There are hundreds of Indian restaurants across London, serving Indian food for curry lovers. This massive number is kind of obvious, since British national food is Tikka Masala (unofficially) and curry is ‘party food’, just like we have pizza in India. But the problem is, not many of these restaurants provide authentic taste; they customise their dishes for the west with less spice in them, sometimes irritatingly sweetish.[tweetmeme]
As Indian, I sometimes wonder if the curries served in Central London are really Indian or ‘Thai’. Anyways, my point is, if you are new to Indian food and would like to try; Central London is not a place for you. They are expensive, customised and does not even taste Indian. You need to find a place in east London for south Indian style food and west London for north Indian kind of curries. Thumb rule is, North Indian restaurant is judged by the “Daal” it serves, and South Indian by its “Sambhar”. I am yet to explore few more Indian-ish areas before I can write review about curries. But South Indian is ready right away.
East London is a pilgrimage for south Indians, for food and temples. If you miss T-Nagaar Chennai, for its Idly-Dosa or full meals, you will have to come to east – East ham, Upton Park or Ilford. In this context, I would like to provide some web presence on where to eat with special emphasis on what is “must miss”. I feel I should offer my help to people who refer to internet for good Indian restaurants in London, south Indian ones.
Vasanta Bhavan 9/10: I would rate this top amongst all the restaurants I have ever eaten in London. This is first place I would visit when my gf denies me food for the night. This is an authentic south Indian vegetarian restaurant, located just 20 meters from East Ham underground station. Food here is excellent, so is their service. Idly-Vada with Coconut Chutney is as good and fresh as if they were just imported! North Indian and Chinese dishes are also worth try. There is a scope of improvement on Masala they provide with Dosa. To summarize, food is worth your money.
Ananthapuri 8/10: This is a newly opened Kerala restaurant. I rate it very high, since they have classic Kerala style taste in all of their dishes. This is also located near East Ham tube station; You have more options here with Kerala specials, also booze to go with. A boiled rice meal is a speciality (must try), for those who are from Kerala or coastal Karnataka.
Taste of India 7/10: This restaurant represents typical Indian style food in both South Indian and North Indian dishes. Good service, neat and clean, value for money. Non-vegetarian food is their speciality.
Chennai Dosa 4:/10: This is a chain of restaurants spread across London (I guess). I have tried them in East and South London as well. I am not impressed. Lunch and breakfast buffet is worth a try, where you taste almost every item they offer. Taste of south Indian food is very average and north Indian dishes are very bad. Biggest problem with this chain of restaurant is service, they suck! They look unhygienic.
Saravana Bhavan 5/10: This is most hyped restaurants among all. But the fact is, they are not as good as others I have listed here. South Indian food is average; north Indian/Chinese food is very bad. This is the only place where I have seen strangely tasting greenish yellow Gobi Manchurian (which BTW discouraged me to visit here further). Contrary to my review this place is always crowded and will continue to be so, only because the people aren’t well informed about the facts or they go by name.
Chola Dosa 4/10: Go here only for chicken/ lamb dishes, they seem to be fantastic. As a vegetarian myself, I haven’t tried non-veg dishes, but I have collected this information from reliable resources (My gf is a carnivore). Vegetarian items here are pathetic. I have tried them personally and I do not want you to repeat the mistakes I have done.
Other honourable mentions
Udaya 7/10: Fantastic service and authentic Kerala taste, little isolated.
Hyderabad Biriyani 6/10: Overpriced but authentic Andhra style.
Tattakuda 5/10: Kerala style restaurant. Good but there is nothing much they can offer with frozen fishes.
… to be continued.