The earliest known dedicated Indian restaurant opened in the United Kingdom was the Hindostanee Coffee House on George Street in Westminster, owned and run by one Sake Dean Mahomed, and which began trading in 1810. Though Britain apparently already had a taste for curry by this point, as shown by the fact that curried dishes were included in cookbooks published during the eighteenth century, the Hindostanee Coffee House apparently closed only a year after opening due to a lack of business - though some accounts suggest it continued trading till 1833. To put this into context, the first outlet dedicated to selling the dish now most synonymous with the UK - fish and chips - opened during the 1860s. Curry has become a staple of the British diet, and is easily one of the most popular 'takeaway' foods commonly served in the UK. Almost everyone has a favourite curry dish, and a favourite curry restaurant. We're not going to try to change that, but maybe you're thinking about trying somewhere new, and if you are, we've got you covered. To help you get your search started, here is our list of the 11 best Indian restaurants in South London.
Raj Moni, Bromley
Take yourself back for a moment, construction of the Millenium Dome has just begun, the two pound coin is now in circulation, and France are about to host the World Cup - it's 1998. On the streets of South London, Raj Moni has begun serving the citizens of Bromley some of the finest curry they'd ever tasted - a mixture of old and new dishes - now the youth of Bromley are on fire with the taste of this curry. This is a metaphorical fire, not literal, but you can also become metaphorically ablaze by visiting Raj Moni and getting 20% off anytime with your South London Club Card.
The Bengal Clipper, Bermondsey
The Bengal Clipper is one of the finest Indian restaurants in all of London, and is a wonderful dining experience from start to finish. Not only is the restaurant housed within the beautifully restored Cardamom Buildings in the old dock area of Bermondsey, the aesthetics of restaurant's interior are equally charming. Sure to satisfy any fan of curry, we'd certainly recommend making a trip to visit The Bengal Clipper, particularly because your South London Club Card gets you 10% off dinner and 25% off lunch.
Spice of Life, LeE
What is the spice of life? Is there a particular spice of life? Is life itself a spice? Do our past experiences change the taste of a meal? These are all pertinent questions posed by this exquisite Indian restaurant located on Lee High Road, on the way from Lee to Lewisham. The most relevant thing we can say about it is that it does Indian and Bangaldeshi food really well - is there anything else you need to know? Oh, you also get 10% off eat-in and 15% off takeaway with your South London Club Card.
Taj Mahal, Streatham
We're going to make this very clear to all of you - the Taj Mahal is an Indian restaurant in Streatham, it is not, as is so often claimed, a marble mausoleum in India built during the seventeenth century. We've been told about this apparent 'World Heritage Site' claiming to be the Taj Mahal, and frankly, we're not impressed. For us, there is only one Taj Mahal, and that's in Streatham, and they do some of the best curry in Lambeth - curry for which you can get 10% off with South London Club Card.
Royal Tandoori, Crofton park
If there is one thing that Royal Tandoori does well, it's curry. That wouldn't be doing the restaurant justice however, they don't just do curry well - their service is absolutely top-notch too. Even though Crofton Park isn't an area you'd normally associate with royalty, we think that it's fair enough that Royal Tandoori calls itself Royal Tandoori because we think the food they serve is fit for a king or queen. We reckon that the Queen loves a discount, and she'd probably love the 10% off food you get with your South London Club Card.
Est. India, London Bridge
The 'Est' in Est. India stands for established, not estimated - bear that in mind. The cheery chaps at Est. India are not telling you that they estimate this to be India, no, they are simply stating that they are purveyors of traditional fine urban dining that was established in India. They are so good that they were recently named the 'Best Casual Dining Restaurant' in South East London at the 2017 LUX Tourism Awards, but you probably knew that already.
Purple Mango, Camberwell
Purple Mango is actually somewhere between Camberwell and Peckham, but we'll go ahead and say that it's in Camberwell anyway. Serving the best in Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine, Purple Mango is a real hidden gem of the Southwark curry scene. We cannot promise you that you will be served an actual purple mango at any point, however, we can promise you that you get 10% off with your South London Club Card though.
Saka Maka, Brockley
If there's one thing particular aspect of the best Indian restaurants that we would have to say we love the most, it would be BYOB. For those poor souls not in the know, BYOB stands for Bring Your Own Booze, and it means that you can, quite literally, bring your own alcohol into the restaurant, which you can then enjoy while you tuck into the delightful food that they serve. Saka Maka does the food absolutely perfectly and they're so confident of its quality that they're offering South London Club Card holders 10% off, now it's down to you to get the booze right.
Delhi Bites, Streatham
Quite a large proportion of the Indian restaurants in the UK serve Indian/Bangladeshi food, Delhi Bites does not - it serves Indian/Pakistani food. Though we recognise that there is only so much room in any one person's heart and that only some of us can fit more than two Indian restaurants into our hearts, we'd still strongly recommend making the effort for Delhi Bites. It really is great, and it's made even better by the fact that you get 10% off with your South London Cub Card.
With 20 years culinary experience in leading five star hotels in the UK, India and Dubai under his belt, Karnavar head chef, manager, and owner Manoj Karnavar decided it was time for him to open his own restaurant in Croydon. Since opening back in 2014, Karnvar has consistently been rated as one of the best Indian restaurants in both London and the UK, and we are pretty ruddy chuffed to be able to tell you that you get 10% off Monday-Thursday with your South London Club Card.
Mumbai Delight, Vauxhall
Mumbai is a city in India with a reputation for culinary innovation. Mumbai Delight is an Indian restaurant in Vauxhall that seeks to carry on that tradition on the shores of the UK by serving up some of the finest Indian food in Vauxhall to all of its customers. If you're local to Vauxhall, or just thinking about visiting (who isn't?) then we'd definitely recommend Mumbai Delight as a place to enjoy a lovely dinner.
what is the south london club card?
The South London Club is a local discount card to help support small independent businesses across South London whilst saving all who live, work & play in South London money! With over 500+ local discounts to choose from, you will discover & explore all the best hidden gems in South London. Join over 4,000 of us & celebrate all that's independent in South London!