119 Brockley Rise, London SE23 1JP

Don’t miss this gem of an Indian restaurant in South London. Instantly recognisable by the life-size tiger that protrudes above the door, Babur has been serving up top-notch food to locals for almost 40 years now and it has plenty of accolades under its belt, including the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ award at the 2023 Asian Restaurant Awards. Babur’s food menu includes classic dishes from all over India, elevated with the chef’s take on traditional recipes, including beetroot cutlet, crab bonda dumplings, tikka butter masala, and baby monkfish tail caldeen. The restaurant’s mango chutney has also been deemed London’s best by podcast Off Menu.


The Tamil Prince opened in Islington last year when an ex-Roti King duo, chef Prince Durairaj and Glen Leeson, took over and reinvented a Barnsbury pub. It was – and is – a total hit,  so it’s no surprise that the team were quick to expand. The Tamil Crown is the name of the second site and like the original, it’s doing food from the Tamil Nadu region of India, it’s inside a pub and it’s in Islington, this time the other side of Upper Street, close to Angel.  The menu at The Tamil Crown, once you’ve been able to read it (the lighting in the upstairs dining room is incredibly low), is similar to the one that’s turned the OG into such a favourite, with the addition of some exclusive dishes, like the moreish lime leaf-roasted chicken and pineapple chutney; rich beef masala on a spongy, crispy-bottomed uttapam with a punchy coconut chutney; and mango sambar.  The regulars shouldn’t be overlooked though, especially the gloriously craggy onion bhajis, and the Chettinad lamb and Thanjavur chicken curries, both laced with curry leaves and whole chillies. And a word on the roti, it’s superlative, maybe the best in London, which is appropriate considering the founders’ Roti King backgrounds. Order one each, and then order another because you won’t want to leave a drop of sauce unmopped.


Instantly recognisable by the life-size tiger that protrudes above the door, Indian restaurant Babur has been serving up top-notch Indian food to the South East Londoners for almost 40 years now. Babur has plenty of accolades under its belt, most recently winning ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ at the 2023 Asian Restaurant Awards. Babur’s food menu includes classic dishes from all over India, elevated with the chef’s take on traditional recipes. The beetroot cutlet with spiced fennel and crispy tapioca, crab bonda dumplings with fresh mint sauce, tikka butter masala, baby monkfish tail caldeen with samba rice, and dal makhni are all winners, and the restaurant’s mango chutney (which you can enjoy with a stack of poppadoms) was deemed London’s best by podcast Off Menu, so don’t miss it.


The Tamil Prince sits on a quiet street in a residential part of Islington, having taken over a whitewashed corner pub building that was previously called the Cuckoo. Despite the sleepy surroundings, this pub really packs a punch. It was completely reinvented by ex-Roti King duo Prince Durairaj and Glen Leeson and now serves up an acclaimed menu inspired by Prince’s childhood home of Tamil Nadu in southern India. Start off with small plates such as okra fries, onion bhaji with mint chutney and spiced chicken lollipops with sweet chilli chutney, followed by an exceptional king prawn & curry leaf varuval, or maybe the masala-marinated tawa whole sea bream. If you’re in the mood for dessert, don’t miss the gulab jamun (sweet, fragrant fried dumplings) and you’ll wanna have at *least* one of their signature cocktails (the Tamil Negroni is killer). Whatever you end up picking, we’re confident you won’t be disappointed.


The oldest Indian restaurant in the capital, Veeraswamy was opened in 1926 by Edward Palmer, who was the grandson of an English general and an Indian princess – Veeraswamy was Palmer’s grandmother’s family name. While it wasn’t the first or only Indian restaurant in London at the time, it’s generally said to be the first that was considered high-end and it became a real hotspot for decades, attracting the city’s rich and famous. Almost a century later, the restaurant has changed hands a few times but Veeraswamy is as extravagant and eccentric as ever, and its menu is still one of the best in town – it’s earned a Michelin star after all.


Brilliant is Southall’s longest-standing Indian restaurant, having first opened back in 1975. Its roots are in Nairobi, where the family business’ patriarch Bishen Dass Anand launched Brilliant in the fifties. It was two of Anand’s sons who opened the London edition of Brilliant, which started out as a small 30-cover restaurant and has since grown to a huge 220-cover institution. Anand’s granddaughter, Dipna, is now at the helm, serving up an award-winning Punjabi menu of exceptionally executed classics. Don’t miss the ‘Brilliant’ signatures: butter, jeera or chilli chicken.


13 Water St, London E14 5GX

Inspired by the old Irani cafes of Bombay, Dishoom became an instant hit thanks to its bangin’ sharing plates and beaut decor, and all their sites have regular huge queues out the door. The lamb samosas, masala prawns, house black daal and chicken ruby are spot on every single time, and we’ll never say to no to THAT bacon and egg naan with a chai for brekkie.


Bombay Bustle is taking its brunch to a new level by running it all weekend long. Weekend Chillies really does have something for everyone, with the menu featuring everything from pork sorpotel (pickled pulled pork, poached egg, white cheddar hollandaise & warm curry leaf brioche) and uttapam mutta roast (eggs, rice pancakes & tomato chutney) to Chettinad double fried chicken and chilli paneer to Bombay Bustle classics like dum lamb biryani and chicken tikka makhani – and that’s before you get onto the likes of gulab jamun tiramisu and saffron milk cake at the dessert station. If you have trouble narrowing it down (and you will because all the food here is fantastic), there’s also a set Bundle Brunch menu on offer. You’ll also be able to check out the capsule collection of table linen from Dandelion, the lifestyle label from Bombay Bustle’s founder Samyukta Nair, which is all about making memories around the table.  


On the quiet backstreets of Barnsbury, The Tamil Prince has taken over a nice whitewashed corner pub building that was previously called the Cuckoo. As you can tell from the name change this is no simple change of management – the pub has been taken over and reinvented by an ex-Roti King duo, chef Prince Durairaj and Glen Leeson. So now we have a mash up of a classic London pub but with food inspired by Prince’s childhood home of Tamil Nadu in southern India, with the likes of okra fries, pulled beef uttapam with coconut chilli chutney, huge grilled prawns and channa bhatura with chickpea curry. With some top south Indian dishes served in a relaxed pub environment and good beers and cocktails too, The Tamil Prince is a royally good addition to the neighbourhood.


42 N Audley St, London W1K 6ZP
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Indian restaurant BiBi is part of the JKS group and ran by chef Chet Sharma, who’s earned his stripes working at some of the country’s best Michelin-starred restaurants including Moor Hall and L’Enclume. Oh, and Chet also has a PHD in physics from Oxford University – which is really not something you can often say about a chef. Chet has a very strong debut in the can with BiBi, full of crowd pleasing hits, familiar notes and more adventurous moments. The Indian menu is split in to five sections – snacks, chaat, sigree, sides and desserts – and you’ll want to ensure a spread of six to eight dishes across these. The must orders in our book include the Wookey Hole (that’s the cheese fyi) cheese papad, giant cheesy crisps with a creamy dip and mango and green chutneys; the raw belted Galloway beef pepper fry, an Indian riff on a beef tartare, spiked with spices and fermented Tellicherry peppercorns; the chukh masala tikka; and the Swaledale lamb belly gallouti, glistening with rich fat and crispy skin. All in all, BiBi is a great restaurant, with truly exciting and inventive dishes on offer, and a fresh, contemporary take on Indian cuisine.

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Heritage re-imagines traditional Indian cooking by putting a modern spin on established recipes, with a menu that manages to pay homage to India’s diverse culinary culture whilst also having a little fun too. The kitchen is headed up by Chef Dayashankar Sharma (ex-Tamarind, the first Indian restaurant in London to receive a Michelin star), who strikes the balance between crowd-pleasing classics and pure-genius plates, from the likes of Goan stuffed fish and lamb biryani to sundried tomato & truffle naan and plum, honey & mustard spiced duck. Heritage lives up to the hype, and as for the service, well that is well worth the trip to West Dulwich alone.

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Michelin-starred chef Rohit Ghai, who also runs Kutir in Chelsea, has returned to his former stomping ground of Mayfair (having previously been Executive Chef at Jamavar and Bombay Bustle) for Manthan. It’s now a very sexy looking spot with a subtle ocean theme running throughout too and co-founder Abhi Sangwan has carried that theme through to the drinks list with a cocktail menu inspired by the seven oceans of the world and featuring fresh exotic fruits, botanicals and infusions. In the kitchen, Ghai unites his childhood experiences growing up in Madhya Pradesh with his knowledge of working in those high-end Indian restaurants to create a refined take on home-style cooking, resulting in dishes like ghati masala prawns, lamb osso buco curry, halloumi tikka, and garlic kheer.


Having long served members of the royal family at Windsor Castle, the famous restaurateurs and award-winning Indian caterers Madhu’s, know a thing or two about Indian food. On the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols you can find their latest collaboration, Madhu’s Brasserie, which offers all-day gourmet dining. Nab a seat at the counter-wrapped bar so you can take in the theatre of chefs at work rolling freshly baked breads before they go in the tandoor oven and cooking over the robata grill. Standout dishes cooked on the robata are the lamb chops, cooked in ginger and aromatic spices, along with the incredible butterfly king prawns. The slow-cooked black lentils in butter and tomato, flavoured with fenugreek and garlic and finished with cream, and the murgh makhani, tandoor grilled chicken tikka simmered in tomato sauce, are also winners.


Pali Hill, is the Indian restaurant in Fitzrovia on the old Gaylord site, from Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri, the pair behind Indian group Azure Hospitality. The restaurant is named after one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Mumbai and it’s a good looking place – the design has been inspired by the art deco apartments found in the area with lots of warm yellows, deep oranges and greens, and an open kitchen at the back so you can see the chefs in action. Head Chef Avinash Shashidhara (previously River Café and Hibiscus) has created a menu that features dishes from across India, like papadi chat, Pondicherry squid, Pali Hill chicken tikka, and lamb biryani, and the portions are on the generous side so even the small plates aren’t really that small. Come hungry, leave happy.

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Hoppers King's Cross, Pancras Square, London

Hoppers’ latest – and largest – restaurant in King’s Cross has a big, weatherproofed outdoor terrace that faces the Regent’s Canal, making it a great summer spot. The two outdoor bars serve up a menu of cocktails and Sri Lankan snacks, as well as an IPA made exclusively for Hoppers in collaboration with Two Tribes Brewery. Plus, during the summer they host a series of DJ sessions programmed by Two Tribes and Voices Radio. Inside, it’s bright, spacious and vibrant, with the kitchen knocking out all the Hoppers Sri Lankan and South Indian classics such as Swimmer Crab Kari; Bone Marrow Varuval; Lamb Kothu Roti; and of course the signature string and egg hoppers. 


This Indian grab & go spot lets you build your own meals from the selection of leaves, grains, proteins, veggies, chutneys and jams, including corn chaat, brown berry rice, Bengal spiced beetroot, mint chicken, masala lime avocado, tomato & date chutney, tamarind chickpeas and tomato masala meatballs. There are over 600 possible combos available – that’s a lot of lunch options! And if you’re an early bird, Tamarind Tiger also serves breakfast pots in the morning, so you can start your day with porridge, banana, palm jaggery caramel & toasted coconut or poached egg with masala beans, and the in-store chai bar has 14 types of chai on offer too. Wow.


Bombay Bustle draws inspiration from the tiffin-wallahs of Mumbai and the menu recreates some of the most-loved dishes from the area, like Misal pav topped with potato salli, Kolhapuri spiced spit roasted chicken, and seabass and scallop Tawa Pulao. For lunch you can grab a tiered tiffin box filled with curries, rice and breads. The interiors also draw influence from Mumbai with art deco design, a pewter bar and lots green leather and wood panelling, just like you’d find at an Indian railway station, so you won’t run out of things to snap for insta.


Rohit Ghai, who previously worked at Gymkhana and won a Michelin star at Jamavar, has gone out on his own with Kutir in Chelsea. It’s taken over the townhouse building that was previously home to Vineet Bhatia, the restaurant that famously won a Michelin star only to close a week later. As Kutir, the restaurant takes inspiration from the royal hunting traditions of the Indian countryside, so it’s big on seasonal ingredients like game and seafood. There’s an a la carte menu and a few good value set menus too so there’s plenty of ways to play it depending on time and budget. The lamb tandoori chops and the nargisi kofta – an egg in an amazing spicy sauce served with paratha bread and bone marrow – are standouts, as are the deep fried prawns with coconut and roscoff onion, and the guinea fowl biryani, served with homemade raita and pickles. The cocktail list, created by co-founder Abhi Sangwan, matches the menu well by using wild and natural Indian ingredients.

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