When it comes to Indian cuisine, my local curry house has always had my heart. That is, until I moved to London. Here in the capital, my tastebuds were given a culinary awakening and my tikka masala-trained palette discovered an explosion of new flavours. And after six years in this city, Indian cuisine is still top of my list for a dinner date (and breakfast for that matter… I’m looking at you Dishoom Bacon Naan Roll). 

From Bombay street food and sumptuous small plates, to Michelin star dishes and spice-packed creamy curries, London’s vibrant Indian restaurant scene is undeniably one of the world’s best (outside of, y’know, India), and the city has a wealth of delicious options to choose from. Here are some of our favourites.

Dipna Anand At Somerset House

From stunning interiors and views of the River Thames, to signature dishes, beautiful Thali’s and weekend brunch, Dipna Anand’s new restaurant and bar is effortlessly chic and utterly delicious. 

Enter the prestigious South Wing of Somerset House and you’ll find yourself in the restaurant, where black and white photographs adorn the textured blue walls; leather booths and copper accents span multiple rooms, and signature dishes like Dipna’s Dynamite Wings and Samosa Chaat Blast are the order of the day. This is still somewhat of a hidden gem for such a prime riverside location, and a glorious find for those in-the-know.

Dipna Anand’s new restaurant and bar is effortlessly chic and utterly delicious.

The riverside venture is Dipna’s second London restaurant, and the menu is a celebration of the authentic Punjabi and South Indian cuisine that’s won the celebrity chef multiple awards. Highlights include sweet-and-spicy chilli paneer and melt-in-the-mouth tandoori chicken tikka starters, and for mains, we recommend a choice of the meat or vegetable Thali to get a taste of all the restaurant’s best dishes – perfect for anyone who struggles to choose just one.

To finish, opt for the Gajar ka halwa, a classic Indian pudding made by simmering carrots in condensed milk. Rich, decadent, and surprisingly incredible (who knew a dessert made entirely from vegetables could shoot right to the top of our favourite foods list?!), it’s the perfect way to end the evening in one of London’s best new restaurants.

Where: South Wing, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Website: www.dipnasomersethouse.co.uk

Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea

Occupying (rather fittingly) an old spice warehouse, stepping into The Cinnamon Club’s Battersea sibling, with its industrial-chic interiors and smart-casual vibes, always means stepping into an evening of exceptional flavour and mouth-watering cocktails. 

We thoroughly recommend escaping to the restaurant on a rainy London evening and spending a few hours working your way from small plates like Madras style shrimp pepper fry with curried yoghurt, to Seared Kentish saddle of lamb with keema saag and raan sauce. Make sure to enjoy a Cinnamon Bellini or three while you’re at it – it’s a simple yet wonderful Handbook favourite.

Where: 4 Arches Ln, Nine Elms, London SW11 8AB
Website: www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk

The Curry Room At The Rubens At The Palace

Located just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace in the Rubens At The Palace Hotel, The Curry Room mixes intimate Indian dining with vibrant grandeur. Think comfortable leather booth seating, deep reds, plus hand embroidered tapestries adorning the walls. 

Flock there for a three-course menu, exceptional Thali, and flavoursome dishes such as Kerala Prawn Curry simmered in a Tomato and Coconut Sauce, and Traditional Natal Lamb Curry, all served with Basmati Rice, Chef’s Vegetable Side Dish and Traditional Indian Bread. Make sure you peruse the drinks list too for an extensive collection of old and new world wines, as well as popular Indian beers like Kingfisher and Cobra.

Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS
Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Chutney Mary

For bar-raising Indian food, head to Chutney Mary in St. James’s for an evening of Anglo-Indian cuisine whose original Chelsea location made a name for itself when it burst onto the London food scene in 1990.

Known as the restaurant that paved the way for Indian fine-dining in London, its newer outpost in St. James’s is the place to go, not only for its coastal Indian cuisine and array of seafood dishes, but also for cocktails served at the glamorous bar. While you’re there, make sure you try the goat biryani – it’s a signature dish and one that must be tasted.

Where: 73 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1PH
Website: www.chutneymary.com

Heritage Dulwich

Heritage is located in seemingly quiet and unassuming West Dulwich, but the food in this South East London restaurant packs a massive punch.

Serving up some of the best modern Indian fine dining in the city, from Keralan Grilled Duck and Lamb & Prune Kofta, to Sookhe Aloo and Seared Scallops, the restaurant pays homage to India’s diverse culinary culture and puts a contemporary spin on a host of traditional recipes.

The food in this South East London restaurant packs a massive punch.

Where: 101 Rosendale Rd, Norwood, London SE21 8EZ
Website: www.heritagedulwich.co.uk

Colonel Saab

For London’s most striking Indian restaurant, look to Colonel Saab, located in the former Holborn Town Hall. Complete with museum-worthy artwork, chandeliered ceilings, and interiors inspired by the travel tales of an Army officer and his wife across India, the decor is eclectic and elegant – perfectly mixing the old with the new.

On the menu, you’ll find them serving up a range of dishes that combine the traditional with the progressive, including Memsaab’s chicken curry, South Indian soya pulao, and Purani delhi with mini samosa, masala chickpeas, orange zest and pomegranate.

 

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Where: 193-197 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD
Website: www.colonelsaab.co.uk

Tamarind

Bringing a delicious slice of India to Mayfair, Tamarind is well-known as one of the city’s best restaurants, and rightly so. The first Indian restaurant in London to receive a Michelin star, the adventurous dishes are truly unique, putting a modern twist on the flavours and textures of Indian cuisine. 

Think dishes such as Griddled Scottish Scallops in a mildly spiced red lentil & curry leaf sauce, topped with green apple salsa and caviar; Char-grilled Lamb Chops in a spiced marinade & pistachio crust; Grilled Portobello Mushroom stuffed with smoked & pickled aubergine; and Kerala Prawn Curry infused with aromatic spices.

Where: 20 Queen St, London W1J 5PR
Website: www.tamarindrestaurant.com

 

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Contemporary Indian cuisine that truly lives up to the hype.

Gymkhana

A restaurant to grace many a London foodie’s bucket list (and yet another of London’s Indian restaurants to earn a Michelin star), Gymkhana is the place to go for classic and contemporary Indian cuisine that truly lives up to the hype. 

Try their Goan Cafreal Salmon Tikka with Tomato Chutney, or Gilafi Quail Seekh Kebab with Mustard & Mint Chutney. For dessert, go for the Cardamom & Basmati Rice Kheer with Fresh Figs, or the Rasgulla Tiramisu.

 

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Where: 42 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JH
Website: www.gymkhanalondon.com

Dishoom

Can you really say you’re an Indian-loving Londoner if you haven’t dined at Dishoom at least once? Their Bombay street food is perfect for every occasion, whether it’s early morning breakfast, a light lunch of small plates, or an extravagant order-everything evening meal with friends.

Go for their breakfast menu and find Indian-inspired staples like The Big Bombay (akuri, char-striped smoked streaky bacon, peppery Shropshire pork sausages, masala beans, grilled field mushrooms, grilled tomato and buttered, home-made buns) or a Bacon Naan Roll (smoked streaky bacon with cream, cheese, tomato-chilli jam and coriander, wrapped in a freshly baked naan). And we can’t mention breakfast at Dishoom without mentioning their more-ish and refillable House Chai to wash it all down with.

 

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Where: Multiple Locations
Website: www.dishoom.com


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