Hot and spicy: London's best curry houses

If you're out on the town and in the mood for a Ruby then be sure to refer to our list of London's best.

Hot curry action.
Or mild. Or, indeed medium hot.

Much like the Spice Girls, there's a curry for every individual taste.
And when you've got a few drinks inside you, you've got to be made of strong stuff to resist the ample charms of a curry. (Again, uncanny parallels with the Spice Girls.)

Whether your taste favours the deep, rich, spicy gravies of a northern Indian thali or a fiery and coconutty Keralan fish curry Indian cuisine is diverse, honest and utterly delicious.

Lucky for us then that it's made its way half way around the world to a neighbourhood near you.

We've been busy scouring London for the best curries in the capital (it wasn't a hardship, we'll be honest) so you can shortcut to the very best our fair capital has to offer.

Dishoom Shoreditch
7 Boundary Street E2 7JE
Region: Shoreditch
Nearest Station: Bethnal Green (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: If you like your curry with atmosphere and cocktails, then one of Dishoom’s café-style eateries is an ideal night out. The restaurant is designed like an old Bombay café; tables are packed in with Brentwood chairs keeping you comfortable and the traditional Bombayan curries are served fast. The atmosphere is buzzing; the lights dim and the menu of spicy cocktails are guaranteed to tweak your taste buds – and don’t get us started on the soft-shell crab. They don’t do bookings, but there’s plenty of space at the bar if you have to wait.

  • 28/100
  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 8/10
Mirch Masala
213 Upper Tooting Road SW17 7TG
Region: Tooting
Nearest Station: Tooting Broadway (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: It’s bring your own booze (BYOB) at this cosy café-style curry house in the centre of bustling Tooting. But one taste of your home-made curry here and you won’t be worrying about the drinks. They serve everything from the old traditional Karahi chicken and tikka masalas to dishes that are a bit more exotic and spicy. For instance, the Kerala Gosht (a lamb and bitter gourd extravagance) is mouth-wateringly splendid. If you don’t finish the large portions, then ask for a doggie bag.

  • USERS 9/10
Noor Jahan Restaurant
Brighton Road SM2 5BQ
Region: Town Centre
Nearest Station: Sutton

AIL Says: Fewer and fewer old-school curry houses remain these days, with new fast-paced places bubbling up all over. But The Noor (as the locals call it) located almost opposite Sutton overground station is determined to stay true to its roots of yesteryear. The low light, large waxy green indoor plants and ruby carpets are the tradition of the original UK curry house and these boys haven’t lost their touch. The curry’s are on top form too – ask for a Vindaloo and prepare to sweat, while the deliciously creamy chicken korma is for those who prefer the safe road.

83-89 Fieldgate Street E1 1JU
Region: Shadwell
Nearest Station: Whitechapel (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Tayyabs have been serving up their delicious Pakistani cuisine since way back in 1972 – and their success has meant they’ve needed more space and fast! Now they’ve taken over two floors at their location in Whitechapel – and despite all the space, they’re always busy. A sign they’re doing things very right! From our own experiences, we recommend the tasty Karahi Gosht (lamb so melt-away, you’ll think it was cooked by angels) and the veggie-friendly lentils which set our taste buds cart-wheeling. You’re likely to have a wait for a table, but trust us, it’s worth it.

  • 44/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
  • USERS 7/10
The Veeraswamy
99-101 Swallow Street W1B 4RS
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: The UK's oldest Indian restaurant specialises in classic dishes from all over India, so expect biryanis, rogan josh and vindaloos among many others. Meats are slow cooked for maximum flavour, and Veeraswamy also boasts a super-chic dining room.

  • USERS 9/10
Cafe Spice Namaste
16 Prescot Street E1 8AZ
Region: Spitalfields
Nearest Station: Tower Gateway (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Cyrus Todiwala's award-winning restaurant serves a mixture of classic (in some cases historical) and contemporary Indian food. You'll find Goan prawn curry and springbok bhuna, aniseed-infused venison tikka and "country captain", an Indian take on Shepherd's Pie which according to them is the earliest example of fusion cooking. Taj-trained Todiwala was awarded an OBE in 2010.

  • USERS 5/10
Dosa N Chutney
466 London Road CR0 2SS
Region: West Croydon
Nearest Station: West Croydon (0.6 miles)

AIL Says: Stuffed soft potato-filled dosas, pillow-soft idli mixed with sambar, and a spicy omelette of onions, chilli and coriander – Dosa ‘n’ Chutney does the best home-style meals. Enjoy it in a relaxed and traditional environment, where friendly staff serve up the meals and the spice aroma flows through from the kitchen. If you’re feeling lazy, give them a call and order a takeaway – 10 minutes later, you’ll be on your sofa with some of mama India’s best recipes. And the best thing is... you could get a meal for two for £15. Bargain.

  • USERS 9/10
Aladin Restaurant
132 Brick Lane E1 6RU
Region: Spitalfields
Nearest Station: Shoreditch

AIL Says: Situated slap bang in London curry-lover’s district, Aladin has collected acclaim from the most unlikely of fans. First up, us. We had the chicken biryani and a dahl fry and we almost collapsed under its awesomeness. The BBC have also been banging on about this being ‘one of the world’s best curry houses’ for yonks – which is, let’s face it, a bold statement, while Capital FM even got in on the act saying it was ‘One of the Top 10 Indian restaurants in London ever’. Even HRH Prince Charles has mentioned his fondness for this cuzza. So you should probably book your table ASAP.

  • USERS 9/10

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