Spice Up Your Life: London’s Finest Indian Restaurants
Barbecued classics, street-food bites and secret family recipes: we’ve found the places bringing India’s best dishes to the heart of London
21 October, 2022
London is home to one of the world's most magnificent food scenes, including a next-level Indian offering, whose seasonal menus, design-driven interiors and secret family recipes have left us somewhat spoilt for choice - we're absolutely not complaining. Keen to track down the city's hottest menus, we took to the streets in search of a proper South Asian feast. These nine spots are where to go for traditional fare fused with contemporary flair, from fluffy breads to succulent meats and trays of chaat.
Delicious dining: our favourite Indian menus in the capital
Best for: spectacular sharing plates
From humble beginnings in a 20-seater shipping container at Pop Brixton, Kricket has since opened two bricks-and-mortar outposts, in White City and Soho. Denman Street is where we're heading for our fix (don't be surprised if you spot the entire SUITCASE team feasting here come lunchtime - this is our well-loved local). Upstairs, you'll find an airy space with a marble-topped bar, blush-pink bar stools, brass pendant lights and Aztec-inspired tiled flooring. Downstairs, a low-lit, sultry space is lined by two enormous communal benches beneath exposed pipework ceilings. Portion sizes are generous: we suggest ordering a few plates to share. Our pick? The garlic and coriander kulcha, samphire pakoras and tandoori paneer.
12 Denman St, W1D 7HJ
Best for: barbecue classics
Brigadiers is exactly what you'd imagine a slick restaurant in the City of London to look like, but better. Two dining areas and a handful of private rooms are decorated with rich mahogany, leather banquettes, gold-plated ceilings and a circular-shaped bar that looks better suited to a private members' club than a dinner spot. Cooking up a spicy storm with traditional Indian barbecue methods, dishes are passed through tandoors, charcoal grills, rotisseries, wood ovens and classic Indian smokers before arriving at your table. Make it your choice for a post-work treat, where a feast menu for two includes a selection of skewers, wings, ribs and chutneys, set at £75pp.
1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Tandoor Chop House, Charing Cross
Best for: succulent meat cuts
Tucked down an unassuming street just a short stroll from the Strand, Tandoor Chop House is renowned across the capital for its meat cuts and quality naans - a statement you will find etched in gold lettering across its glass-fronted facade. The concept here is simple: to deliver north Indian-inspired dishes with the best of British ingredients - against a backdrop of stripped-back interiors, wood-panelled walls and exposed concrete ceilings. Crispy lamb chops, peppery chicken tikka and tandoori duck are just a few of the menu standouts. There are plenty of veggie options and fish specials to choose from, too.
8 Adelaide St, WC2N 4HZ
Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
Best for: street-food bites
Embodying the flavours, food and culture of a traditional Indian market, Cinnamon Bazaar brings a slice of South Asia to the heart of Covent Garden. Bursting with colour, the dining room sees sage-green ceilings strung with pink silk awnings and floral hanging baskets. The food? Worth loosening your waistband for. Come for the vibe and stay for the chaat tray (laden with sweet, sour and savoury snacks), where crab cakes, curried popcorn, vegetable samosas and pressed watermelon promise to tickle everyone's taste buds.
28 Maiden Ln, WC2E 7JS
Best for: express lunches
Founded in 2015 by Harneet and Devina Baweja, the demand for a bit of this family-run joint's flavour-filled menu soon led to three outposts across the city. We're pegging their newest opening in Spitalfields, where sweeping views across the capital and a contemporary aesthetic await - think matte-black walls, zinc details and red leather furnishings. Ditch your meal deal and make tracks for their express lunch menu, where a starter, main and dessert weigh in at just £25pp. Okra fries, tandoori paneer and triple chocolate brownie, here we come.
11 White's Row, E1 7NF
Best for: seasonal tasting menus
Set in a grand and glorious townhouse just a samosa's throw from the legendary Kings Road, Kutir is the sort of place where you bring your fanciest friend for dinner - and we mean that in the best way possible. On tracking down the oatmeal-coloured door, ring the bell and you will be quickly ushered into a stylish dining room - all herringbone floors, mirrors, abstract animal prints and pistachio-green walls. Not for nothing did Kutir recently pick up the Restaurant of the Year trophy at the British Restaurant Awards. Come for the seasonal tasting menu, which wows with the likes of prawn masala, mallard duck, pan-seared sea bass and zingy sorbets. There is also a terraced rooftop garden for weather-friendly days.
10 Lincoln St, SW3 2TS
Pahli Hill, Fitzrovia
Best for: art deco interiors
The cool new kid on Fitzrovia's block, Pahli Hill is named after one of Mumbai's oldest neighbourhoods. The restaurant's brushed-concrete exterior is flanked by orange awnings, making for a comfortable streetside set-up. Inside, a playful palette borrows artworks from India, with rattan chairs and colourful printed cushions making wait times appetising. The best bit? A three-course feast will only set you back £29pp. Start by ordering the spinach and potato tamarind chutney, then grab the beetroot chicken curry, before rounding things off with the dark chocolate coconut cake - served with dark rum and whipped cream. The cocktail menu is worth checking out, too: the summer bombay should pass every rum lover's lips.
79-81 Mortimer St, W1W 7SJ
The Tamil Prince, Islington
Best for: a gastropub vibe
The days of boozers being good for nothing other than a pint and a dartboard are well and truly over, thanks to a new generation of pimped-up pubs that are rivalling the most chic restaurants. Step forward, The Tamil Prince. Formerly known as The Cuckoo, this space has retained all its grit while adding a sprinkle of glamour - panelled walls and potted plants complement original wooden floors and bar stools. The menu is split between small and large plates: if the okra fries are on, order at least three.
115 Hemingford Rd, N1 1BZ
Bombay Bustle, Mayfair
Best for: family recipes
Is it an old-school cinema? No, it's Mayfair's hottest Indian restaurant. Bombay Bustle, which, inspired by the free spirit of Mumbai and the city's love of Hollywood, draws on a decadent 30s style. Arrive for your reservation early and snag a seat at the bar, where a selection of exotic cocktails will no doubt transport you straight to the hustle and bustle of India. The incognito has our vote - a blend of dark rum, pineapple juice and ginger beer. Dishes are crafted from the secret family recipes that shaped co-founder Samyukta Nair's childhood. Our top picks? The truffle naan, chilli chicken and fish tikka.
29 Maddox St, W1S 2PA