Visit London Blog » indian food Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:49:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kenya in London: Sample Kenyan Cooking at Safari Club in North Finchley Fri, 20 Jan 2012 12:00:09 +0000

Next up in our World in London challenge: Kenya. After a lot of research, I found this restaurant in North Finchley, which offers Kenyan-Indian cusine. 

Raj Patel, 46, is Indian, born in Kenya. When he moved to London, he was inspired to open a restaurant serving the kind of food his mother cooked, an infusion of Kenyan and Indian cooking.

He’s now been running Safari Club for eight years. The 70-seater restaurant also has a side bar with a big screen for showing sporting events, and a large garden which is really popular in the summer months. I spoke to Raj about what makes the food at Safari Club different.

“The key to Kenyan cooking is the spices. The spices are what make the difference. We use an infusion of different flavours in our Kenyan-Indian cooking. Everything we make is freshly cooked: don’t come here expecting fast food or anything like that. If you order a dish, it’s going to take 20 minutes, because we cook each dish using fresh ingredients, fresh spices, fresh vegetables. And that’s true with the meat too. We don’t use frozen products here. And you can taste the difference.

“The most popular dish is the Nairobi Chicken. It has a real kick to it, but it’s not too hot. It’s not hot like a vindaloo, it’s a better flavour. Even people who’ve arrived saying they don’t like curry, but have then tried the Nairobi Chicken say they like it!

I learnt cookery from my mum. She’s the inspiration here, so you get proper home cooking Indian-Kenyan style. And while I do more front-of-house work now, I’ve trained all the chefs who work here, they’ve learnt from me. I’m guess I’m just passionate about cooking.”

Raj tells me Safari Club can be a lively place at the weekend, popular with families in the restaurant section and guys watching sport in the bar. I asked if they’ll be showing the Olympics on the big screen, and if so, which country will Raj be supporting?

“I’ll be watching India and Kenya, and England (Team GB) too! I’ve been living here most of my life so I’m hoping to celebrate with all three! It’s sometimes tricky when you have England playing India and so on, but hopefully all three will do well.”

If you’re looking for a taste of Kenya in London, Safari Club is at 975 High Road, North Finchley, London, N12

Do you know where else you can sample Kenyan culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sheba: The Queen of Brick Lane Curries Sat, 12 Mar 2011 11:00:11 +0000

Tucked away opposite the Old Truman Brewery in London E1 is Sheba Brick Lane.

On arriving in Brick Lane we were greeted by touts for a host of Indian restaurants all claiming to offer the best meal on the busy East End street. Sheba, however, needs no touts – it has a steady stream of customers literally queuing for the chance to eat at the well-loved establishment.
Founded in 1973, this family-run restaurant excels in delivering delicious, hearty Indian cuisine at a reasonable price. We arrived at 7pm to a full restaurant. Many diners seemed to be regular customers judging by their familiar rapport with the waiters, which we took to be a good sign. The bustling, buzzy atmosphere gave a sense of theatricality to the whole experience.
The extensive menu was rather overwhelming, with specialties from award-winning chef Gulab Miah, Sheba house specials, a huge selection of seafood as well as all the curry house classics. We eventually decided on kebab ke karishma (grilled meats) followed by the lamb lucklow (lamb shank) and special tandoori korai king prawn.

The main dishes were particularly outstanding. We’ll return to Sheba for the lamb lucknow alone, with its rich gravy of cardamon, tomato and saffron. In fact, the food was so good and portions so generous that we were compelled to take home what we couldn’t finish.
Our evening was rounded off perfectly with a stroll back to Liverpool Street station through the charming Spitalfields Market, happy in the knowledge that we would be able to enjoy our Sheba leftovers for lunch the next day.

Sheba is open seven days a week and booking is recommended at the weekend.

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Win! Day 23: Dinner at Mint Leaf Restaurant and Annual Taste Cards Thu, 23 Dec 2010 10:00:55 +0000

Fancy starting 2011 with a free Indian meal and then enjoying discounts at London restaurants for the rest of the year?

Today’s Christmas competition could be the answer! We’re offering a three-course dinner with wine and cocktails at swanky Indian restaurant Mint Leaf.

Plus the winner and four runners up will get a year’s tastecard membership, giving you 50% off the food bill at more than 3,500 restaurants across London and the UK.

Enter Day 23: Dinner at Mint Leaf Restaurant and Annual Taste Cards here

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India in London: Breakfast at Dishoom Tue, 16 Nov 2010 10:00:19 +0000

Finding Indian culture in London for our World in London challenge was never going to be a problem: from the curry houses of Brick Lane to the Asian collections at London museums, India’s influence is seen throughout the capital.

But Dishoom in Covent Garden, which opened earlier this year, is different from your usual Indian restaurant. It’s based on the Bombay cafés run by Persian immigrants to India, and aims to recreate their faded elegance and all-day menu.

Managing director Robbie Bargh was inspired by a trip to India, where he enjoyed the bustling atmosphere: “I just wished I could bring a bit of that back with me.”

You won’t smell curry at Dishoom: it has the feel of a classy brasserie, but with Indian posters adorning the walls, and a menu of interesting Indian dishes.

I popped in last week for breakfast, which started with a cup of house chai, a warming blend of tea, spices and milk that takes half an hour to prepare. Next I chose the tasty fruit roomali, which consisted of fruit, mascarpone and honey wrapped in a thin roti.

You can see the roti makers at work in the open plan kitchen. They stretch and toss the dough in the same way as you would a pizza base. “It must be one of the most difficult jobs in London,” said Dishoom’s founder Shamil Thakrar.

I also tried the breakfast lassi, a yoghurt drink with banana, mango and oats – a bit like a smoothie but with added cumin to give it an Indian twist.

There are plenty of other options on the breakfast menu. If you’re feeling hungry, you can go for the full Bombay, which includes Bombay omelette, bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, toast and a cup of house chai.

So if you’re bored of your usual Cornflakes, toast and coffee, head to Dishoom and join the Bombay breakfast club today!

Where do you go for a taste of Indian culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Interesting London Breakfasts: The Best Way to Start the Day Tue, 21 Jul 2009 16:02:37 +0000 Huevos Rancheros at Giraffe

What do you fancy for breakfast? Scrambled eggs on toast? Healthy muesli? A traditional British fry-up?

How about something a bit different? I headed to two London restaurants to see what they had on offer.

First up was Cinnamon Kitchen, a modern Indian restaurant in Liverpool Street.

I sat outside on the decked terrace and ordered Bombay scrambled eggs with tawa paratha (£7.00).

What arrived was a very generous portion of scrambled eggs with spices and onion, served with fried Indian flatbread. Yum!

Other options included an Anglo-Indian kedgeree with smoked haddock and poached egg, and a classic English breakfast.

Next on the list was Giraffe in Marylebone, where I tried the Mexican breakfast: huevos rancheros (£6.95).

The dish consists of a warm tortilla covered with fried or scrambled egg, chorizo, black beans, jack cheese, avocado and salsa. (There’s also a veggie option with field mushrooms.)

As you can see from the picture, it made a colourful and very tasty start to the day.

Other highlights on the Giraffe menu included an enormous stack of American-style pancakes with bananas and blueberries, and the “rude health” porridge with bananas, strawberries and honey.

Why stick to cereal and toast when there’s so much more on offer?

What’s your favourite breakfast in London?

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