Easter feasting shouldn’t just mean a traditional British roast. If you’re out and about this Bank Holiday weekend, these Indian restaurants will help hot up your holidays, whatever the weather.
WHEN YOU’VE GOT A TASTE FOR THE NOVEL: Lokhandwala
The restaurant name refers to a district from where Lady Charlotte Louisa Fitzrovia took a lover back in Victorian times (read the rather racy tale here). Menu and decor alike are pleasingly eccentric – the former an arresting, interesting list majoring on tapas-sized servings of dishes like ‘Indian wigwam’ and ‘vepudu tacos’. The presence of Indianised pies, curry-filled Yorkshire puddings and Stilton cheese ensure Lady Charlotte’s British roots are not forgotten.
- Lokhandwala, 93 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PY. For more information, click here
WHEN YOU’RE HEADING TO SUNNIER CLIMES: Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen
Cyrus Todiwala’s mile-long menu takes airport food sky-high. You can rove right across India’s regions without leaving your seat: think dosas, fiery Goan curries, and the homely Parsi preparations for which the chef is so known. If you’ve got time to spare, opt for the multi-course Mr. Todiwala’s Gourmand Tasting Menu and prepare to have to loosen your seatbelt on boarding. Don’t forget to snap a selfie with Roy – the restaurant’s resident, resplendent elephant statue.
- Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen, Poyle Road, Colnbrook SL3 OFF. For more information, click here
WHEN YOU’RE BESIDE THE SEASIDE: Curry Leaf Cafe
Forget fish and chips and sticks of rock; with an ever-growing mini-empire, Kanthi Thamma and Euan Sey’s Curry Leaf Cafe is seducing the South coast city with South Indian food. Brighton station concession and a Kemp Town branch have now joined the Ship Street original – whichever you opt for, you can expect a warm welcome and a sparkling array of authentic dishes well-seasoned with Western wit. Craft beer features heavily, so wash it all down with a brew or two.
- Curry Leaf Cafe, 60 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AE. For more information, click here
WHEN YOU WANT TO DIY: Cinnamon Bazaar
Chaat’s got everyone talking in London, and Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Bazaar specialises in a whole spectrum of those irresistible savoury street snacks. A new DIY cart acknowledges the fact that much of the allure lies in the assembly; dubbed Chamiya, it roves the restaurant from 3-5.30pm dairy, fully loaded with an array of seasonal ingredients that can be compiled just the way you want. The result? Custom chaats that please the palate and provide a real conversation piece.
- Cinnamon Bazaar, 28 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7JS. For more information, click here
WHEN YOU WANT TO FEAST LIKE A KING: Darbaar by Abdul
Luxurious Japanese robot toilets ensure you truly are pampered from top to bottom here. Out in the capacious, sleek restaurant, the open kitchen turns out an endless stream of food that’s as for for an Indian royal court as a London dining room. From succulent stuff served to table in tiny tandoors through to rich gravies and family-style feasting dishes, it’s a thoroughly indulgent experience – one that’s best begun with one of Duggan McDonnel’s creative cocktails in the bar.
- Darbaar by Abdul, 1 Snowden Street, London EC2A 2DQ. For more information, click here
WHEN YOU WANT EGG-CITEMENT: Hoppers
Still commanding queues after well over a year, this Soho spot is very hot indeed – as is much of the Sri Lankan food. The menu is satisfactorily short, meaning that you and a few friends can sample most of what’s on offer in a single sitting. Because it wouldn’t be Easter without eggs, order your hopper with one fried into the base; tearing off soft pieces of the spongy pancake to to use in lieu of cutlery for scooping something from the six-strong kari list from bowl to mouth.
- Hoppers, 49 Frith Street, London W1D 4SG. For more information, click here
- To read a review of Darbaar by Abdul, click here
- To read more about Mr. Todiwala’s Kitchen’s Cyrus Todiwala, click here
- To read more about Curry Leaf Cafe’s Kanthi Thamma, click here