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Tucked off Kensington High Street, this unassuming spot offers the classic neighbourhood Indian restaurant experience, but its food transcends the curry-house norm. The simple low-ceilinged dining room features beige leather chairs and white table linen: pleasant if hardly inspiring. In contrast, the food bursts with distinctive flavours in such dishes as pan-fried tiger prawns soaked in cider; or prune- and pepper-stuffed paneer kebab (grilled until crisp at the edges). Tandoori dishes and regulation main courses – rogan josh, butter chicken, lamb biryani – cost around £13, but it’s worth trying regional specialities such as Mangalorean chicken with curry leaves and coconut milk, or the chef’s specials: perfectly moist, pan-seared Gressingham duck breast, for instance, served with mustard-seed sauce and lemon rice. Well-considered cocktails are another forte, though the wine list has limited by-the-glass options. Service is rather serious (yet thorough), but overall Raj is a solid choice if you’re in the area.
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