When you book a vacation apartment in London you’ll have your sights (and taste buds) set on trying those classic dishes you know are synonymous with the English; fish and chips, kebabs and curry. We don’t have time to cover all of those in this article, but if you’re looking for the best curry, read on.
Visit Brick Lane in East London, and you’ll be ushered in from one Indian restaurant to another, each making claims to be the city’s best, but of course the best never have to tell you how great they are. The best Indian restaurants in London speak for themselves with queues to be seated that sometimes wind around the block.
The very first Indian restaurant in Britain opened on George Street over 200 years ago in 1810, it was called the The Hindoostane Coffee House. By the nation’s worldwide culinary appeal you’d expect it was a huge hit with the locals, but it’s owner, Sake Dean Mahomed was forced to close shop after only a year.
Today in London, and all over Britain, curry houses are more popular than ever. In 2014, chain restaurant Dishoom was voted the city’s best by Yelp users. Here are three Indian restaurants you should not miss if you want to indulge in those wonderful aromas that will heat you up and leave your nose runny (Mmmm Delicious!).
London’s Best Curry
With its gigantic flower filled vases, immense golden columns and mirrored walls, Tamarind gives its patrons grandeur to behold. The dishes are prepared to absolute perfection as you would expect from first the ever Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in the world. Tamarind provides a full-on dining experience, with a sommelier on hand to recommend the finest Indian wines to accompany your order.
No gold, no giant vases, and no sommelier; Tayyabs is a no-frills restaurant in North London. Technically it’s a bit of a cheat on this list as the food is actually Punjabi from Pakistan and not India. Who cares, it’s a flavor bomb (strong stomach advised). Your eyes will tear from all the chilies being cooked in the open kitchen in the back. The spicy Karahi Gosht (spiced lamb dish) is worth whatever suffering may come next. Be sure to make a reservation, cues wind around the block.
Motu Indian Kitchen, Battersea / Camberwell
Gymkhana is another Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in London (Yes, there’s more than one), but since we already recommended Tamarind, we think you might like to try London’s best Indian take-away, and it happens to be an off-shoot of the famous aforementioned Gymkhana. The dishes aren’t quite as fancy in presentation, but they taste just as good. If you’re dining for two, order one of their ‘Feast boxes’ which contain a nice assortment of their most popular dishes.
In 1960 there were roughly 500 Indian restaurants scattered across the UK; these days the figure is closer to 10 000, with Chicken Tikka Masala being the most popular dish. Only recommending three is like choosing a grape at a vineyard (didn’t have another analogy at time of publishing), but you get the point, there are a lot of choices. If you’ve booked your luxury apartment somewhere around central London, any of these restaurants will be within easy access of public transportation. These three are a good place to start, but if you find others that spark your interest just be sure to do a little online research before being ushered in. London is full of wonderful curry houses, so choose wisely.