This week marks National Curry Week in the UK and to celebrate, Absolutely rounds up the best curry in London
By Zoë Delmer-Best
We Brits are famous for our love of curry – and who can blame us? We don’t need an excuse to visit a curry house, but if we did National Curry Week would be just that. From Dishoom’s Bombay small plates to the traditional Sri Lankan lamprais at Hoppers, we’ve rounded up the places dishing up the best curry in London. Enjoy!
There’s hardly a foodie in London who hasn’t heard of or eaten at Dishoom. Striving to bring the classic Bombay Café to London, Dishoom serves an eclectic mix of dishes from a number of relaxed outposts. They don’t take bookings for under six people, so if you are after a date night spot for two, you’ll need to be prepared to wait, but it’s no worry as you can sit at the bar where they serve up a mean cocktail.
Set in the stunning confines of an old Grade II listed library, the Cinnamon Club doesn’t fail to deliver visually. Although seemingly traditional on the outside, the menu is surprisingly creative and diverse. Using classic ingredients and flavours, the Cinnamon Club chefs are inventive with flavour combinations. We love the seasonal clove smoked breast of young grouse with pumpkin chutney and masala artichoke mash.
Brigadiers offers a London curry experience like no other. With its food unapologetically bold and flavoursome, diners should be prepared for a bombardment of flavour. Based on the army mess bars of India, Brigadiers is a place where camaraderie is encouraged and watching sport is practically enforced. Dining here is a more relaxed affair, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the food is any less delicious. Here is where you can find some of the best curry in London. Dishes of particular note include the bhuna ghee masala goat chops, and the wood-roasted Chettinad aubergine with channa daal and mango ginger raita.
Gunpowder doesn’t bother with a fancy façade, this is a space for flavour junkies. Serving only small plates, Gunpowder’s menu is stuffed with sharable dishes that showcase the vibrant, bold flavours of the subcontinent through responsibly sourced ingredients. Don’t leave without trying the Karwari soft shell crab – it’s simply excellent.
As the first Indian restaurant in London to receive a Michelin Star, Tamarind is one of the best Indian restaurants our capital has to offer. Located in the stylish surrounding of Mayfair, here you can enjoy traditional Indian dishes with a delicious modern twist. Highly esteemed, Tamarind isn’t all white-collar and stuffy; there’s a buzzy vibe owing to the two open kitchens. Dishes not to be missed are the old Delhi butter chicken with caramelised tomatoes and fragrant spices, and the Marwari bhindi consisting of starry-eyed okra, onion and tomato, topped with black and white sesame.
Curry at Zaika is a regal experience. Their dishes are inspired by the feasting traditions of the Awadhi aristocrats and are full of lots of delicate spice balances and aromatic seasoning. A must-try is their Nihari Gosht, a tender slow-cooked lamb shank with a delicious sauce of browned onions and aromatic spices. The restaurant is set in an old imposing bank building overlooking Hyde Park, employing all the imposing grandeur Awadhi aristocrats would expect of a dining experience. Prepare for a majestic amalgamation of spices and flavours.
Eating at Hoppers transports you straight to the back streets of Sri Lanka. The food is an exotic mix of flavours, served in a simple way. There’s always a long queue outside the street-styled restaurant, which may put some punters off, but it goes to show just how great their tasty morsels are. Hoppers will be putting traditional mixed meat lamprais on their lunch menu at Soho and St Christopher’s Place for National Curry Week and running a ‘Lamprais Lottery’. The superb smelling parcels come to you wrapped in charred banana. A handful of lucky guests will unwrap their banana leaf parcel to reveal a prize, from a Taste of Hoppers meal for two to a Love Cake ice cream sandwich on the house.
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