Babur is a hidden gem and has been delighting south east Londoners since 1985. It’s smart and contemporary, sitting somewhere between fine dining and neighbourhood favourite.
The menu manages to be at once traditional and surprising. Carefully cooked and wonderfully spiced meat, fish and game dishes feature heavily, like the steamed shoulder of lamb, marinated for 100 hours in a Punjabi masala and served with delicate beetroot rice.
Creative vegetarian dishes like wild mushroom and pea dosa and baby aubergines with peanut sauce bring together vibrant flavours in an impressive way, and the suggested wine pairings are an elegant touch.
Chai Ki, Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf may not be the first place you’d expect to find one of the best Indian restaurants in London, but Chai Ki really pulls it off.
It’s a sister restaurant to the excellent Roti Chai off Oxford street, and like Roti Chai, is divided into two separate areas.
Choose from the slightly more casual Toddy Shop, which offers an all-day street food menu, or the main restaurant, which is open for dinner and serves a more elaborate menu of ‘modern Indian sharing plates.’
The food is characterised by intricate, ambitious flavour combinations, and the Toddy Shop’s cocktail menu is a real winner.
It’s getting more and more difficult to find a good curry in the Brick Lane area, dominated as it is by run-of-the-mill restaurants and increasingly persistent touts.
Gunpowder is a welcome antidote: the tiny, family-run canteen packs a punch with a limited menu of exciting plates from across India.
Fresh, zingy flavour combinations collide with playful presentation to create dishes that demand attention.
The rasam ke bomb, Gunpowder’s take on pani puri, features crisp, delicate spheres filled with potato, accompanied by a shot glass of deliciously-spiced sauce.
Gunpowder is refreshingly original, and despite usually being completely packed, feels welcoming and friendly – a real gem.
No list of the best Indian restaurants in London would be complete without giving Tayyabs a mention.
This Punjabi stalwart hardly needs an introduction. It’s one of the most talked-about restaurants in London, as evidenced by the ever-present queues.
It’s big, hectic and cheap, and the food is excellent. The grilled lamb chops are famous for a reason: they’re exquisitely tender, and their spiced marinade is something else.
The curries and dahls are rich and flavoursome, and favourites like onion bhaji and naan bread are superb and oh-so-moreish.
If you haven’t tried it yet, make sure you do soon!
Best Indian restaurants in London
We hope you enjoy testing out our list of the best Indian restaurants in London as much as we did putting it together.
We’ll be back with more of our top local recommendations very soon, so watch this space!