You don’t need to travel to India to find some of the world’s best Indian food. When you’re in the mood for something with some kick to it, you can find some of the best Indian food in London. The city is home to a range of casual and fine dining options for those who love the sweet or spicy, creamy dishes that Indian cuisine is known for. Whether you’re traveling to the city for a study abroad trip or business venture, you won’t want to skip these restaurants.
Babur opened its doors in 1985, but it isn’t stuck in the past. The restaurant, which provides a full food, wine and cocktail menu, takes pride in continually updating its decor, music and, of course, its menu to keep up with changing trends in dining.
From delightful appetizers such as the crab bonda or griddles scallops, to main dishes that include such delicacies as seared Gressingham duck and steamed shoulder of lamb, Babur offers a variety of options for everyone. The menu itself includes clear labels so that diners can easily discern whether dishes are hot or roaring hot, contain nuts, gluten, or dairy, or adhere to a vegetarian diet.
When you’re ready for dessert, choose from the traditional menu, or try a dessert cocktail. The cherry blossom sorbet contains cherry brandy and Bambay sapphire gin and is particularly popular. Babur is located in Brockley and offers a contemporary, modern setting as a backdrop during your meal.
Situated in King’s Cross, Dishoom offers diners two levels of authentic Bombay-style, cafe atmosphere. You’ll step into a room full of rattan, wood and colonial-period fans, as well as original portraits of popular Indian entertainers and Parsi bodybuilders. Stop in during the afternoon for a full lunch full menu, including the chef’s specials, Nalli Nihari and Add Bheja. Guests who have special diets can also enjoy vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Dishoom is the perfect option for travelers who want to immerse themselves in a social environment as well as enjoy a good meal.
Gymkhana was named the best British restaurant of 2014 and it’s easy to see why. The popular dining destination features Colonial Indian-inspired decor such as elegant ceiling fans, glass wall lamps, red leather and wood paneling to create a sophisticated atmosphere. The restaurant’s menu offers a range of both contemporary and classic dishes that focus on bold spices and family-style dishes.
A separate bar on the ground floor features aged brass, silk carpets and specialty drinks based on Indian punches and cocktails. Start your evening with a signature dish such as the pomegranate and mint raita or fish tikka with peanut and green mango, and then head to the bar for a nightcap of an Indian pale ale or absinthe. Because of its popularity, making reservations at Gymkhana is recommended.
A favorite of local and business traveling professionals alike, Amaya specializes in pan-Indian tapas such as tender chicken marinated in lime juice and fresh turmeric or house-made, soft paneer in a chili crust. The sleek, modern dining area is as high-class as the clientele, featuring modern art, terracotta statues and a combination of dark wood and black granite that is nearly breathtaking. A vegetarian menu is also available.
Be sure to stop by the restaurant’s bar, which features a variety of exotic cocktails created by the establishment’s mixologist, who focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Favorites include a mirchi chili martini and a wild hibiscus and elderflower martini. The restaurant, which opened its doors in 2004, is located in the heart of the Belgravia neighborhood.
For the casual diner, there is Monkey Temple. Offering a small outdoor seating area and a large casual dining area inside, this authentic Indian restaurant focuses on exemplary service and great-tasting food at affordable prices.
Start your dining experience with chicken or lamb Momo appetizers before choosing from chicken, lamb, seafood or tandoori main dishes. A wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options are available as well, including paneer chili cooked with onions, green chilis and green peppers, and vegan rajma curry with red kidney beans and black lentils simmered in a tomato and cream sauce. Monkey Temple is the perfect option for the traveler on the go. For those who don’t have time to dine in, carryout and delivery are available as well.
Whether you need something to grab on the go or you want to enjoy a leisurely sit-down dinner with other students in your study abroad group, the variety of delicious Indian food options in London is not to be missed.