With a curry fit for almost any occasion it has become one of Britain’s go-to dishes. From traditional takeaway favourites like kormas and saag aloo, to trendy restaurants popping up all over the capital (Dishoom anyone?) serving up modern takes on authentic classics, there really is something for everyone now. London is full to the brim with endless amounts of curry options to choose from. We understand that for some this may be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of the best curry dishes in the capital, alongside the restaurant that serves them.
What: Monday night curry club thali.
Why: Technically this is more than one dish but because there are a few served together we are counting it as one. Thali is a word used to refer to a selection of Indian curries being served together on one platter. If you happen to be visiting Brigadiers on a Monday night (which we recommend you do) order the Monday night curry club thali to get a taste of the lamb roganjosh, butter chicken, panner korma and its house daal. Served with a garlic naan to soak it all up, you can get a little taste of everything in one sitting.
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
How much: £25 per person
What: Keralan Lime Lobster
Why: Named after a little town in the Nilgiri Indian Mountains that was popular with the British during the Raj, you can clearly see the UK influence on all the curry dishes at Ooty. The Keralan Lime Lobster with shellfish charu, bisque squid ink idli and chutney spoon brings together elements from both Indian and British cuisine to create a luxurious curry you won't find at just any Indian takeaway. Other things worth giving a try on the menu are the lamb shank koora and Malabar jhinga biryani.
Where: 66 Baker Street, W1U 7DJ
How much: £33
What: Char-grilled monkfish with Kerala curry sauce, tomato rice.
Why: As one of the first fine-dining Indian restaurants in the UK, Cinnamon Club offers up traditional Indian curries with a luxurious spin. From a cep and spinach curry, tandoori king oyster mushroom, and mushroom pilau to the char-grilled monkfish, Cinnamon Club is ideal for when you want something a little more special than your average everyday curry.
Where: 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1P 3BU
How much: £29
What: Chicken Tikka Bhuna
Why: Since Indian cuisine was first introduced in the UK; it is fair to say that the British have definitely put their own spin on things. Chicken Tikka is a classic example of this with a blend of Indian spices mixed together with cream to create the popular dish. So if you fancy playing it safe and going for dishes everyone knows and loves Light of India is worth giving a visit. They even have a spice meter next to each dish, so you won’t be in for any nasty surprises here.
Where: 67-69 Gloucester Road, SW7 4PG
How much: £12.95
What: Palak Paneer
Why: Although in the UK we are surrounded by meat and fish curries, a large majority of Indians are actually vegetarian and the vegetarian curries are just as good, if not better than the meaty ones. Bollywood Stories' palak paneer is a hard cheese based curry with fresh spinach and glazed onion and goes perfectly with rice or naan.
Where: 36-38 Kingsway, WC2B 6EY
How much: £12
What: Bhuna Gosht Adrak
Why: If you’re looking to experience your Indian cuisine in an authentic but stylish setting, Choki Dhani is the place you want to be. With traditional Indian paintings and furniture, you feel as if you are sat in an upmarket restaurant in Delhi and with authentic food to match, you may as well be. Try the Bhuna Gosht Adrak, a lamb dish cooked with onions, tomatoes and subtle spices to add extra flavour but not over-power the meat. Other dishes on the menu that are worth giving a try include, the Nariyal prawn curry and aloo gobi. Don't forget to order a shisha at the end of the night in their outdoor lounge.
Where: 2 Nine Elms Lane, SW11 8AW
How much: £17
What: House Black Daal
Why: What would a list of the best curries in London be without everyone’s beloved Dishoom? Its house black daal, which is cooked for over 24 hours to make it extra creamy and full of flavour, is another one to add to the list of best veggie curries. Great mopped up with naan, roti or rice it would be a crime to go to Dishoom without ordering this dish. On the menu you’ll also find the likes of chicken ruby, a selection of Biryanis and the paneer pineapple tikka. Just make sure you leave enough time to queue because Dishoom gets busy, quickly.
Where: 22 Kingly Street, W1B 5QP
How much: £6.20
What: Chickpea masala.
Why: Specialising in South Indian cuisine specifically, and boasting a Michelin star, Quilon is another to add to the list of Indian fine dining restaurants that are definitely worth giving a try. Perhaps one of the simplest dishes on the menu, the chickpea masala cooked in a special blend of aromatic spices is a no fuss homage to simple Indian vegetarian cooking and goes perfectly with rice or naan.
Where: 41 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF
How much: £8
What: Chicken Biryani
Why: Although technically not a curry, biryani is from the same family so we are going to count it in this list. Served in a big bowl covered with pastry ballooned over the top, the biryani at DUM is unlike any other you’ve had before. Accompanied by okra, padron peppers in a peanut and sesame curry and pickle, this mix of flavours goes perfectly with the spicy and fragrant rice dish the restaurant is known for. You can opt for lamb, vegetable or seafood biryani too if chicken isn’t your thing.
Where: 187B Wardour Street London
How much: £16
What: Jackfruit Jalfrezi
Why: The only fully vegan Indian restaurant on this list, Spice Box offers up plant based alternatives to all the classic dishes. From chickin tikka masala to mushroom keema, you don’t have to miss out on the traditional curries here. The stand out dish at this restaurant however, is the jackfruit jalfrezi. Using the trendy vegan meat alternative in the traditional jalfrezi curry sauce, this plant based and environmentally-conscious curry is well worth a try, vegan or not.
Where: 58 Hoe Street, E17 4PG
How much: £8.25
What: Khatte Baingan Aubergine
Why: Featuring an all-female kitchen and serving up home cooked Indian food ‘the way it is meant to be eaten’ on big sharing platters, The Darjeeling Express has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a supper club. Try the vegan Khatte Baingan Aubergine curry cooked with a selection of Indian spices and a coconut base. Don’t forget to order the spicy Bengali aloo dum or puris to accompany your meal either.
Where: Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
How much: £14
What: Corn kachumber
Why: Incorporating seasonal British ingredients to create modern takes on Indian classics, You’ll find quirky and creative small plates to enjoy at Kricket. Go for the corn kachumber with malai corn puree and kori roti or try some of the other dishes like the Keralan fried chicken or beef seekh kebab. You can be sure to find exciting and experimental Indian dishes at Kricket.
Where: 12 Denman Street, W1D 7HH
How much: £7.50
What: Green peas kofta, sweet potatoes and coconut curry
Why: Paying homage to the traditional cooking methods and flavours of Indian cuisine, while still adding a modern and exciting twist to its dishes, Indian Accent is another to add to the list of must-try Indian fine dining restaurants. Curry-wise the green pea koftas in a sweet potato and coconut curry is a good dish to opt for. If you can’t imagine a meal without meat however, the chicken malai tikka with asparagus and green chilli cream is an exciting take on one of Britain’s favourite curries.
Where: 16 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HW
How much: £22
What: Hiran Ki Boti
Why: Using a meat that isn’t stereotypically featured in Indian cooking, the Hiran Ki Boti uses venison in a garam masala jus with biryani to create a different but exciting curry. Also on this experimental fine dining menu, expect to find the likes of crab dosas, chargrilled sea bass and lobster biryani.
Where: 12a Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS
How much: Minimum spend £40 per person
What: Meen Manga Curry
Why: With a wine pairing to match each curry dish on the menu, Trishna and its contemporary take on Indian food puts equal emphasis on both its food and drink. Food-wise the Meen Manga is a fresh and sweet curry made with hake, mango and tamarind. Other options on the menu include gongura lamb and dorset brown crab cooked with coconut, pepper, garlic and curry leaf.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
How much: £22
What: Sagolir Manxo
Why: Focusing on the ‘unexplored cuisine’ of India’s Seven Sister States, Kanishka, created by Atul Kochhar is full of exciting dishes combining ingredients more common of the sister states than India itself. Still you’ll find the likes of Sagolir Manxo goat curry and grilled monkfish curry, so don’t worry, there is no shortage of curry here.
Where: 17-19 Maddox Street
How much: £27
Can’t get enough of curry? Check out our list of the best Indian restaurants in London.