A slightly leftfield but still on topic choice would be any of Bristol’s lush Thali Cafes. The British Raj style-decor conjures up nostalgia for the last days of British Empire with a menu to match. Do check out the website to get some kind of flavour. Tea wise, one would only go there to drink Masala Chai – a drink owing its existence purely to the British East India Company – which is essentially cooked spiced tea. There is a host of savoury snacks and a limited selection of desserts to choose from, the best being Kulfi ice cream.
From 6pm the ambience changes and it takes on its award-winning restaurant persona.
Taj Palace, located in Bristol city centre is a newly established Indian restaurant but is on its way to be among the most prestige restaurants in Bristol.
The exterior of this place is not so special at first glance, but don't let the that fool you. The food is really flavoursome, well implemented with a a nice relaxing ambiance.
Favorite dish: it was the chicken Bombay flame. The flavour and texture of this dish is really nice and a twist of my favourite traditional Bombay dish cooked with boiled egg.
My all-time favourite Thai restaurant in the city is Salad King. I started eating here well over 20 years ago when it was a tiny kitchen with two tables, mismatched chairs and counter service. Still going strong and always packed, the food here is still exceptionally delicious and affordable. What has changed is the crowd: no longer devoted exclusively to university students, it now caters to young professionals, families, and drop-in fans from across the city. Don’t let the line up scare you, be patient – it’s well worth it.
The restaurant is full of energy and may be a bit louder than the usual resto, but this is all part of the experience. Seating is at communal tables and you can even ask your server for items not on the menu, which has a spice scale from mild to 20 chilis. I once ate next to a fellow who was eating his green curry with 11 chilis and he couldn’t stop crying. My spice scale is 4 chilis.
340 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M5B 1R8
+ 1 416 593 0333
Google map: bit.ly/zmFLe5
* Giulia is our Been there local for Toronto. You can see her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/places/canada/toronto/index.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/GiuliaFalsetti
We arrived in Swansea at 11pm, long after everything in Swansea, bar the kebab shops, had closed.
After several days of bland burgers and delicious, but samey fish and chips, Rose Indienne offered a wake-up call to the tired taste buds.
Everything about Rose Indienne breathes class. The service is polite and friendly without being overwhelming. The decor is delightful and the selection of starters contained some spices I had never experienced before. The vegetarian dishes were top-notch and I would dare to recommend this place as the best Indian restaurant in Swansea, maybe in all Wales?
Beas-Dhaba at Vladislavova offers great quality, freshly cooked vegetarian curry daily. Offering a north Indian menu, this brightly coloured restaurant is a weekday favourite for locals working nearby. The self-service style and metal trays give it a definite school cafeteria feel - if only school dinners had tasted this good! Beas-Dhaba offers two vegetable curries, two dhals, two types of rice, salads and a dessert each day, as well as samosas and pakoras, and Indian sweets. Soft drinks are available - their freshly made fruit and vegetable juices are highly recommended.
Food is priced by weight - lunch will set you back around 160 CZK/ £6.
Lovely warming food in winter. A cool oasis (with garden) in the summer. Beas-Dhaba does get busy but offers a very quick turn around time - great for lunch in a hurry!
Beas-Dhaba has four restaurnat in Prague. See the website for more details.
Fairly new but already a firm favourite among Prague’s curry enthusiasts, The Pind (which means ‘village’ in Punjabi) offers very high quality curry dishes from northern India at reasonable prices.
The menu includes some ‘curry classics’, a wide range of starters, sides and breads as well as some less standard dishes, including some excellent vegetarian curries.
The inspired menu is complemented by wonderfully friendly and efficient service. As well as a wonderful evening venue, The Pind has a weekday lunch all-you-can-eat-buffet for 109 CZK which includes two types of rice, one chicken dish, one lentil dish, and two vegetarian dishes with salads, yogurt sauce and bread. You may need to roll home afterwards.
The Pind provides a very causal smoking area upstairs and a downstairs room which is a little more formal, warm, inviting and non-smoking. Some limited outside seating is available in the summer.
A wonderful find in Vinohrady.
Korunní 1151/67, Vinohrady, Praha 3
Open every day until 23.00 (22.00 on Sunday)
Nearest tram - 10 and 16 to Vinohradská Vodárna
Nearest metro- Jirího z Podebrad Metro
Google map: bit.ly/pWinzo
Excellent Indian restaurant serving all the favourites in a stylish yet casual setting. The lamb chops malai and tandoori chicken are particularly tasty. Plenty of vegetarian and seafood options. Take away also available.
Down a slightly dodgier backstreet of Brighton is this small family run Indian veggie restaurant. With the staff walking around barefoot and small children being taken to bed, it really feels like someone's living room. The food is unlike any other Indian I have ever been to, the best being mouth watering pea and paneer curry and simple but delicious Mumbai potatoes. The most amazing thing of all about Planet India is that you can have your meal in half portions, meaning you can try two different dishes each time.
4-5 Richmond Parade, Brighton, BN2 9PH
+44(0)1273 818 149
Google map: bit.ly/dF9e58
The Diwana is my favourite Indian restaurant in London. There are three reasons: the first is the fond memories it evokes of childhood trips to London, which invariably featured a re-fuel here. The second is the quality of the food - speaking as a British Asian it is the only place in London I have found which rivals my grandmother's cooking (although in case she ever reads this, it still comes off second best). The third is the value for money. If you go at lunchtime, for roughly £8 plus a drink, you can enjoy the sumptuous vegetarian buffet. This features dahls to die for, delicious saags, soul-nourishing channa massalas, more salads than you could possibly wish for, home-made raitas, freshly baked naans, pooris and parathas, and a fantastic selection of deserts. The gulab jaman are especially good here. The menu is of the same high standard but for the full experience I would wholeheartedly recommend going at lunch. If you do, don't eat any breakfast, and don't make dinner plans. You will be too full and in too high a state of food nirvana to want to eat another bite for the rest of the day.
121 Drummond Street, London, NW1 2HL
+44(0)20 7387 5556
Google map: bit.ly/f9NPgj
Quite close to the university. The Kashmir is not the most attractive of curry houses. However they do serve an excellent curry at a price that even a student can afford. You have a choice of two doors. One to the slightly more presentable ground floor, the other to the larger and more basic basement restaurant.
There may be better Indian restaurants in Bradford, but when it comes to quality, quantity and value for money this place is hard to beat.
25-27 Morley St, Bradford, West Yorkshire
+44(0)1274 726 513
Google map: bit.ly/f4ATy7
Informal curries cooked and served in the grounds of the Edinburgh Central Mosque. Tasty, portions big enough to satisfy my growing 14 year old, variety enough for a seven year old, and catering for both vegetarians and carnivores. Best of all perhaps: a fabulous variety of non-alcoholic drinks from cans of coconut milk to doubtful highly coloured fizzy concoctions. A treat for all the family without breaking the bank. Take a jumper as the eatery is open air (marquee style roof to keep off the rain).
Potterrow, behind the National Museum of Scotland, near to the University - the minaret is a clue.
Google map: bit.ly/b3P3jl
This Malaysian roti and satay establishment may have a queue forming outside from the moment it opens but it's worth the wait. The freshly made rotis and Malang styled curries are spicy, authentic and ultimately, delicious.
Without a doubt one of the most legendary balti houses in erm, Leamington Spa. Yes you'll proabably be sharing the room with a bunch of merry students from nearby Warwick University but if you're eating chicken jalfrezi at two in the morning, what do you expect? The food is designed to be eaten after a few pints but the atmosphere is brilliant - the staff are endlessly patient, the customers inevitably boisterous and all manner of mischief gets concoted while you munch. Just a really cool place if you're not ready to call it a night yet.
29 Bath St,
The initial impact of walking into the restaurant and the whole atmosphere is amazing. Very traditional Indian is mixed really well with a contemporary twist. Then you see the menu which, although large, contains a plethora of unique individual dishes. The service was brilliantly helpful and knowledgable and always smiley and chatty. Then when the food came out it tasted divine, topped off with the chef personally coming out and asking about the meal. Absolutely fantastic night.
Just would like to recommend this place for all curry lovers. I live in Manchester and this place has been open for nearly a year, it's just a shame that I visited it for the first time last week. For nearly a year I've been missing out on quality Indian cuisine. So please if you are from Manchester or somewhere nearby and if you love a good curry visit this place. I'm recommending it because it's different from any other curry house I've been to - the food is amazing and very unique (some things you won't find in any other Indian restaurant), fantastic and very welcoming service and good atmosphere.
I had my 25th Birthday Party at this town centre curry house, which at that time was the most stereotypical Indian Restaurant you could get. Flock wallpaper, maroon and burgundy velvet seating and a lively atmosphere with last orders taken at 2am. Curry was amazing. Although it looks like it has had a lick of paint since, the curry is just as good, out-does its rivals and not much else has changed - probably the reason why it was able to host my 50th birthday party last year. Its a must-visit for curry lovers. Around £10 per head will get you a starter, main course and rice.
35 Heathcote Street, Hockley.
The website often has good offers, and print-off voichers.
A fantastic curry house just off Long Street. Authentic, regional curries that make the most of Cape Town sea food. About R170 for two courses. Can't recommend it highly enough.
33 Church Street (upstairs on the first floor)
Not only is Hansa's one of the finest Indian restaurants in Leeds (indeed, restaurant of any kind), it is also entirely vegetarian - as much Indian cuisine traditionally is, or in Britain, was at least. The finest ingredients, lovingly prepared, go into making subtle, complex Gujarati dishes, whose flavours can all be made out even in the hottest of dishes. The staff - including Hansa herself - are extremely helpful and friendly, eager to explain the dishes to you, if you need any help after the thorough and interesting menu. A real treasure.
72-74 North St, Leeds, LS2 7PN - a fifteen minute walk from Leeds City Station, or ten from the bus station.
Situated just off Haymarket, Mint Leaf serves seriously good Indian food. It'd definitely in the same category as some of the more celebrated options like Veeraswamy and Tamarind. Get a mix of main courses to share to make the most of the experience – a combination of chicken curry, lamb stew, pulao rice, bread basket, yellow lentils and aloo will certainly not disappoint.
The Anoki was voted one of the top 10 UK Indian restaurants; I have eaten in countless curry houses and this is deservedly acclaimed.
The service, food, decor and ambiance are all top notch. Go, you will not be disappointed, but book or you will not get in on many nights.
London Road, Derby
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