Where to go for a lunchtime curry in London
May 11, 2016 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I will be in London this Friday and am looking for a good place to go for a good, inexpensive curry for lunch, probably in the Brick Lane area, but could be anywhere central.

I'm meeting a friend at Liverpool Street as when I lived in London 20 years ago Brick Lane was the place to go - is it still? I hear that these days touts try to get you into the restaurants and I'd really like to avoid that if that's true, so happy to go to another area if necessary.

Where would you recommend?
posted by jontyjago to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Watching this closely as I have unsuccessfully tried to eat at Brick Lane because of those touts.
posted by like_neon at 9:50 AM on May 11, 2016

Tayyabs or Dishoom (might require booking/a wait). Accept no substitutions.
posted by fight or flight at 9:51 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Needoo Grill is pretty good. You'll probably get some recommendations for Tayyabs too - which is great as long as you're not unlucky with the queue.
posted by bifter at 9:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Brick Lane is full of touts, stag parties, tourists, etc. and, while there are high points, the average restaurant there is not good. Without going further out, there's a bunch of good, cheap Indian restaurants on Drummond Street round the back of Euston Station. The best of these is Diwana.
posted by caek at 10:05 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Last year I was in London with some other American coworkers and we wanted a London curry house experience, so we picked a Brick Lane restaurant and invited some of our British colleagues. It was terrible. Our British colleagues were like "What did you expect, it's Brick Lane!" (When we pointed out that they could have warned us, they told us that a terrible meal on Brick Lane was a requisite London experience, so make of that what you will.)
posted by lunasol at 10:15 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah you just gotta find a tout-free place in Brick Lane and there are some good ones, just not the random ones. Also Tayyabs out in Whitechapel.
posted by johngoren at 10:23 AM on May 11, 2016

I will vouch for Rasa - it's a small London-only chain and I've never had a bad meal/experience in them. They're easy to spot (bright pink!) and at least one is only vegetarian food. I'd say check the menus on the website but if you end up having an amazing vegetarian meal it'll still be amazing, so.
posted by greenish at 10:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have eaten at Rasa so seconding this. Sooooo goooood.
posted by Kitteh at 10:42 AM on May 11, 2016

Best answer: Just came here to also recommend the Indian restaurants on Drumond Street near Euston Station that do lunchtime all you can eat buffets. Brick Lane without the brick lane-iness.
posted by Helga-woo at 10:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

If off Brick lane is on the table I would totally second Dishoom! Loooove the black daahl!
posted by like_neon at 11:35 AM on May 11, 2016

One more for Dishoom. Absolutely.
posted by EtTuHealy at 1:08 PM on May 11, 2016

Rasa is great--I've mostly been to the Stoke Newington branch, Rasa Travancore (specializing in Syrian Christian-style Kerala cooking, so good and quite hard to find in the UK/US) but I hear the others are good too. It's not the traditional British "curry house" experience, if that's what you're looking for, but it's much tastier food.
posted by karayel at 11:25 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Tayyabs wins. Every single time.

If you're in the mood for vegetarian, definitely Diwana.

I am not a huge fan of Dishoom. I go there with high expectations everytime and am always disappointed by their mains.

(I actually like Brick Lane, it's all a matter of expectations. Sometimes you just want a "curry" and a beer in relaxed surroundings and you don't want to worry about authenticity or whatever. But the touts take away from the atmosphere.)
posted by Ziggy500 at 1:28 AM on May 12, 2016

A good (GREAT) alternative to Tayyabs is the Lahore Kebab House (horrible Flash website, sorry). I love that place. It's a bit away from Brick Lane but is totally worth the trip. It's loud, brash and has massive monitors everywhere playing cricket or Bollywood movies, but it's some of the best curry I've ever eaten.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:58 AM on May 12, 2016

Seconding Needoo Grill. Cheap and delicious, no tourists, no touts.
posted by stuck on an island at 6:00 AM on May 12, 2016

Response by poster: Happy to report that we had a very nice buffet lunch at Diwana on Drummond Street - highly recommended. Thanks for all the help!
posted by jontyjago at 3:17 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

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