Which are the best Indian restaurants in London 2022?
Being from Delhi, I am always on the hunt for an authentic Biryani and Dal Makhani experience and having lived in London for six years now, it is safe to say that I have tried my fair share of the best Indian restaurants in London.
This wonderful place is known to be one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and rightly so as a picky bird like me was in no mood to compromise on my authentic Delhi taste buds when it comes to these two most popular dishes in any Indian menu.
Here’s my list of top picks that will get you as close as you can get to a real Indian Biryani and Dal Makhani experience whilst sitting here in London:
Starting with basics, your first go-to place that everyone in London commonly recommends is Dishoom and rightly so! With 5 sites in London to venture from each restaurant gives a very retro laid-back vibe.
The restaurant ambience takes you back to a setting of a café in the city of Bombay with a carefully crafted interior taking elements from India, giving you a unique experience, a typical slow Indian fan running in the ceiling whilst sitting in the comfort of rattan chairs.
The food itself is hearty and when it comes to the Biryani and ‘House Black Daal’ (Dal Makhani). Whether it is the ‘Chicken Berry Britannia’ or the ‘Jackfruit Biryani’ both are layered in the aromatic richness of spices and flavours along with their House Daal as described in the menu is rich, creamy, and deeply flavoured.
2. Bombay Bustle
If you’re looking for a perfect blend of casual yet fine dining, then I would recommend trying my all-time favourite Bombay Bustle located in Mayfair with a rich variety in menu and taste and might I say “they got the assignment right” when it comes to their Dum Tarkari Biryani with crisp onions sprinkled on top or whether it is the Madras Chicken Curry or even the Dabba Dal, all are mouth-watering!
The restaurant ambience is great with great service but if you’re someone who is still not ready to venture out to busy restaurants, Bombay Bustle offers a great delivery menu that is equally divine in taste!
Looking for the best restaurants in London? You might have found it.
3. Soho Wala
Nestled in Soho next to the Courthouse hotel, you almost end up not noticing this hidden gem due to the hustle-bustle of Soho pubs and sparkle of Carnaby Street but trust me when I say eat here for all the energy you need to explore the rest of Soho. I loved the texture of the Chicken Murgh Biryani perfectly blended with spices and for someone like me who can’t handle much spice, it was the perfect hint of sombre spice if that’s even a thing!
The Dal comes with the Chur Chur Naan which reminds me of just how my mom serves it making it a complete authentic home-cooked meal. The ambience of the restaurant is simple and most of the time tends to be quiet as you look out to the bustling streets of Soho while you enjoy their Mango Ferni for dessert because it is truly delightful!
I have been extremely excited with the increase of Indian fine dining options in London but so far Jamavar has been my favourite go-to place when it comes to celebrating anything big or small or even when I just feel like treating myself to some good Indian food with exquisite ambience.
Situated in Mount Street in Mayfair, with interiors immediately transporting you to a royal setting of India, Jamavar offers an elegant ambience with a combination of delicious food. The Kandhari Murgh Tikka is mouth-watering and the Kashmiri Rogan Josh along Jamavar Dal is enough to slip you into a food coma.
It is safe to say that with a couple of dishes I have ventured into so far, the food never fails to surprise me with the authenticity in taste proving to be a perfect blend of spices. Jamavar offers a wonderful blend of North and South Indian food making it my ultimate favourite adding another gem to Samyukta Nair’s list, one can only imagine how amazing her new restaurant MiMi Fair would be!
5. The Connoisseur
Moving away from hectic London, if you’re ready to venture out of Central London to the cosy environment of this restaurant nestled in the gorgeous surroundings of Harrow on the Hill then you would be in for a treat!
Describing themselves as “expert judge in matters of taste” might I say rightly so! Not only is there Dum ki Biryani both Chicken and Lamb heavenly, but I also particularly enjoyed eating their Keema Naan (naan bread with stuffed minced lamb). I love their Makhani Dal paired with their Murgh ka Tikka which slipped me into a food coma!
6. Coffee 2 Cocktails
Another hidden gem and my new favourite situated within the charming area of Harrow on the Hill this restaurant is to relax, enjoy and socialise! Their Chicken Dum Biryani comes with an option of raita or Dal Makhani making it a perfect combo!
I enjoyed trying their Black Bean Burger along with their Murg Malai Seekh Kebab and Paneer Achari Tikka. As the name of the restaurant suggests they offer a great selection of cocktails with my favourite mocktail being the Coconut Lychee Cooler.
The ambience of the restaurant is great and tends to get busy during dinner time. They also offer a small area of outdoor seating with heaters installed outside to keep you warm and cosy!
7. The Kati Roll Company
Speaking of Biryani and Dal Makhani, now that we are immersing ourselves in the world of authentic Indian food, I can’t say enough about this amazing little joint which was my recent discovery. I stumbled upon The Kati Roll Company while walking around Poland Street in Soho.
Now this place doesn’t offer Biryani and Dal Makhani per se but offers something that is equally wholesome as a meal, a vast variety of Kati Rolls that would transport you to the streets of an Indian food market.
As described by the restaurant themselves the word “Kati” means skewer and Kati rolls are made of skewer-grilled ingredients stuffed in buttery paratha flatbread and topped with chutneys and spices.
Payal Saha started this venture out of nostalgia when she moved from Kolkata to New York and truly with every bite of my favourite ‘Shammi Kabab Roll’, I am truly carried to the streets of India. This place is a perfect pit stop for your mid-shopping meal or even the perfect meal while bar-hopping in Soho.
8. Tamarind Tiger
Tamarind Tiger is London’s first Indian grab and goes restaurant. Located on Baker Street, they are delivering a new flavour sensation inspired by India’s diverse cuisine, available for eat-in or takeaway.
Aimed at putting Indian food back into the heart of our everyday lives via its diverse and flexible menu, Tamarind Tiger combines quality local produce with traditional ingredients.
A perfect option for lunch or dinner is their signature dishes, including vegan chickpea curry with quinoa and cumin yoghurt, mango chicken curry bowl, Burger Paos and a new veggie corn chaat too.
Packed full of unique flavour combinations and ideal for enjoying in any guise from eating in, to take away, al desko or even al fresco – unleash your inner Tiger and be sure to take a bite out of this exciting new dining destination!
This is a round-up of some of the best Indian restaurants London has to offer and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Our Expert: Palakh Dutta