Sizzling grills, fragrant curries and contemporary cuisine: London does Indian food better than any other western city. Picking the top 5 out of so many spectacular establishments is a hard task, but here goes
Benares serves modern Indian cuisine with a British twist, and is situated in the heart of Mayfair. Run by Atul Kochhar – a twice Michelin starred chef – he has cleverly incorporated his Indian heritage with his love of British ingredients to create an innovative and unique menu. Try the Goan-style seared mackerel fillet which is a popular dish in the indian restaurants.
It’s not hard to see why Veeraswamy is the oldest surviving Indian restaurant. It opened its doors in 1926 and is still as glamorous today as it was back then. Its Bollywood-Mayfair vibe with honest Asian cuisine makes it the ideal option for a special occasion. Excellent service and views of bustling Regent Street make for a truly scrumptious dining experience. Try the lamb cutlets, coconut cream scallops and the Raj Lachor – puffed puri with vegetables, yoghurt and sweet chutney. Veeraswamy has become an institution in its own right, and deservedly so.
3. Cinnamon Club
The converted library’s high ceilings give Cinnamon Club a very grand feel to it, with its wood panelled dining room and book-lined gallery adding to the ambience. It has established a following in the 12 years since it opened among London diners who enjoy a fine-dining menu with regal pan-Indian dishes. Their menus are constantly evolving using seasonal ingredients, and they have a carefully matched wine list to boot. Known for their exceptional seafood dishes, try the whiting fillet infused with ginger and turmeric.
4. Bombay Brasserie
Located in the heart of Kensington, Bombay Brasserie has been popular amongst locals and visitors alike since it opened in 1982. The menu here reflects the cultural diversity of Bombay (now Mumbai) and has influences from Portugal, Goa and Bengal. Completely refurbished in 2009, the restaurant’s interior can be described as comfortable yet opulent, with its stunning chandeliers. Their ‘weekend brunch’ has become very popular, with the stunning buffet displayed in the light conservatory. A fantastic selection of desserts are on offer here, too.
Amaya, near the fashionable shopping district of Knightsbridge, was created by the owners of the world famous Veeraswamy and Chutney Mary and was recently voted ‘Best Indian Restaurant in London’ by Time Out. Specialising in Indian grilling and kebabs, its food comes in tasting portions designed to be shared; 6-8 of their plates is the equivalent to a two-course meal, and watch it being made in their fabulous open-style kitchen; the chefs here deliver hot drama in a culinary theatre. Easy to see, (or should we say taste?) why Amaya rose to Michelin-stardom within a year of opening. Try their signature dish: Jumbo Madagascan which is a popular dish in the indian restaurants.