The UK’s hottest Indian restaurants

The UK’s hottest Indian restaurants

Curry houses that stand out from the crowd

From Birmingham's Balti Triangle to Manchester's Curry Mile, our restaurant specialists know where to find the finest korma and the spiciest vindaloo. Some of our favourite Indian restaurants are those that are using traditional techniques alongside a dose of imagination to spice up their menus – here's our pick of where to sample some of the UK's best curries.

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The Chilli PickleThe Chilli Pickle

17 Jubilee Street, Brighton

The menu at this popular seaside spot is as diverse as India itself and diners can choose everything from fiery mutton curries from Rajasthan to fragrant fish curries typical of Kerala. In many cases, a restaurant serving this sort of culinary diversity can be cause for concern, but not here. Everything that leaves head chef and owner Alun Sperring’s kitchen is perfectly spiced, generously plated and well deserves its Michelin Bib Gourmand.

The Merchants of Spice ColegateThe Merchants of Spice

30-32 Colegate, Norwich

It didn’t take long for this fine dining institution to grab the attention of the esteemed Norwich Curry Club (it’s a real thing) and it got catapulted to the top of the city’s best curry house list. We rate it highly too and appreciate the fact the chefs are not afraid to take some risks – most of which pay off. Try the honey mustard duck baked in the tandoor oven or the rabbit bhuna for something different.

SindhuSindhu at the Compleat Angler hotel

Marlow Bridge Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Dubbed the ‘master of spice’, Atul Kochhar’s Indian cooking has brought him Michelin-starred success and a legion of devoted fans. He’s expanded from the confines of Mayfair to open a contemporary restaurant at a Thames-side hotel in Marlow. Meaning ‘fusion’ in Hindi, Sindhu’s menu is just that – a blend of classic Indian flavours and modern European cooking techniques. Advance reservations are essential, especially at weekends.


245 Broad Street, Birmingham

Almost every restaurant in Birmingham’s famed Balti Triangle on the edge of Moseley is worth a visit; however, you needn’t travel far from the city centre to get your hit of spice thanks to award-winning Pushkar. The calming all-white dining room is a world away from the madness of Broad Street and we recommend ordering dishes like the diced lamb cooked with Himalayan pine flower and saffron to fully appreciate the chef’s deft touch with spice.

Mint and Mustard CardiffMint and Mustard

134 Whitechurch Road, Cardiff

This is one of the few Indian restaurants outside London to successfully elevate Indian cooking to another level. The food concentrates on aromatic Keralan cuisine and lots of the beautifully presented dishes use local Welsh lamb and seafood landed a short distance from Cardiff. At lunch, try the lamb thali which comes with a whole range of pickles and side dishes, and opt for the seafood tasting menu for dinner.

Also pictured top © Frances Taylor Photography

Akbar's ManchesterAkbar’s

73-83 Liverpool Road, Manchester

What’ll strike you as you enter this bustling restaurant are the enormous naan breads hanging at the end of each table which have become a signature of this packed-out curry house. From humble beginnings in Bradford in the mid-1990s, there are now 12 Akbar’s restaurants across the north of England and the Midlands. Despite its fairly rapid expansion, the home-cooked recipes remain as authentic and delicious as ever – you can’t go wrong with one of the old-school favourites.

The Valley Junction 397The Valley Junction

The Old Station, Jesmond, Newcastle

The Curry Club of Great Britain has awarded its ‘Most original Indian restaurant in Great Britain’ gong to this Newcastle favourite – housed inside a disused signal box and train carriage – on a number of occasions, and it’s not hard to see why. Dishes here tend to follow the Moghul traditions of the north, with lots of tandoor kebabs and fiery curries. The menu is long and indecisive diners should opt for the ‘super dinner’ chosen by the head chef.

Shish MahalShish Mahal

66-68 Park Road, Glasgow

This is definitely not the first curry house to lay claim to inventing the chicken tikka masala, but food historians do believe Scotland’s oldest Indian restaurant has the strongest case. Whatever the truth, we can confirm that it is certainly one of the best tasting tikka masalas we’ve tried and it’s well worth ordering this creamy classic alongside punchy Goan dishes and red hot curries from Madras. Given the number of loyal fans, advance reservations are highly recommended.


29 St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh

You’ve got to worry when your curry comes with a legal disclaimer, but it’s necessary for the feared Kismot Killer, which is made with five of the fiercest strains of chilli on the planet and ranked as one of the hottest dishes in the world. Only a few hardy diners have finished the entire curry and most of the restaurant’s regulars stick to the less painful classics. The rest of the menu is ranked by spiciness and there’s a corkage-free bring your own wine and beer policy.

Last updated on 1 September 2017

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