Britain has been obsessed with Indian cooking for as long we’ve been obsessed with India. From the times of the moguls to the modern day, we’ve been unable to contain our love for the spices, the tastes and sensations of Indian cuisine. The result is that Britain boasts around 10,000 curry houses, and London is brimming with talented chefs, creating and transforming this much loved cuisine.
From evocations of the British Raj to reflections of cool modern India, London’s Indian fine-dining scene has swelled over the last decade as posh Indian cuisine becomes increasingly mainstream and sought-after. Here are some of our favourites…
Dark and alluring, Benares has rediscovered its mojo and, along the way, its Michelin Star and continues to be one of the coolest restaurants in Mayfair.
Benares has rediscovered its mojo and, along the way, its Michelin Star...
The restaurant is uncompromisingly luxurious, with dark recesses and corners filled with an eclectic but cosmopolitan clientele.
WHERE: 12A BERKELEY SQUARE, MAYFAIR, W1J 6BS
Where: 42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, W1S 4JH
The Cinnamon Club
The Cinnamon Club, a Victorian library handily close to parliament where politicians go to broker deals over a curry.
The contemporary vibe contrasts perfectly with the traditional backdrop, and it’s no wonder that it’s taken two decades for Chef Vivek Singh to perfect the restaurant.
A key part of the Westminster village, it’s also a vital element of London’s Indian fine dining network.
Where: The Old Westminster Library, Great Smith Street, Westminster, SW1P 3BU
Arriving in Mayfair in 2017, Jamavar rapidly made a name for itself as one of the capital’s most glamorous Indians (and Sha Rukh Khan has a townhouse here – not far from Jamavar, come to think of it).
The Mayfair Indian restaurant has taken a shoot from The Leela Palace Bengaluru, and planted it in the centre of London to fantastic effect.
Under Culinary Director Surender Mohan the food is, of course, excellent, while the interior takes its style lead from the Viceroy’s house in New Delhi.
WHERE: 8 MOUNT STREET, MAYFAIR, W1K 3NF
The Curry Room
As a classic of the ‘does what it says on the tin’ genre, The Curry Room serves as the surprise turn at the Rubens at the Palace Hotel.
Just a stone’s-throw from Buckingham Palace, the Indian restaurant is the most regal thing for miles around, with Rajasthani hand embroidery and rich red hues at every angle.
And that’s before we mention the food, which is excellent and well deserving of its AA Rosette.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, St Jame’s, SW1W 0PS
There’s only one thing that’s fishy about Quilon, and that’s the menu.
South West Indian food and seafood are the order-of-the-day at this Michelin Starred restaurant. It’s set within the grand Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residence, ideal for a drink in the courtyard before or after dinner.
Expect fish like you’ve never tasted it, cooked to Kerelan perfection under the ever-watchful gaze of Chef Sriram.
Where: 41 Buckingham Gate, Westminster, SW1E 6AF
Michelin starred Trishna is surely one of the best places for Indian cuisine this side of the Bombay.
Chef Karam Sethi, who also owns Gymkhana, brings the tastes of South-West India to diners in the simple surroundings of the Marylebone restaurant.
Expect colour, quirkiness and fabulous cooking.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone W1U 3DG
The Original Gangster (or goonda) when it comes to London Indians, Veeraswarmy got here first.
Arguably the most venerable Indian restaurant away from the Sub Continent, Veeraswamy was here planting the Indian flag before there even was an Indian flag (at least, not in its current form).
Founded in 1926, this Indian restaurant is approaching its centenary (in fact it shares its birthday with The Queen) and it’s a longevity that’s well deserved.
WHERE: MEZZANINE FLOOR, VICTORY HOUSE, 99 REGENT STREET, W1B 4RS