The Best Indian Food In London—Straight From The Pros

What is London known for? Big Ben, double decker buses, the Royal family, and curry. With seemingly hundreds of Indian and Pakistani restaurants lining the streets of every single neighborhood, it can be tricky to separate the gems from the decidedly average.
Which is why we’ve gone and gotten the lowdown on the best of the best — straight from the capital’s leading food and cooking experts. From South Indian treats to super-swanky dining experiences, these are the places to go for a proper Ruby Murray.
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Gizzi Erskine — food writer, chef and TV presenter

“Tayyabs; it's fast, franetic, with the grumpiest service but great honest and authentic Punjabi food, famous for its grilled meats and dry curries at a bargain price. The lamb chops, paneer and giant prawns are TO DIE FOR and the daals are worth going for alone. A proper East London institution.”
Tayyabs, 83-89 Fieldgate Stre, London, E1 1JU 020 7247 6400

“Rasa; I live on the Clapton/Stoke Newington border and having two Rasa Restaurants (one meat and one vegetarian) on my doorstep is just perfect. Its Kerelan food — so, lots of vegetables, street food and curries. If I’m wanting to eat light I go to Rasa N16, the vegetarian restaurant, for one of their amazing Dosas and Puris. And if I’m feeling more like a hearty meal Ill go to Rasa Travancore, right across the road, for my fill of slow cooked meat and fish curries.”
Rasa Travancore, 56 Stoke Newington Church street, London, N16 0NB 0207 249 1340
Rasa N16, 55 Stoke Newington Church street, London, N16 0AR 0207 249 0344

Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts by Gizzi Erskine is published by Quadrille, £19.99

Photo: Courtesy of Gizzi Erskine; Rasa
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Sophie Michell — chef and food writer

Giftos Lahore Karahi
"In terms of Indian food, I always used to go to Southall and spend an afternoon there with an Indian friend of mine — we'd have tandoori lamb and Roti (amongst lots of other dishes) at Giftos Lahore Karahi, then go to Ambala (my favourite shop) for amazing Indian sweets to take home. I loved it and you get the best Indian food in this area. Plus, I love buying lots of interesting produce and looking at all the stunning Sari shops.”
Gifto’s Lahore Karahi, Fort Lahore, 162 – 164, The Broadway, Southall, UB1 1NN 020 8813 8669

If I'm in town, it's a special occasion, and I don't mind spending more (a lot more…ahem), I might go to Tamarind. You can watch the chefs cooking the Tandoor, which adds theatre to the evening. Plus, they make a beautiful biryani with rosewater — and I love the delicately spiced plump scallops"
Tamarind, 20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PR 020 7629 3561

Photo: Courtesy of Sophie Michell; Tamarind restaurant
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Rosie Lovell — founder of Rosie's Deli Cafe and food writer

Mirch Masala
“Mirch Masala in Tooting Broadway is excellent. This grill joint does the best lamb chops; thin, salty and packed with flavour. The atmosphere is busy and hot and like a holiday. You can get away with a cheap tab and B.Y.O.”
Mirch Masala, 213 Upper Tooting Road, London, SW17 7TG 0800 024 8080

“For lunch, Ganapati in Peckham is a local favourite. The masala dosa is delicate and the accompanying pickles are delicious — moist garlic pickle, ginger chutney and that lovely fine coconuty one. It is the perfect one-stop lunchtime treat. The staff are also super friendly and it’s a calm experience.”
Ganapati, 38 Holly Grove, London, SE15 5DF 0207 277 2928

Photo: Emily London; Courtesy of Rosie Lovell
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Ravinder Bhogal — TV chef, food writer and stylist

“Trishna has the best Indian seafood dishes in London — their hariyali bream is excellent, and their pastry chef, Mohan Singh, does genius puddings.”
Trishna, 15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, London, W1U 3DG 020 7935 5634

"I love Tayyabs in East London for their affordable tandoori food."
Tayyabs, 83-89 Fieldgate Stre, London, E1 1JU 020 7247 6400

Photo: Courtesy of Ravinder Bhogal