From familiar, time-honoured recipes through to chefs revolutionising Indian food, explore a list of Indian restaurants featured in the 2020 edition of the Michelin Guide.
Transporting the flavours of south west India to south west London, Quilon is a long-established Indian restaurant, opened back in 1999. The largely sharing-style menu takes inspiration from the coastal states of Goa and Kerala, with seafood a key focus. Experimental touches come in the form of beer pairings, plus seasonal tasting menus tailored to individual diners’ preferences.
Book Exclusive MICHELIN Specials: 5-course tasting menu with paired beers £85 per person
Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden
A charming, bijou hideaway in London’s Theatreland, Cinnamon Bazaar is an eclectic venture from Vivek Singh, mixing authentic Indian flavours with urbane accents. Set amid lush hanging foliage, cushion-scattered booths and ornate tiling, a colourful focal-point chaat cart is piled high with jars of ingredients and warming chai.
Book MICHELIN Specials: Journey Through Bazaar 4-course menu with a glass of champagne & a cookbook to take home £65 per person
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A much-loved local hideaway from Bollywood star Asha Bhosle, Asha’s draws inspiration from Bhosle’s hamlet-based origins, as well as her journeys to bustling Mumbai. The menu is packed with perfected house signature dishes spanning from wholesome family favourites through to luxurious and bold creations. Cocktails are inspired by instantly recognisable Indian flavours and fragrant teas, which can be enjoyed in the basement bar.
Book MICHELIN Specials: 4-course tasting menu & paired wines experience £50 per person
Offering a reinvention of Indian food in the UK, Kahani focuses on grilled meats, fish and vegetables lovingly finished on the robata grill and tandoor oven. No sauce-laden dishes are to be found here: the menu foregrounds light yet piquant dishes accompanied by enchanting, heady cocktails and an impressive cellar of international wines. The minimalist dining room, filled with polished stone, taupe fabrics and gently curved booths, acts as a muted backdrop for plated creations, bursting with colour.
Cafe Spice Namaste, Whitechapel
A partnership between husband-and-wife team Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, Cafe Spice Namaste is found amid the buzz of East London’s Whitechapel. Local produce is used wherever possible, and the menu comprises a tight list of signature dishes, plentiful vegan options and an extensive list of flavour-packed small plates.
Babur, Forest Hill
Set behind an unassuming glass frontage – albeit one flanked by a huge tiger sculpture - Babur presents carefully crafted Indian cooking, with an interesting list of seafood-focused dishes. Heightened attention is paid to the drinks list here, with every dish coming with a suggested matched wine, and a pick ‘n’ mix-style list of international gins and botanical tonics.
Launched by a pair who honed their craft working at the likes of Gymkhana and Trishna, Dastaan epitomises the concept of local favourite, found tucked away in the centre of Ewell. The meat-focused menu is shaped around favourite tandoori specialities alongside creative house signature recipes, plus a small selection of kebabs and tikka.
A hugely popular spot set in well-heeled Marylebone village, Trishna conjures the flavours from south west India. Swathes of glossy wood and whitewashed panels act as an understated backdrop for Trishna’s elaborate, highly creative tasting menu, while sommelier-matched wines are cherry picked from across the globe.
A vivacious, rainbow-coloured hideaway on the outskirts of Newcastle, Haveli serves well-crafted dishes that honour India’s time-honoured traditions and culinary techniques. Menus are shaped around the sea, land and garden, with much of the produce sourced locally. Much-loved curry house favourites are served alongside adventure-streaked signature creations.
Championing a boundary-pushing approach to Indian cooking, Opheem sees Chef-owner Aktar Islam use his Bangladeshi roots to merge time-honoured tradition with a fiercely modern approach to produce tasting menus that are unique and intriguing. The sprawling dining room is chic and crisp: a sea of silver-grey furnishings sit underneath a blanket of suspended orb-shaped lights.
A wildly popular – now permanent - former pop-up with sister restaurants dotted across London, Kricket splits its menu into meat, fish and veg sections, with all dishes crafted in the sweeping theatre-style kitchen. Counter seating and long tables lend themselves well to dining sharing style, while the bartenders serve up a selective list of funky, Indian-inspired cocktails.
Darjeeling Express, Soho
Nestled in the bustling hub of Kingly Court in the West End, Darjeeling Express is the definition of honest, traditional Indian food. Conjuring the ambience of a home-cooked dinner enjoyed with your nearest and dearest, the all-women kitchen team at Darjeeling Express lovingly create a multitude of flavours and textures served on sharing platters, with recipes drawing influence from the length and breadth of India.