phone mail2 facebook twitter play
A Guide to Indian and Pakistani Food in London

A Guide to Indian and Pakistani Food in London

24 February 2017 Sara Masud

London is a rich boiling pot of world foods, and Indian cuisine is almost a staple diet for the seasoned city-dweller. Whether you’re itching for an authentic khorma or a glamourous fine dining experience, we’ve highlighted some of the city’s most exciting Indian restaurants for you to try. The Subcontinent is a land of clashing dialects and food to match. With each state boasting a nuanced cuisine, one varying from the next, why not try a Bhaigan Ka Barta (baked aubergine) or Peshawari Naan (bread stuffed with nuts, spices and currents) as an alternative to the popular curry and rice combination. It’s no secret that a lot of Indian restaurants cater to anglicised tastes. If you’re a fan of chilli, our top tip is to ask the waiter if your food can be prepared ‘desi’ style with plenty of spice - to coin a Hindi phrase.

North London

For those looking for an inexpensive but wholesome dinner, Salim’s (Turnpike Lane) is a must for the North Londoner. Modestly furnished, and tucked away amid the surrounding vegetable shops, Salim’s offer a selection of very traditional Indo-Pakistani foods to eat in or takeaway. Recreating the characteristic thick, creamy dishes of Pakistan, Lucknow and Hyderabad, this a one stop shop for anyone with a real taste for spice. For dishes that pack less of a punch, Majjos (East Finchley) is another great spot for ready-to eat Indian food. The menu varies from day to day but on the whole, this is a reliable and tasty alternative to the typical takeaway. Be sure to check out their sister restaurant Khana Khayae a few paces up the road for a wider selection of dishes. Specialising in Punjabi food, this is a family run business with the restaurant’s name roughly translating as ‘won’t you eat’?


Dishoom. Photo credit: Ewan Munro

West London

Situated in the Art-Deco style old Hoover Building, Royal Nawaab (Perivale) boasts an impressive range of Mughal and Pakistani dishes, traditional sweets and breads. The Nihari (meat stew), Paratha, Gajar Ka Halwa (carrot sweet) and Kher (vermicelli pudding) are particular highlights. This is a popular venue for wedding parties and Ramadan celebrations, with a self-service Italian, Chinese and Salad bar providing family friendly alternatives for the fussy eaters amongst us. Standing proud at the end of Southall’s bustling weekend market, Gifto’s Lahore Karahi serves traditional Pakistani style food and is known for its tandoori grilled meats. More centrally located, Khan’s (Queensway) is another popular family restaurant, now approaching 40 years of service. The Tandoori Mixed Grill, fresh Naan and Butter Chicken are standout dishes, while their Kulfi (fragrant ice cream) is an after-dinner treat for those with a sweet tooth. Khan’s no longer serve alcohol but sweet, salty and mango lassis are a refreshing alternative to the classic post-curry beer.


Royal Nawaab. Photo credit: Mo Azam

Central London

Inspired by the old 1960’s Irani cafés of Bombay, Dishoom (Covent Garden) is a stunningly decorated restaurant located in the heart of ‘theatre-land’. It serves generally mild dishes and quirky cocktails such as the popular Tarkda Daal and Monsoon Martini, with dairy and gluten free options also available. Although individual foods are reasonably priced, be mindful that this is a potentially expensive meal, as waiters recommend ordering three to four dishes with accompanying sides. But fear not, complimentary masala chai and mint tea are served to those patiently queuing outside the glamorous mock Bombay café. For a fine dining experience, Amaya (Knightsbridge) is an equally stylish Michelin starred restaurant. Set up by Camilla Punjabi, the author of 50 Great Curries of India, Amaya promises an elegant dinner setting with its open grill forming a popular feature. For those looking for an affordable high-end option, check out the Sunday lunch set menu. In nearby Lincoln street, Vineet Bhatia serve an interesting fusion of traditional Indian foods and nouvelle cuisine. This is the latest venture from the Michelin starred chef and creator of the Rasoi restaurant which closed down last year. Bhatia is known for his daring flavour combinations and certainly appeals to the experimental diner with cash to spare.


Gifto’s Lahore Karahi. Photo credit: Lauren Friedman

Tell us what you think

You may also like

KERB’s Bucket List

KERB’s Bucket List

KERB assembles the dream team of London’s fried chicken aficionados for Bucket List, two mouth-watering days of food.

April in London: Cafe, Restaurant and Bar Openings

April in London: Cafe, Restaurant and Bar Openings

Flowers are blooming, little lambs are taking their first steps, and the sun is even making an appearance! Spring is all about new life, and…

Win One of Three Pairs of Tickets!

GALA Festival - Win One of Three Pairs of Tickets!

We're giving away 3 pairs of tickets to this jam-packed festival with South London's best independent music, food and drink.

Win a Pair of Tickets!

The Sunday Times Wine Club Vintage Festival - Win a Pair of Tickets!

We're giving away a pair of tickets for a day of tasting, stories and tours at the UK's biggest consumer wine tasting event.

The Brighton Fringe 2017

The Brighton Fringe 2017

Enjoy the very best of comedy, theatre and entertainment this summer at the Brighton Fringe 2017!

Top 5: Bring Your Own Bottle Restaurants

Top 5: Bring Your Own Bottle Restaurants

Quite rightly, us Londoners love to explore all the culinary delights the city has to offer. Sadly though, while our options for eating out are…

The Best Places to Watch the Boat Race in London

The Best Places to Watch the Boat Race in London

The Boat Race – a contest between two of the Britain’s most elite and exclusive universities in a sport watched approximately twice a year that incomprehensibly…

St Pancras Easter Egg Hunt

St Pancras Easter Egg Hunt

Get your investigator’s hat on this Easter with St Pancras International’s Easter Egg Hunt, an amazing puzzle game stretched across the station – with awesome prizes.

A Guide to Enjoying a Peaceful Sunday in London

A Guide to Enjoying a Peaceful Sunday in London

London is a uniquely brilliant yet stressful place to live, study and work in. As the weekend arrives, it provides a much needed relief and…

Most popular

Win an Annual Family Pass

Colchester Castle - Win an Annual Family Pass

Looking for great family days out this Spring? We’re giving away an amazing Annual Family Pass to Colchester Castle Museum.
Summer of Love at Shakespeare’s Globe

Summer of Love at Shakespeare’s Globe

Feel the love with some of Shakespeare's most romantic plays this Summer.
MADE LONDON – Bloomsbury The Contemporary Design and Craft Fair

MADE LONDON – Bloomsbury The Contemporary Design and Craft Fair

Learn more about intricate design and craft and build up your collection in a beautiful setting.
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys

Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys

This stunning exhibition introduces the viewer to the battlefields of the Western Front, once places of horror and death, now revealed as landscapes of great beauty and tranquility.
Family Fun During the Easter Break in South Kensington

Family Fun During the Easter Break in South Kensington

Great activities to keep the whole family happy during the school holidays this spring.
Annual Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle

Annual Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle

Be wowed by over 36,000 beautiful tulips in the enchanting gardens of Arundel Castle in West Sussex.
North End Road Spring Market

North End Road Spring Market

Celebrate Spring at Fulham’s buzzing North End Road Spring Market.
The Brighton Fringe 2017

The Brighton Fringe 2017

Enjoy the very best of comedy, theatre and entertainment this summer at the Brighton Fringe 2017!
Eroica by The Little Orchestra

Eroica by The Little Orchestra

The Little Orchestra return with their uniquely relaxed and unpretentious approach to classical music.
Amy Winehouse Late: Icon

Amy Winehouse Late: Icon

Delve into the life of a music, style and queer icon with a evening of creative events.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!