The Blind Poet is a small cosy pub with comfy, sink-into sofas and a friendly atmosphere. A great place to watch the footy, listen to Wednesday night’s regular live band or test your brain in the Sunday night pub quiz, its walls are scattered with famous quotes while the gents is famously adorned with clippings from certain popular men’s mags.
Below is Khushis Diner, a local institution, which produces fine and original curries at reasonable prices . Bright and buzzing, it’s a perfect place for a good catch up or a pre-show bite to eat and the open kitchen just adds to the atmosphere. There’s a huge selection of homemade curries on offer but it’s hard to resist the temptation of old favourites cooked to perfection such as their sweet, coconutty lamb korma.
Khushi’s BYOB policy means you can bring your own wine, or better still a cold pint from the Blind Poet upstairs. A perfect combination before heading next door to sample some free festival comedy in the Counting House.
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.
Wonderful, undoubtedly one of the top Indian restaurants that Lille has to offer. Delicious food, friendly service, fabulously modern-yet-cosy decor... all amount to a lovely and memorable experience. Also a very trendy bar in the basement.
Address: 38, Rue Thiers - 59000 Lille
Telephone: 03 20 21 02 66
It's in the heart of the theatre district and is an independently run venue. I've never seen an Indian restaurant and live music bar rolled into one - it's fab.
The Spice Lounge
No. 3, Savoy Crescent
Central Milton Keynes
Raju's serves south Indian breakfasts in the mornings and banana leaf tiffins (the Malaysian BLT - a pile of rice and curry served, as everything is at Raju's, on a banana leaf) in the afternoon.
Now, it is not on the tourist beat, it is not within sight of the Twin Towers, it's not even technically in KL but it is one of the best restaurants in the world.
It is situated next door to La Salle school on Jalan Chantek which is off Jalan Gasing which is off the Federal Highway heading towards Shah Alam. This is not the reason it's the best restaurant in the world though. It has a large outdoor dining area shaded by trees and with a charmingly bubbling storm drain running down one side. But this is not the reason it's the best restaurant in the world.
It is situated in a stand of shops which includes a picture framers, a photo shop and a barber's in a suburban residential area, populated by rather well off Malaysians, with Indians rather more plentifully represented than is perhaps the average. But this is not the reason it's the best restaurant in the world.
The reason it's the best restaurant in the world is because it serves, in the mornings, roti canai - which is the best breakfast in the world.
Basically a paratha-style flatbread of many calories, it is griddle fried freshly so that a crisp, friable crust forms on the dough, which is then punched and broken up before serving. Fairly boring, really. But then add some dal, some fish curry kuah (the gravy, not the actual fish) and perhaps a small piring (dish) of mutton curry, or a piece of fried tengiri, then add to this a teh tarikh (tea made with condensed milk which has been "tarikh'd", i.e. "pulled" through the air from one vessel to another to aerate and cool) and heaven, my friends, is a place on earth.
So. Be seated. There is no reservation, there is no plate captain, no "This way sir" - this is Malaysia old-style. There are many south Indian waiters in white shirts and blue trousers however. Call one over and ask for "roti canai" (pronounced "rotty chan-eye") and a teh tarikh. The dal, some carrot chutney and some coconut chutney are dumped unceremoniously in front of you along with a damp banana leaf. It is perfectly permissible to dry off the leaf with a tissue. I don't bother. And wait. A short time later (longer if at the weekend) and the roti, steaming, fragrant and - a sticking point for many - slightly smaller than average disc of bread is casually clapped onto your leaf. Serve yourself with dal, chutneys in small pools around the circumference. Some pour great ladlefuls of dal all over the roti, mash it into a mush and devour it sloppily in handfuls. A perfectly acceptable way to eat it in my opinion.
But we will choose the dainty option (though not the daintiest - forks and spoons are available, and widely used).
Tear off a small piece of roti, drag it through the dal (whilst arguing with your friends about whether or not the best nasi lemak is to be found in Ipoh or Penang) and pop it in your mouth. There is a faint cuminy, asafoetida tang to the dal, a faint sweetness (not too sweet, oh no) to the roti and a mouth feel (as Mr Blumenthal would have it) which is crunchy, soft, full-flavoured with mild spice (but not too mild, oh no) and completely satisfying. Tear off another piece. Pick up a perfectly tender piece of curried mutton - and although I never had a bad mutton curry when I lived in Malaysia, Raju's has to be the best - and once again, those curious contrasts are there. Crunchy/soft, spicy/bland, tangy/sweet. Take a sip of your scaldingly hot teh tarikh: it is foamy, sweet, strong and in combination with the roti and the curry as precisely perfect as any of the great pillars of Malaysian food when made perfectly. nasi lemak, laksa, prawn mee, char kway teow - roti canai. These are the five. Now you know one. Seek the rest.
Raju's Banana Leaf Restaurant, nearest LRT Taman Jaya, but it's quite a hike in the heat. Take a cab and ask for "Jalan Gasing, PJ" (pron. "gassing" pron. "peejay") then take the first left after the elevated LRT line. Raju's is at the end of the stand of shops on the right hand side of Jalan Chantek.
Family run Brit-friendly Indian restaurant. I can highly recommend this small, but charming, restaurant. Situated on Rue Raymond Audour, only a stones' throw from the very centre of Old Angouleme, with the stunning square of Place de Minage just around the corner.
The Patron is warmly welcoming, without being obsequious, and is always pleased to meet travelling British customers looking for a taste of India! A word of friendly advice - be sure to ask for your plats extra spicy (the French palate is, unsurprisingly, less used to hot spices than us Brits, so make sure the waiter knows that you want it extra hot).
Rue Raymond Audour - 05 45 95 03 03
Best Indian restaurant on the Curry Mile. Despite its name, it's the only place you can find south Indian food in Manchester - bhel puri, masala dosa, uttapam. Friendly service, reasonable prices, good for vegetarians.
177 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme
One of the classiest Indian restaurants in Liverpool, and one of the many different eateries in Lark Lane. The food is delicious (all of it), the service is second-to-none and the place oozes luxury, cleanliness and attention to detail. Large, exotic menu. £15 to £20 per head, so not especially expensive.
15-21 Lark Lane
Between Aigburth Road and Sefton Park
St. Michael's Station is 10 mins. walk away.
Tel. 0151 728 9728
A bit on the expensive side but well worth waiting for this treat. The restaurant serves Konkan food, which is cuisine from the west coast of India. They do really good fish and spicy creamy curries.
We had fish wrapped in banana leaf and prawn curry. The dosas are great too. We backpacked around the whole of India and spent our last night here. Fantastic!
Taj President, Colaba (near World Trade Centre, Mumbai).
Indian restaurant in Randwick, not too far from the SCG, in case the Army are suffering from Indian cuisine withdrawal symptoms. Great food and nice price. BYO too, bottle shop near-by.
Bombay Bloomers Indian Restaurant
Google map: tinyurl.com/onfk4p
Excellent value, very traditional Indian restaurant in lovely colonial building. Makes a refreshing change from the squeaky clean eateries located in high traffic areas, this is actually in a nice green spot off Dempsey Road and is really peaceful at nighttime. You will be stuffed for a fiver (sterling) and add drinks to that.
Dempsey Road, just ask a cab driver. Should be less than 8 SGD from anywhere central, only a few minutes from olland village.
Toss the tikka masala and go to eat where Indians eat Indian. Ignore the Harvester-style decor of this pub-turned-curry-joint in a corner of London that is forever India, and prepare to be dazzled by the East African-influenced cuisine that makes most curries taste like the runt of a Big Mac litter. Slobber down crunchy chilli-fried cassava and stunning moushkaki. Add a chilled Kenyan Tusker beer or two. Try the chilli chicken masala, and I warn you — you'll need a Tusker with that baby...
Honeypot Lane, Stanmore
Tel: 020 8206 1024
Rani serves the most wonderful Gujarati vegetarian cuisine and prides itself on making all the items on the menu. The owner is invariably on hand to welcome you into the warm and friendly environment. Waiting staff are knowledgeable, attentive and, if needed, will help you work your way to making the difficult decision as to what to choose from such an extensive, well-priced menu. If this is too difficult, they have a yummy range of set menus, or go on Sunday when it is buffet lunch. They are child-friendly, too!
7 Long Lane, Finchley Central
Tel: 020 8349 4386/2636
One of the best-kept secrets in north London, the Raj Villa specialises in fish dishes as well as providing outstanding examples of the usual fare at affordable prices. You must try the Goan fish masala - fresh sea bass simmered in tomato, turmeric and lemon grass. And if you like it hot, then it has to be the fish Bengal – with plenty of fresh chillies. Service is superb with just the right attention to your needs – none of that awful fawning that seems de rigueur in some places. And if you are lucky the owner might let you touch his football signed by the Arsenal team: enough recommendation in itself for one part of north London.
148 Colney Hatch Lane, Muswell Hill; 020 8815 0707
One of Melbourne's best Indian restaurants (and one of our favourites), the Roti Boti (pronounced Roaty Boaty, which means bread and meat) produces superb Indian dishes with a leaning towards those cooked in the tandoor. Great service and a wide choice of meals and courses, from vegetarian dishes to 'make your eyes water' curries. Kid friendly too, somewhere for the whole family. Bookings are essential at weekends, because it’s popular.
513 Hampton St, Hampton, within walking distance from Hampton Station;
tel: (03) 9598 5511;
A superb little Indian restaurant in the South Granville area, run by a charming man with a spooky photographic memory. The food, atmosphere, crowd and bar are all stylish but low-key and unpretentious. Around the corner from Vij's is the Stanley Theatre, formerly an Art Deco picture palace and now the flagship venue for the hopelessly middlebrow Arts Club Theatre Company. Vancouver's restaurants help to make up for the city's appalling lack of a cultural life.
1480, West 11th Ave;
tel: 604 736 6664;
A lovely Indian/Pakistani restaurant located next to the Poble Nou metro station. They specialise in Tandoori, but for spicy food lovers the good news is that their dishes are prepared as they would be in Ireland or the UK, and not made mild for the locals!
Prices are very reasonable, if not downright cheap.
Nearest metro: Poble Nou.
One of the best cities for regional Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and a host of others. If you have a friend with a car, check out Scarborough and Mississauga for them, also Richmond Hill and Markham for Chinese. Almost every strip mall has cheap and amazing, authentic food, much more authentic and diverse than the better known areas downtown.
Spicy, vegetarian and non-vegetarian south Indian:
Anjappar Chettinnad, 3090 Eglinton Avenue East, Scarborough; tel: 416 265 2695
Fang's Restaurant (Hong Kong food)
3225 Hwy 7, Markham; tel: 905 947-9969
Dragon Dynasty (banquet food and dim sum)
2301 Brimley Road, Scarborough; tel: 416 321 9000
Vegetarian south Indian:
Saravana Bhavan 4559 Hurontario St (at Eglinton) Miss.; tel: 905 290 0769
also 1571 Sandhurst Circle (Finch & McCowan); tel: 416 293 7755
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