Indian takeaway is hardly a novel concept, we’ve all been ordering from our locals since time immemorial. Mine’s Dawat in Tooting, and I have to say that the food is honest and excellent. But at a push I’d also admit that the Michelin Inspectors are unlikely to be paying a visit in the near future (their loss).
But thanks to lockdown, the fine dining Indian takeaway options have swelled. Restaurants that were hitherto a little snooty about offering their nosh to anyone with a Deliveroo account have suddenly changed their collective tunes given that serving meal boxes and takeaways remain the only possible options to do business. Even Michelin Star restaurants are lining up to serve takeaways, almost unheard of a year ago.
And few cuisines survive being packed into an insulated box on the back of a moped quite like Indian. While a gastronomic Heston-like feat can struggle to remain in tact in the 15 yards between kitchen and table at a high end restaurant, it certainly isn’t going to make it over speed bumps, round pedestrians and up and down curbs. A curry? If anything it might even improve it. So here are some posh Indians you could try for your next takeaway…
Blossoming from a popup in a Brixton shipping container to one a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in the centre of Soho and another in White City, Cricket has rapidly risen to become one of London’s best loved Indian restaurants.
And if you’re South West London or East London based then you can continue to enjoy its wares via its takeaway deliveries until the end of lockdown and, we’re hoping, beyond!
But don’t commiserate if you’re not lucky enough to live Sarf or be an East Ender because Kricket also have meal kits available, meaning that everyone can get in on the action. Maybe it’ll inspire you to take a shipping container of your own…
The Cinnamon Club
The Cinnamon Club, that Victorian Westminster library where politicians go to broker deals, is offering takeaway on Sundays and also has teamed up with other outposts of the Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon empire, the Cinnamon Kitchens in the City, Battersea and Oxford, to create Cinnamon At Home.
The meal boxes, which have proven hugely popular, include feasts over multiple courses for two to share along with all the instruction you might need to get it just right.
Where: The Old Westminster Library, Great Smith Street, Westminster, SW1P 3BU
Arriving in Mayfair in 2017, Jamavar has presumably spent around a quarter of its existence under lockdown! The restaurant is well worth putting close to the top of your post-lockdown list, but you can still experience it in the meantime.
The Royal Kitchen is Jamavar’s online delivery service, and is open for collections and delivery on Saturdays and Sundays with a wide choice of options from their extensive menu.
Where: 8 Mount Street, Mayfair, W1K 3NF
An Indian takeaway might not sound like an out-of-the-ordinary event, but it is when it’s from Michelin-starred Gymkhana then it certainly is.
The Mayfair restaurant, famed for it’s Butter Chicken Masala and its Wild Muntjac Biryani, has deftly navigated lockdown with its delivery service, delivering within 8 miles of the restaurant.
Or you can try the Ambassador General Store, a joint venture with sister restaurants Brigadiers and Trishna.
Welcome back to the Michelin club, Benares. The Berkeley Square Indian restaurant regained its much deserved star this year and it caps off not only an extraordinary year, but one in which Benares has come out a rare hospitality success story.
Benares At Home has been hugely successful, with a menu that changes daily delivered to to your door.
WHERE: 12A BERKELEY SQUARE, MAYFAIR, W1J 6BS
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, bringing the tastes of South-West India to diners either across London in takeaway form or nationwide if they’re willing to do some of the hard work themselves via a meal box.
Trishna, we’ll be back at yours soon. But you’ll be round ours sooner!
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.
And lockdown has seen the restaurant swap its sumptuous dining room, over looking Regent Street, for your kitchen (sumptuous or not), which is fine because it’s not the interiors that have won Veeraswamy its Michelin Star. Adapting to new technologies with the agility of Her Majesty jumping on a Zoom call, you can now order online.
Where: Mezzanine Floor, Victory House, 99 Regent Street, W1B 4RS
Ex Cinnamon Clubber Abdul Yaseen has taken his inspiration for Barber’s Bazaar from the families of barbers in pre-partition India’s old food markets to create an award winning North London restaurant.
Bringing his impeccable pedigree (he also has worked at Cinnamon Kitchen and Anise, where he was head chef) to bear, the restaurant is currently delivering within Crouch End, Harringay, Wood Green, Hampstead and nearby areas.
Fingers crossed you’re in one of them…