, 2006 at 5:46 am

    Thanks for the suggestions Mallika – just read your reply. I tried Gaylord a couple of years ago on your recommendation – it was very different food to your usual English curry house but the food was fantastic.

    As for my favourite curry house, I’m looking for a new one as my old faithful (Shamrat of India in Crouch End) closed down over a year ago and despite trying out loads of other restuarants since, I’m still to find another one in North London that hits the spot.

  11. Mallika Says:

    October 17th, 2006 at 6:00 am

    Sh*t. Now I’m going to have to rob a bank and try all of the above.

  12. Aidan Brooks Says:

    October 16th, 2006 at 11:50 am

    It’s hard to rank a top 5 because there are such different classes. At the cheaper end, many of the Brick Lane restaurants are still great value for money, but perhaps not such great value as they used to be. My local restaurant in Hackney’s Broadway market, Joy, is excellent value for money. I would say that, of course, I spent some time training there!

    I’m told that a brilliant restaurant is New Tayyab in Whitechapel. My friend who owns Joy and my mother both rate it very highly and want to take me there, but I’ve not been yet. It gets rave reviews.

    Moving up market, Cyrus Todiwala’s Café Spice Namaste in Aldgate nearby is also brilliant. I’ve also had the pleasure of working there. The food is excellent and the attention from Pervin Todiwala front of house makes you feel right at home.

    For a more traditional approach, you can’t avoid the restaurants of the Panjabi sister -, Veeraswami in Regent Street, Amaya in Knightsbridge and Chutney Mary in Chelsea.

    At the top end, I visited Tamarind in Mayfair for lunch the other week. The food was brilliant and the service probably the best I have ever experienced in my life. The other Michelin-starred Indian restaurant always getting mentioned is Rasoi Vineet Bhatia, but I’ve not tried it yet and I know it has received some mixed reviews.

Leave a Reply

Join Mallika Basu's Mailing List