Eating Indian In London

Apr 17th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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Eating Indian In London

I can get excellent Indian food where I live - big city with lots of Indians here. But I have always heard that Indian food in in London is far better than the North American variety. Is this true? Given that there are so many restaurants and so little time, I'd prefer not to eat something I can get at home just as well.

Cafe Spice Namaste seems to get the most raves. Other possibilities seem to be Zaika and the Cinnamon Club.

Comments?
lmhornet is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I've been to a reallly good Indian restaurant on Queeensway once. It's always crowded and noisy though!

Sadly, the last time I was in London, I tried to go back but I couldn't find it !

Perhaps someone from London knows what I am talking about?

It's on Queensway, really good, really noisy, Indian obviously, and soooo crowded! believe me, Iam not into crowded noisy restaurants at all, but it was very clean, and the food was good. It was a nice, different experience for me actually!
ralf005 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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That sounds like Khan's..possibly.

However, you're quite right in saying that Zaika/Cinnamon Club aren't the norm. Both are excellent, but for ambience and surroundings I'd advise Cinnamon Club which is that much smarter - the food is excellent, and not all that madly expensive either.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:15 AM
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My father has actually been there with fellow businessmen and some really wealthy people to eat there!

I wonder if English people of your status m_kingdom eat there?
ralf005 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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If you are feeling adventurous, head out to Southall's Broadway, you'll find one good Indian restaurant after another. Somes recs here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...047636,00.html
BTilke is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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I second m_kingdom’s recommendation for the Cinnamon Club. I was there last night and was delighted with the food (such subtle spicing and excellent presentation) and the service is and ambiance is superb.

To give you an idea of the menu: I started with Anjou Squab (pigeon) (9 GBP) and had the Smocked Rack of Lamb with Rajastani (?) corn sauce and pilau rice as a main course (22 GBP). Total bill, with two glasses of wine and bottle of water was 53 GBP.

Obviously, this is more expensive than one would normally pay for an Indian meal, but this is a totally different dining experience than an average Indian restaurant. I was so delighted with the food, I bought the recipe book, so my hubby can cook it for me at home .

You can book on-line (as I did), using their website:

http://www.cinnamonclub.com/index1.html

Regards Ger
OReilly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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The Cinnamon Club is not formal is it?
ralf005 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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ralf005:

I did not think the Cinnamon Club that expensive, when compared to an equivalent standard of food, ambience etc. in London.

The FOOD is very reasonably priced but if, as you said, a group of business men were dining, I can guarantee that the bar bill was horrendous (as it usually is), as they have an extensive wine list, with wines in the hundreds of pounds. Obviously, as I was dining alone, I had to settle for wine by the glass (nothing special, but perfectly acceptable). I would have preferred to order a half-bottle of good wine (which I usually do in France), but they have no half bottles. This would have pushed my bill up, for sure. I also normally start my meal with a glass of champagne, as I peruse the menu, but, at 9-12 GBP a glass, decided not to.

If you are Canadian, as some have suggested, then translating these prices into Canadian dollars is a bit of a shock. I have learned NOT to do that when I am in London; otherwise, I’d be inclined to forage in bins for food or, worse, eat at McDonalds!

Regards Ger
OReilly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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Ralf005:

Sorry, our posts crossed.

Define formal. If you are talking about how other diners were dressed, then definitely not on the night I was there. I dressed for dinner and was decidedly over-dressed. Most diners (all locals) where dressed casually, but smart. I would imagine that during the week, when they cater more for the business crowd, you would see more suits, but probably because the diners would be coming straight from work. I have to defer to regular diners for this.

Regards Ger
OReilly is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Ditto to that comment. Just dress relatively smartly and you won't feel out of place.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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Thanks you guys, So I guess the jeans I'd be wearing for a leisurely walk around Trafalgar Square and Westminster is fine for lunch, but not for dinner.
ralf005 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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We always go back to the Standard Indian Restaurant in Westbourne Grove. Wonderful food at reasonable prices.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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My dear it depends on what jeans you're wearing, and I'm quite sure if the top half is covered respectably you might even get in.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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Thanks alot
ralf005 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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When we have visitors from the US they always want to go for Indian food, saying it's no good where they live (New York City and upstate New York). And Edinburgh's is not the best in the UK.

Khan's is on Westbourne Grove, not Queensway. I gave up going there when they stopped serving alchohol =

The Red Fort in Soho is sometimes recommended but the service was terrible when I tried it, so I never went back.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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I, too, recommend Cinnamon Club and I suggest Benares ,in Berkeley Square.
Neither are ordinary and neither are inexpensive. Each is a wonderful experience.
Here is a brief description of both places I posted on Fodors last November:

"The Cinnamon Club remains on my favorite's list. It's in the Old Westminster Library, the walls of the mezzanine and the bar are lined with shelves of books. The food and wine were excellent, the service impeccable and friendly. I had a zucchini flower and asparagus starter and I ordered spice encrusted monkfish for the main course.



Benares is a place that had been recommended to my friend, Stephan . Each year we like to try one Indian restaurant that is new to both of us.
The restaurant furnishings are contemporary with colonial touches .
One reaches the dining room via a flight of stairs. There are several water features, one of which is a low pool with floating flowers.
The cuisine is Pan Indian. The menu wasn't extensive,but I always hope that indicates each of the dishes will be cooked to perfection. <And in this case they were. > We were brought crispy poppadums and a selection of fresh chutneys. My starter was a chickpea and spinach salad. My main course was sea bass that had been poached in coconut milk. Stephan had prawns in a spicy sauce. We shared a raita and a paneer that was seasoned with fenugreek and onion.
The food was good, the service was friendly, the surroundings were stylish."



starspinners is online now  
Apr 18th, 2005, 07:17 AM
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I still don't see the answer to the big question: is the Indian food in London so good that it is worth paying double to triple what I would pay for a very good Indian meal at home?

I can't even imagine an Indian restaurant where I'd be willing to pay 53 pounds for dinner. And I have a good imagination
lmhornet is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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ImHornet, I have absolutedly no idea if it's 'worth it' for you, because I've no idea what the local Indian food is like where you're from.

If anything, wouldn't it just be interesting to go and see what all the fuss is about? And I'm sure you'll find some local variations that you won't get at home. There are a number of 'indian' dishes served throughout the UK that you won't even find in India, for example.

And you don't have to spend 50 quid on indian food here - these recommendations are all upscale restaurants - not the norm here for indian food, which is normally a budget option. BUT, at these places, you'll get indian food like you've never tasted.

Great budget indian can be had (try hardens.com for recommendations) - and you can't come all this way and not try our national food!
Kate is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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Well, Imhornet, you don't say exactly where "home" is. I've answered to the best of my ability, which is that my friends from New York City & upstate New York consider Indian food in Edinburgh to be far superior to what they can get at home, and Edinburgh is by no means the best place in the UK for Indian food.

The Cinnamon Club is quite famous & I'd describe it as very upmarket - popular with MPs and people on expense accounts.

If you want to try out Indian food in London without spending a lot, go to Southall or Brick Lane.

Incidentally, most Brits drink lager with Indian food, rather than wine, & that cuts the price down.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I loved tayyab. great food, great price. be prepared to wait as the line goes out the door. here are some links for you:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...n_England.html

http://chezpim.typepad.com/blogs/200...w_tayyab_.html

ucsun is offline  

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