Though we need no excuse to tuck into a tikka masala, National Curry Week begs that you do; here’s where to celebrate this year in London…
Words Helen Brown
Winter is coming and what better way to warm yourself up than with the tingle of a classic curry. We spend millions on it every year in the UK and London alone has more restaurants dedicated to it than Delhi. So to mark National Curry Week which runs from the 9 to 15 October, we have rounded up a few of our favourite places to grab a bowl of the stuff. Whether you’re after a comforting plate of korma or something more adventurous, this list offers something for all.
Our top picks for National Curry Week in London
Chef Abdul Yaseen at Darbaar has designed a menu with three decadent curries to celebrate National Curry Week. Choose from a luxury take on the classic Chicken Korma, a fragrant Royal Bengal-Style Fish Curry and the Fisherman’s Beef Vindaloo. Each has been created to showcase the very best of Indian cuisine, and help kick off the week in style.
Immerse yourself in Punjabi culture and cuisine in the heart of South West London. A broad spice range and a vegetable heavy menu form the backbone of Sai. Tandoor cooking is the specialty of this restaurant serving authentic Punjabi dishes. They offer a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian starters and main courses to suit any palate.
HIX OYSTER & CHOPHOUSE
Chef Mark Hix MBE is joining forces with Will Bowlby, head chef of London-favourite Kricket, for a ‘very British Ruby Murray.’ The two chefs will mark the end of National Curry Week on 16 October with a veritable feast in homage to curry. The four-course menu of British-Indian flavours – including Will’s Samphire Pakoras – a Kricket classic, and Mark’s signature Somerset Goat Curry, will allow both chefs to demonstrate how well British ingredients can work in Indian cooking. Additionally there will be a range of classic tipples infusing a palate of British spirits with key eastern ingredients, to quench the chilli heat. And what would a ‘Ruby Murray’ be without a pint to accompany? Palmers brewery will be shipping over a fresh batch of ‘HIX IPA’, a collaborative ale, brewed specifically for the event.
This stylish central London restaurant is the perfect place for fine-dining with socialising. Sitting in St. James in the heart of the West End, this upmarket eatery will take you on a unique Indian culinary experience that reflects the country’s regional tastes, styles and nuances, using only the finest ingredients. The menu is diverse and includes a delectable range of Indian street food, along with a variety of grills and curries.
For a true taste of Asian fine dining, Benares brings French-inspired refinement to spice-based cooking. From marinated Cornish mackerel to tamarind glazed tandoori quail, head chef Atul Kochhar delivers a real creativity with each plate. He’s done wonders to elevate Indian cuisine from curry house staple to sophisticated fine dining with a finely tuned balance of flavours and textures.
This Indian is an institution, having served west Londoners since 1926. Expect classical and authentic Indian cuisine with a fine dining edge. First courses include green prawn tandoori and a venison mutta kebab while the mains menu delivers a delicious fiery roast duck vindaloo.
And if you’re looking to celebrate Diwali…
VEGETARIAN SUPPER CLUB AT DALLOWAY TERRACE
Guest chef Mira Manek has created a celebratory one-off vegetarian supper club for Bloomsbury hotspot Dalloway Terrace. Diwali On Dalloway combines Mira’s passion for healthy cooking with her love of traditional Indian cuisine. Highlights include Cucumber & Courgette Ribbons with a sweet lime and mustard seed dressing, Rosemary Masala Sweet Potatoes with spiced yoghurt chutney and Spiced Portobello Mushrooms with coriander pesto and walnuts. For those with a sweet tooth, Mira’s tempting dessert menu offers a Carrot Halwa served with vegan coconut ice-cream or Saffron Lime Cheesecake with a honey compote.
SUITS & SAREES DINNER AT JAMAVAR
Having recently obtained the highly-coveted Michelin star, Mount Street restaurant Jamavar are celebrating Diwali with a one off Suits & Sarees Dinner. Drawing on the custom of wearing new and beautiful clothes for the festival, guests will be encouraged to wear their finest attire, bringing back a sense of formality and glamour to proceedings. Executive Chef, Rohit Ghai has created a decadent six course menu for the night including Tellicherry Pepper and Garlic Soft Shell Crab with damson chutney and garlic chips and Kachhi Mirch Ka Gosht, kid goat spiced with green peppercorns and balanced with yogurt.