Why is it that people often scoff at the idea of upscale Indian dining? The labor intensive cuisine loved by chefs is often unappreciated and thought of as only a cheap option. In the UK, there are over 9,500 Indian restaurants and many have earned top accolades, including Michelin stars. Alfred Prasad is the executive chef of Tamarind of Mayfair, which was first Indian restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star. He is just one of the London chefs taking Indian food to a whole new level. “I give a lot of credit to the Bangladeshi curry houses for having popularized Indian food and allowed Indian chefs like myself to take it up a notch. Most of these restaurants tend to be run by Bangladeshi pioneers. They came into the UK in the late ‘50s, early ‘60s more as garment traders, but that dwindled in terms of opportunity. A lot of them decided to open small restaurants and take-aways serving Bangladeshi or Indian food from the subcontinent. Most of them were not formally trained, but popular enough because every local had their favorite. Just like they had their favorite pub close by, they also had their curry house.”

If you’re looking for a higher-end Indian dining experience in London, here are chef-recommended restaurants worth visiting.


Gymkhana

This Michelin-starred restaurant is named after the Anglo-Indian sports club from the era of Raj. It is located in Mayfair and owned by Karam Sethi of Trishna in Marylebone. Go for a leisurely lunch (either 2 or 3 courses) and make sure to check out their Gin & Tonic list which features many varieties of gin, tonics, and botanical additions.

“The best Indian food in the UK. Full stop.”
FED Pro  >  Chef Tom Fraser of Scott's, Mayfair

It is very authentic and have infused their flavors very well. Their Indian food is of the highest level.
FED Pro  >  Chef Gaurav Anand of Awadh, Bhatti Indian Grill

42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH
T: +44.(0)20.3011.5900 | 
www.gymkhanalondon.com

Tamarind’s Kalonji Jhinga | Photograph courtesy of Tamarind

Tamarind’s Kalonji Jhinga | Photograph courtesy of Tamarind

Tamarind of Mayfair

Tamarind has the honor of being the first Indian restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star. With chef Alfred Prasad at the helm, they are focused on dishes inspired by the traditional Moghul cuisine of North West India, which means fish, meat, and game cooked in a tandoor oven.

“Try the Kashmiri Rogan Gosht is a classic lamb curry from Kashmir, a very cold region in the himalayas. It is a fiery red sauce that is medium spicy, not really really hot. It is flavored with dried ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves. It is very aromatic and a good introduction for someone who is familiar with Indian food and is able to handle spices.”
FED Pro  >  Chef Alfred Prasad of Tamarind of Mayfair

20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PR
T: +44.(0)20.7629.3561 | www.tamarindrestaurant.com

Photograph courtesy of Moti Mahal

Photograph courtesy of Moti Mahal

Moti Mahal

Delhi-born head chef Anirudh Arora focuses on Northern Indian cuisine. You can order a la carte or from their ₤83 tasting menu, which is offered as either vegetarian or non-vegetarian with wine pairings.

“It means Pearl Palace and is one of the longstanding Indian restaurants in London. It is an upscale curry house servubg authentic Northern Indian cuisine with good curries, kebabs, andappetizers like Aloo Tikki (potato cakes).”
FED Pro  >  Chef Alfred Prasad of Tamarind of Mayfair

45 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AA
T: +44.(0)20.7240.9329 | www.motimahal-uk.com

Photograph courtesy of Mint Leaf

Photograph courtesy of Mint Leaf

Mint Leaf

Executive chef Rejoinder Pandey, who was a member of the opening team in 2003, has traveled through India and worked in fine-dining restaurants there. His menus are focused on modern Indian cuisine using seasonal ingredients. They also have an extensive cocktail list.

“They are infusing Indian and French flavors together and doing it perfectly. Just the way it should be.”
FED Pro  >  Chef Gaurav Anand of Awadh, Bhatti Indian Grill

Suffolk Place, London SW1Y 4HX | T: +44.(0)20.7930.9020 | BOOK A TABLE
12 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HB | T: +44.(0)207.600.0992
 | BOOK A TABLE
www.mintleaflondon.com

Photograph courtesy of The Red Fort

Photograph courtesy of The Red Fort

The Red Fort

Opened in 1983 and still going strong. Northern India Mughal cuisine with dishes that range from mild to spicy using quality, local ingredients. They have a large tandoor oven to make their twenty different breads, a grill for their prawns, Scottish salmon, Gressingham duck breast and French corn-fed chicken.

“Named after the Red Fort in New Delhi, this restaurant has been quite long established in Soho. It is Northern Indian cuisine - curries, kebabs and biryani. What they have done quite well is that they have always invited master chefs from great Indian restaurants and hotel kitchens to spend a month to do a promotion and train their chefs with new flavors. Having done that for such a long time, their team of chefs have learned a lot of different styles of cooking and that has worked really well as a formula for them.”
FED Pro  >  Chef Alfred Prasad of Tamarind of Mayfair

77 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 3SH
T: +44.(0)20.7437.2525 | www.redfort.co.uk


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