Babur 22

119 Brockley Rise , London, SE23 1JP

020 8291 2400

Visit Babur

10 reviews

44 Indian Forest Hill

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SquareMeal Review of Babur

Readers applaud this “gem” of an Indian restaurant for its “artfully chosen” decor, “superb” cocktails and “exceptional” food. Babur is a long-standing neighbourhood favourite, where furnishings have become increasingly stylish over the years (currently, bare brick, tiled flooring, low-hanging lights and wooden partitions holding vibrant flower displays) and the Sunday buffet remains consistently popular. Food encompasses both northern and southern Indian cookery, so you’ll find clove-smoked lamb chops from the tandoor, as well as wild mushroom and pea dosa. But the new menu also contains a healthy dose of innovation. Dishes such as steamed spice-crusted shoulder of lamb with beetroot rice combine prime British ingredients with bold Punjabi flavours. Ostrich is marinated in a fierce Rajasthani masala, and even goat gets a look-in: slow-cooked to perfection and transformed with aromatic spices. To match these dishes, Master of Wine Peter McCombie has put together a list of food-friendly bottles.

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8.4

Food & Drink: 8.8

Service: 8.0

Atmosphere: 7.8

Value: 8.1

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Linda A. 01 October 2017

I was a bit nervous before my first visit here (for my father's birthday) - my family are very quick to criticise and I wanted the evening to be a success. But the impeccable service and delicious food on the tasting menus won everyone over, and we left promising to come back soon. The food was far from the run of the mill tandoori chicken and nan bread of the typical local Indian restaurant. Really interesting and subtle spicing combinations, beautifully presented. I have no hesitation in recommending it. Go!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Val M. 29 February 2016

This really is the best restaurant in my side of the South East, and visiting it is always a treat. My favourite dishes are the beetroot cutlets and the buffalo main dish, which is hot and smoky - I actually like I've smoked 40 Marlboro after eating it. And I love the organic Prosecco which is quite rustic and appley. I know that Indian restaurants are not renowned for their desserts, but I do think they could improve on the range, as it currently doesn't reflect their style and flare in my opinion.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Vi V. gold reviewer 19 February 2016

Our cocktail and canapes by Chef Jiwanlal's included poultry, vegetarian, savoury and sweet… plus we also took up their 50% off offer in the restaurant that night. Would be ashamed not to! chukandri venison £7.95 – quite a heavy spiced and the venison was a little dry. clove smoked lamb chops £8.25 – the infused flavour of cloves is so subtle yet quite distinct. I have never had cloves as the main flavour in lamb and thought that this works well. Brilliant! ostrich soole £8.50 dal makhni £5.50 – the creamy black lentils was such a hearty warming dish but I thought it was quite a small portion. lamb dum briyani, boondi raita £15.75 – the scent of perfectly cooked basmati rice is just unbeatable and the sealed pot was opened at the table, the smell of those spices was just delectable! Service is as attentive as always and once again enjoyed Babur's meal. I felt that the meat starters that we had was a little dry and the spice was quite intense, bordering excessive but I am sure that Chef Jiwanlal will come up with something interesting soon. Looking forward to our next meal, Babur!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Taran W. 15 October 2012

From an Indian, born and bred in Yorkshire, I am used to only the finest curries around and I can honestly say you wont be dissapointed to enjoy your curry at Barbur, tucked away 5min walk from Honor Oak Park station on the (gingerline) you will find this real gem!! Innovative, contemporary, stylish but best of all are its fantastic flavours.. simply delicious! If you are looking for an Indian with a difference, value for money and spot on for taste.. look no further! The chefs are top drawer! Sunday Lunch Buffet is the best around!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Ch N. 26 March 2012

We dined at Babur, Forest Hill, on Friday night with my brother and sister-in-law who were visiting from Leeds. All the food was absolutely delicious, including the pear tarte tatin for pudding, and the cocktails we had to begin with was just delicious. My brother and I had one of the dishes from the chef special menu (steamed Pollock cake) which was lovely. Lovely restaurant with a great service. Will be back soon.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Christina H. 29 December 2011

I do not normally like to have Indian food, but I keep going back to it as the foods are so good there!! I love the way how they combine the herb into food…

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Stephen H. 08 November 2011

I went here after reading favourable reviews only to be disappointed. The menu although imaginitive didn't deliver-waiter recomended the buffalo curry which tasted like low grade beef-the bill for two was about £100 which included cocktails-upon paying the waiter suggested that we take up their offer of a loyalty card that would entitle us to a 5% discount on future visits,but that there was a charge of £5 for this privelige-shall not return.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

John L. 23 May 2011

Having had my eyes opened to contemporary Indian cuisine courtesy of my wife demanding to be taken to Benares for her birthday, an old friend suggested I give Babur a try. I don't mind travelling a little way for an exceptional meal, and with the East London line extension I was able to get to Honor Oak Park from north of the river easily enough (and it's no Darlington, which I have done for a meal in the past). We went quite early, as I'd discovered they have a 50% discount outside of their rush hours (the manager called it their decongestion deal) and as such it was quite quiet, but picked up a buzz towards the end of our visit (we're thinking we might go later next time and sample the atmosphere a bit more). It has the look and feel of a more uptown establishment, with a daring cocktail menu to match (I loved the Currytini!) but with a more approachable service manner – which was good, as they'd just launched a menu celebrating the seafood dishes of the East Coast of India, to be followed by one celebrating the West coast the following month and I have to admit I wasn't overly familiar with all of the dishes. I really enjoyed chatting with the staff about dishes and fish that were new to me, and was more than happy to take a couple of recommendations which turned out to be real eye and tastebud openers! I think the best dish for me was the mussels in a coconut curry broth, which I didn't order so much as lean over and help myself to (sorry dear). Well worth a visit, and ridiculously good value for money it must be said. We plan on returning shortly to sample the West coast menu, and perhaps a couple more currytinis.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

JASPER B. 10 February 2011

Went to the restaurant for the first time this evening on the recommendation of several other couples;When we arrived first impressions were very good ;sadly misleading as we were led to a table very close to two other couples with most of the restaurant available !!.After 5 or so minutes a waiter came over to ask if we would like a drink ,we ordered two small beers and a bottle of red ,the waiter brought the beers and thoughtfully suggested he 'd bring the wine with our main courses!!!,We ordered our starters ,which duly arrived ,mine was Ostrich ,very very good ,my wife ordered Quail in a tamarind sauce , unfortunately it came with a lump of plastic!!!,When we showed the waiter he was very apologetic as was the chef who came out of the kitchen to apologise( a very nice touch),however we then waited 30 mins for our main courses which when they arrived were reasonable.However ,we decided that we did'nt want desserts and we just wanted the bill which we asked for ;10 or so minutes later the waiter came back with two desserts compliments of the house; we really were'nt interested ,we just wanted the bill , my wife out of politeness accepted her dessert but I turned my dessert down as I really was'nt interested,and I asked for the bill again!.About 3 minutes later the manager came over with the dessert I had already turned down and offered it to me again,I politely declined and asked for the bill again ,the waiters then bought us two complimentary digestif type drinks that we did 'nt want we explained that we just wanted the bill;Eventually one of them brought the bill;I explained that we were'nt leaving a tip because of the plastic in my wife's starter and because we did'nt ask or want free desserts or complimentary drinks in order to make up for the disappointment,Its a shame because as I have said my Ostrich was excellent

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Rupam T. 02 December 2010

I went to the Babur last night with three others…we turned up earlier than we had booked were quickly given a table with no problem. I had not been there since their refit and was amazed to see how modern it was, yet it felt very warm and welcoming. we had some p'doms with the most amazing chutneys..the whole garlic clove was the the best. We ordered from what was not the usual type of indian menu. The I felt menu was much more considered and select rather than pages and pages of every type of curry you can think of. I opted for Beggars Parcel to start which were vegetable filled pastry sacks..they were great…enjoyed their starters…I then had Black Cod on what was the most amazing sauce and mustard potatoes , not what you might normally expect..but it was distinctly indian and tasted wonderful. The others had a selection..Lamb on the bone, a large pancake filled with vegetables and then a special plate made especially by the chef for someone in our party who did not like chili. We were too full to have deserts. If you fancy a real treat in very pleasant surroundings then this is the place. In the end it worked out to be about 25 pounds a head. If I have any sort of a negative it's only to say that a few more vegetarian main courses would be good to see. Go try for yourself.

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