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London has the best Indian Food - Do you agree, and where?

London has the best Indian Food - Do you agree, and where?

Old Oct 21st, 2002, 01:00 PM
  #1  
RnR
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London has the best Indian Food - Do you agree, and where?

We think our indian restauranmts are pretty nifty, but I've heard the best are in London. Since I'll be there, I'd like to put that to a test. Please tell me your favorites!!! I will give them a try. Thank you for your kind help.
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #2  
tt
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ttt
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 01:21 PM
  #3  
Cletus
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I’ve never been to India BUT in relation to anywhere else I’ve been I emphatically agree. Years ago I read that the best Indian food in the world is in London and I’ve made it a personal quest to find out.

I certainly wouldn’t call it the best in London, there are still hundreds of restaurants there that I’ve never tried, but we enjoy the Chambeli Fine Indian Cuisine on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury just across from Russell Square. It’s a bit pricey but is a bit more upscale than many and often serves as my one “splurge” meal when I’m in the area.
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:06 PM
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Sue
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The Bombay Brasserie, near Earl's Court, has a wonderful reputation, and justly so. It was excellent, upscale, and in that respect very different from the Indian restaurants that I have visited here in USA. Think it had a 35 pound minimum per person, not exorbitant, but certainly different from our local Indian restaurants here in Pgh. Well worth it. Others on here have mentioned it, also; try a search.
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 02:29 PM
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Keith
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I ate at the Bombay Brasserie. The atmosphere was _very_ nice, but the food was no better than the Indian restaurants here in Kansas.

Keith
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 03:19 PM
  #6  
francesca
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My impression is that the Bombay Brasserie is mainly for visitors to London. My Indian friends have recommended the restaurants on Brick Lane and, recently, one south Indian friend raved about Rasa Samudra--said it was just like his mom's cooking! If you want something a bit more modern, try Malabar (you have to book). Good luck.
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 06:09 PM
  #7  
mimi taylor
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Brick Lane "Bengal Cuisine"
"khan's" =good, hot, cheap
Michelin-starred,"Zaika" and "Tamarind ; "The "Cinnamon Club,"
"Chutney mary's,"
"Mazela Zone"
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 07:31 PM
  #8  
dzfghdfg
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Kahn's in Chelsea
Bombay
Tandoori in Kensington
 
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 08:10 PM
  #9  
scarlett
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Chutney Mary on Kings Rd in Knightsbridge is one of our favorites.
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 04:54 AM
  #10  
Manzoor
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People!!

Most 'Indian' restaurants in London are in fact Bangladeshi pretending to be Indian. The food quality of the vast majority of these restaurants is very poor as is the service. Unless you've spent a lot of time in London you are very unlikely to find the few good ones that do exist. I say don't waste your time in London and instead head for Glasgow, Scotland and find out why the curry is now the National Dish there.
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 05:44 AM
  #11  
kate
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Actually Mandoor, curry is now the national dish of Britain, not just Scotland.

There is fierce rivally for the title of best curry city in Britain, and most people north of Watford would argue that London definately isn't the centre of the curry trade. Birmingham and Bradford tend to compete for the title of best curries.

Mandoor is right that you shouldn't just wander into any old curry place in London, but hey, that's why you asked!

For top class, nouvelle indian, try Tamarind: www.tamarindrestaurant.com
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 06:18 AM
  #12  
RnR
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Many thanks to all for your ideas - I'll take these with me when I go. Have a nice day.
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 06:36 AM
  #13  
kav
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Hey RnR
How are you?
Where in London is your hotel?
Unless you're looking for upmarket places one idea would be to ask a few people who work in the hotel or in local newsagents or groceries to name their favourite local curry house - most neighbourhoods have several Indian restaurants (yes the majority are owned and run by Bangladeshi people but this makes no different since most have similar menus any way).

I have favourites in my local area, North Finchley, but that would be quite a trip to bother making just to visit a local curry restaurant, better to find out which ones are good near your hotel.

Kavey
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 06:40 AM
  #14  
kavey
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PS I am Indian and used to my mum's wonderful Indian cooking but still enjoy eating out in UK Indian restaurants.

The main thing to remember is that some dishes are particularly Anglicised (or should that be Britishised?) and not very authentic at all.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a great example of a dish invented for the Brits at a time some decades back when Indian food was still considered "foreign muck" by many Brits. Ironically it can now be found in some places in India due to the high demand from British visitors to Indian who are used to eating it in their local curry houses back home!

I often find that some dishes _are_ more authentic though - keema peas is usually similar to my mum's, as is Lamb Rogan Josh in many restaurants. Mutter Paneer has often been pretty good too.

That said I also enjoy Butter Chicken which is nothing like any dish I've had in India or here in UK cooked by Indians!
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #15  
RnR
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Hey, Kavey - how are you? I'm at the Rubens just by the Palace and a short walk from Victoria. I'm enjoying the Botswana discussion, by the way - and I am keeping all the notes on your ideas for 2004. Hopefully the first-timers are listening to you, especially the person who believes they swill champagne at Mombo! Too funny. I'll have to tell him about the three lions hunting buffalo in the car park area. Thankfully the rangers handle the valet parking of the Land Rovers. And thanks very much for your restaurant suggestions - and I'll be back in touch later, on Africa. Have a great day, and good to chat with you once again.
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:04 AM
  #16  
kav
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RnR
I can understand reluctance to stay at Mombo on price grounds, it is very dear compared to other camps - but as anyone who has visited knows, the price is mostly because of the unrivalled game viewing. I felt unexpectedly emotional seeing the wildlife at such close quarters and for such long stints. We spent about 3 or 4 hours within a few feet of that leopard called Burnt Ebony. WOW! Anyway, more of that on the Africa board!

Re London restaurants, will ask around and let you know if any friends can recommend good Indian restaus in your hotel area. I can also tell yuo about my faves for non Indian food if youre interested.
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:41 AM
  #17  
S. C. DIXON
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Hey Keith, I'm in Kansas right now...I haven't found any Indian food except for in Lawrence and it was marginal. Do you have any advice for other towns that have Indian food?
 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:42 AM
  #18  
RnR
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Thanks, Kavey, and any and all ideas on London restaurants gratefully accepted.

Yes, we spent two hours with Burnt Ebony - he in the crotch of a tree, we in the Rover. Good opportunity to photograph, I hope they turn out okay!
Looking at your terrific pictures once moew brought it all back - thanks!

Mombo was the best!

Will chat with you later. Have a good evening. Take care.

 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #19  
kavey
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Right then... My current London faves

For pre theatre menus (and to be honest the prices for regular a la carte aren't at all bad either) I like Circus near Picadilly Circus and Indigo at Adlwych. I like the surroundings, the service and the food and can always find something I like even on the limited choice fixed price pre theatre menus. Indigo is inside the hotel called 1 Aldwych. Circus is on Upper James St.

The Criterion is normally a little too expensive for me but is located in a truly wonderful room (with wonderful golden mosaic ceiling) and is affordable when selecting from the pre theatre menu (must order before 6.30 sharp) and sometimes they request table back by a certain time, e.g. 8.30. The food is usually very good though a friend went recently and had to return one of her dishes, though this was handled with apologies from staff and minimum fuss.

For more casual meals I love Browns on St Martin's Lane. Not at all posh and usually busy and buzzy, this is a huge bistro restaurant which also does cakes, scones and tea/ coffee in the afternoons. They do a fixed price menu for £11 for 2 courses from 12 to 6.30 but their full menu is also very reasonable. As has been mentioned by others, they have a superb sticky toffee pudding for dessert which is just fabulous.
Some of the food is English, rest is more European/ French. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a number of visitors from the US this year, from Fodors and two other sites I participate in more regularly, and have often met here, the large choice of meals suits most tastes and the prices are very reasonable.

For Dim Sum my current favourite is Gerrard's Corner in China Town - it's also an incredibly inexpensive way to eat lunch. China Town in general is actually pretty good, just choose a restaurant that looks busy and has both visitors and locals eating inside, if it has many Chinese customers you can assume it's pretty good! Dim Sum is not available during evenings, usually only till maybe 5.30 or such.

For Thai food there are lots of posh places but I like the regular places such as Silk and Spice in Chalk Farm.

Belgo is often mentioned here - I hate the central one - way too loud and smoky and staff are too up their own backsides for me. The one in Camden is much less manic, staff seem nicer and I much prefer it. Good for beer and mussels in particular.

I am not personally a huge fan of Wagamama’s for an evening meal unless you want to be in and out very quickly - but prefer it for a quick lunch stop. It's one of those places where you are seated at long benches with strangers and there aren't really any set courses to speak of.

For pizza chains, I prefer Ask to Pizza Express, which has a good choice of pasta too.

How’s that for starters?

 
Old Oct 22nd, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #20  
RnR
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Fantastic, Kavey! I will be in London only three days - you're going to spoil me! Many, many thanks again.
 

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