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what is your opinion of Indian restaurants in UK?

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Jeremysco, I used to live in Tooting in the 1980s and fondly remember the south Indian (at least I think they were) restaurants. Really lovely, big dosas. Overall, I prefer British Indian food to the sort we get in New York. London places that aim high disappoint, though.

I went to Tamarind a bit over a year ago –which along with Zaika got a Michelin star—and was under-whelmed. The service varied from brusque to inattentive, the food was greasy in the wrong places (the greasiest popadums I’ve ever seen), bordered on the dull and was lukewarm temperature-wise. They’ve made the dining room as attractive as they can, but no décor will disguise the fact that this is a windowless basement.

Zaika we visited around eighteen months-two years ago. I think I mentioned my visit on another site, but I had very mixed feelings about the food. Unlike Tamarind, it is a cozy restaurant, but the spices in the food tasted raw.  I requested a beer, and the waiter looked down his nose at us and moodily removed the wine list. Any thoughts on this? A major faux pas at a restaurant reaching for the stars?

I’ve never tried Veeraswamy, but would like to for sentimental reasons. My parents ate there during their honeymoon in the 1950s.

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Couldnt agree more about the snootyness. I always think that beer goes very well with spicey food, especially slightly sweet beers (cutely labelled as Indianand brewed abd bottled in London). I went to the Bombay Brasserie Elephant about six months ago and was worried they were  going to throw us out when we ordered 4 beers.

One thing is for sure, the wine lists for most of the Indian restaurants could do with a lot of work.

Are there are guides as to / suggestions for what is best for which dish? The range is to wide to generalize.

Anyway. All this has perked up my tastebuds. I'm off to Tabaq in Clapham for some great pakistani nosh. Table booked for 8.15   Bye.


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hi all i wanted to resurrect this thread

has indian food in the uk/london improved over the last 3 years? Either at the high or low end?

also the preception of the uk public can't really differentiate between Indian, Pakistani, Bengali ,etc which style of cuisine has become popularises and improved the most?

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I don't know anything of its' authenticity, but I have really enjoyed Amaya (run by the Veeraswamy crowd) the many times I have eaten there.

ALSO -- Benares has redone their menu, and rather than having standard curry dishes cooked to a high standard, they are now offering Indian style haute-cuisine -- all very delicate and well plated -- which was a nice surprise when I ate there last week. Every dish was excellent.

I live very near Star of India, and often eat there -- possibly due to my affection for the owner (Reza Mahammad of shows Dehli Belly, A Place in France, etc.) -- and I do find much of the food of a high standard, especially their vegetables.

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I am surprised to hear that Chutney Mary has not been given better reviews by you guys.  After all it is one of the restaurants done by the famous and very well respected Punjabi sisters (Camelia and Namita, Camelia of Taj fame).  What is it that does not work about Chutney Mary? 

I absolutely adored the food at Chutney Mary's last time I was there (granted it was over a year ago). I don't know enough about traditional Indian food to say how authentic it was, but it sure was delicious.

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Speaking of "Benares", its chef Arun Kochar has this review:

Lahori Karahi House

777 London Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, 020-8577 3344

This place serves typically Muslim dishes, very Pakistani street food in style, which I love. The chef is a dab hand with lamb, and does a wonderful lamb kidney dish, gurda kaleji masala, spiced with black cardamom and black pepper. Definitely my favourite takeaway.


For more reviews by current residents of London who are native South Asians you could try here:


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I very much enjoyed a recent meal at Kastoori in London (Tooting). It's vegetarian, and run by a Gujarati family that spent time in Uganda, and the food is said to reflect both. It certainly isn't typical curry house fare -- not a madras or vindaloo in sight! Most of the dishes were new to me, and each was a revelation in its own way. There were dishes with cabbage, drumsticks, karela, kontola, green bananas, mustard leaves, etc. It was a delicious learning experience!

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