best indian restaurants in london

Some like it hot: The best fine dining Indian restaurants in London

13 Mar 2024 | Updated on: 14 Mar 2024 |By Luxury London

Forget lurid tikka masalas and OTT vindaloos – here’s where to find the best Indian cuisine in the capital

When it comes to the best Indian restaurants in London, you may think you’re loyally committed to your local curry house. In truth, there will always be a place in every Londoner’s heart – and stomach – for a good old butter chicken or hangover-curing vindaloo, but not all kormas were created equal. There’s a lot more sophistication to Indian cuisine than oil-drenched onion bhajis.

From Michelin-star menus with paired wines in private dining rooms, to authentic tandoori BBQs, and specialist purveyors of all things seafood, the capital is home to a swathe of establishments that will change your perception of what fine Indian food is all about.

From Mayfair to Marylebone, Bank to Fitzrovia and Spitalfields to St James’s, we have sampled some of the best tandoori prawns, spiced samosas, and curried stone bass out there – now follow our lead…

Trishna, Marylebone

Located in the heart of Marylebone Village, Trishna has been championing contemporary Indian coastal cuisine for more than a decade and was awarded a Michelin star in 2012. Don’t miss the soft-shell crab with green chilli, white crab and tomato chutney, or the Hariyali bream with smoked tomato kachumber, followed by the beef short-rib coconut fry with coconut chutney, and served with pickled shallots.

The extensive wine list also focuses on emerging regions and fine wines from niche producers. The beautiful, beachy room is pared back and calming, offset with antique mirrors, marble tabletops and original wooden panelling, while terrace doors that open onto Blandford Street create a semi-alfresco feel. Indian summer indeed.

15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG,

Gymkhana, Mayfair

Inspired by the elite clubs of India, where members of high society socialise, eat, drink, and play sport, the wonderfully decadent and opulent Gymkhana has held a Michelin star since 2014 and earned its second just last month for its standout menu. May we suggest opting for the extensive tasting menu to really get a feel for what this place is all about: you won’t regret the amritsari pink shrimps and queenies with dill raita; the unctuous kid goat methi keema with salli and pao; or the wild muntjac biryani with pomegranate. Treat your tingling tastebuds to a saffron pistachio kulfi falooda for dessert while the meal is complete with thoughtful wine pairings throughout. Slum-dogging it this is not.

42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH,

Brigadiers, Bank

While this may not be your Mayfair-based, Michelin-starred affair, Brigadiers is also a far cry from your local curry joint thanks to its open kitchen, vibrant ambience, and unusual Indian art deco design. Inspired by the army mess bars of India, where military regiments go to eat, drink, and generally get up to no good, Brigadiers offers a side of live sport, pool, and classic card games with its biryani, across multiple private dining rooms. The sensational food focuses on different methods of Indian barbecue, utilising tandoors, charcoal grills, rotisseries, wood ovens and classic smokers, with plenty of beer, whisky, large serves, and cocktails on tap. No army rations here…

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR,

Benares, Mayfair

Benares is all about showcasing Michelin-starred modern Indian cuisine, combining the finest quality British ingredients with unique and sophisticated Indian flavours. We love the Essex Farm chicken dumplings with slow-roasted chestnuts and winter truffle, as well as the macchi ceviche chaat of cured sea bream and Carlingford oyster, drenched in aam-panna tiger milk and avocado purée. Don’t miss the Lucknowi-style Scottish lobster yakhni pulao for main: cooked in aromatic stock and served with dill and pink peppercorn raita onion salad, it will knock your culinary socks off.

12a Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS,

Gunpowder, Spitalfields, Soho and Tower Bridge

gunpowder restaurant

This self-proclaimed home-style Indian kitchen (although we’re not sure who cooks like this at home) showcases the bold flavours of the subcontinent with a focus on responsibly-sourced ingredients. Dishes are inspired by the Indian coast and include classics such as karwari soft shell crab, sea bass paturi maach (freshly steamed mustard fish), Goan-style grilled prawns and the restaurant’s famous prawn toast. There are three branches across London, but you’ll want to head to Tower Bridge for a fabulous brunch menu including market-style crab omelette, inspired by the shores of Goa. Avocado toast, eat your heart out.

11 White’s Row, E1 7NF,

Chutney Mary, St James’s

Originally a Chelsea girl, this gem has been a St James’s based broad since 2015 and serves fine Indian cuisine in a suitably fine and opulent dining room. Start your night at the Pukka bar with a cocktail and a couple of bar snacks before embarking on the main event: golden fried prawns, griddled scallops in Mangalorean sauce and venison samosas, followed by Afghani chicken tikka and Goa green chicken curry. There is also a tasting platter of curries, showcasing the flavours from both the north and south of India, as well as a range of contemporary fusion desserts. There’s just something about Chutney Mary.

73 St James's Street, SW1A 1PH,

Jamavar, Mayfair

jamavar restaurant

Originally created by the founding family of the Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts in India, the Michelin-starred fine dining concept here is all about drawing on the rich and diverse culinary traditions of pan-Indian cuisine. Go hard on the small plates of lobster idli sambhar with rice-lentil cakes and vegetable stew, bhatti ka octopus with corn salad and peanut chutney, and Malai stone bass tikka, before hitting the range of fish, seafood and meat curries and biryanis for mains. The dum nalli biryani of Hampshire lamb, served with basmati rice, crispy onions, fresh mint, and raita is worth the inevitable food coma.

8 Mount Street, W1K 3NF,

Kahani, Chelsea

Located just off Sloane Street, Kahani means ‘story’ in Hindi, and it tells the tale of chef Peter Joseph’s culinary influences. Joseph, who had previously been at Michelin-starred Tamarind, serves traditional Indian cuisine made with fresh, seasonal British produce in Spanish tapas-style dishes – so the feast is intended to be shared. Reflecting its elegant location, the interior is plush with velvet chairs, marble tabletops, and dramatic intimate lighting. Menus span a wide range including tasting menus (with even a vegan option available), a pre-theatre menu, and a bottomless brunch on the weekends.

Menu highlights include Andhra soft-shell crunchy crab with pineapple kachumber, mango pani puri stuffed with sweet potato and black chickpea, and smoked Malabar prawns with turmeric, coconut and curry leaves. While the roster of kebabs is enticing, the Lahori Nihari (slow-cooked lamb shank) with tandoori roti provides flavourful soul food. Satiate your sweet tooth with Indian ice cream in a medley of rose, pistachio and jackfruit kulfis or opt for innovative Indian fusion with a masala chai paris-brest.

Wilbraham Place SW1X 9AE,

Bombay Bustle, Mayfair

A Jamavar spin-off on Maddox street, Bombay Bustle is inspired by the bustling metropolis of Mumbai where old-world charm meets urban sophistication. As you step in, the interiors transport you to the busy streets and railways with station-style signages all-over and booths designed to emulate railway coaches. Highlights include a variety of small plates that feature contemporary twists on Mumbai’s favourite dishes – lamb keema pao, chilli chicken, onion fritters, crispy okra chaat, samosa papdi chaat, and spicy stuffed dosas including a duck chettinad. While tangy achari lamb chops and chicken seekh kebabs are featured on a comprehensive tandoor menu, curry-lovers can indulge in dishes such as Bombay prawn masala, paneer butter masala made with charred cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes or the tawa crab that comes with Devon crab meat spiced with chilli. There’s also a collection of buzzy gin cocktails crafted with Stranger & Sons gin hailing from Goa.

29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA,

Amaya, Belgravia


Plating up revolutionary Indian cuisine in the heart of Belgravia, Amaya has been leading the pack since 2004. Having been Michelin-starred since 2006, the establishment offers an elegant dining experience with hardwood floors and traditional figurines setting the ambiences for wooden tables lit by dimmed lighting. The centre-piece of the restaurant is its open kitchen showcasing Indian grilling techniques including a traditional tandoor oven, a large tawa (griddle), and the charcoal grilling sigri. Influenced by regional cuisines, fresh British produce is prepared using Indian spices and aromatics.

With a focus on seafood, particularly Goan cuisine, expect a variety of dishes such as rock oyster bhajias, tandoori wild prawns and griddled flaked crab cake. While the tandoori quail and black pepper chicken tikka are instant classics, don’t sleep on the modernised street food options such as the masala corn on the cob and crispy cabbage and noodle salad. The wines are curated to pair with the robust flavours of the food while cocktails borrow from the flavours – the mirchi Martini and smoked Old Fashioned are highlights.

Halkin Arcade, Off Lowndes Street, SW1X 8JT,

Bibi, Mayfair

Chef Chet Sharma’s culinary heritage is rooted in flavours inspired by his maternal and paternal grandmothers (bibis). Putting a contemporary twist on traditional flavours, Bibi’s welcomes diners into an opulent space complete with wooden tables, intricate paisley-patterned chairs, and brassware lined walls. Seasonal ingredients and modern cooking techniques result in constantly evolving menus including chef’s special set lunch and dinner menus alongside an á la carte lunch menu.

Delicately spiced dishes include creamy Orkney scallops and beetroot dahi puri to start before offering melt-in-your mouth monkfish, tangy okra curry, and hearty goat galouti kebabs for mains. A comprehensive wine list pairs well with the food while specialty cocktails, including a sandalwood Manhattan, go down a treat.

42 North Audley Street, W1K 6ZP,

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