Monday, October 23, 2017

Darjeeling Express, London

Darjeeling Express
Top Floor
Kingly Court
London W1B 5PW

020 7287 2828

Absolutely fantastic and authentic home style Bengali & Hyderabadi cooking with a few dishes from the rest of India.

I rarely rave about Indian restaurants in London, but Darjeeling Express is absolutely brilliant.

Run by the lovely Asma Khan who started out with Supper Clubs at her home and has recently moved to this permanent location in Kingly Court. The food on the menu reflects her background from Calcutta, Hyderabad and UP. So don't go here looking for tandoori chicken, paneer tikka, butter chicken and rotis. Indian food is much more than just that. What you will find on the menu are dishes that you would get if you were lucky enough to be invited for a home cooked meal at an Indian friends home.

None of the cooks in the kitchen are professional chefs, they are all talented home cooks who take pride in their cooking. And its an all woman kitchen where the the food tastes like "Maa ke haath ka khaana" - mum's cooking. When we had a quick chat with Asma, she told us that her chefs, only have to put in half a shift either for the noon or the evening sitting. 4-5pm is sacrosanct so that they can either go home to pick up their kids from school or pick them up before coming over for the evening shift. What a wonderful concept! This option gives opportunity to a lot of women who otherwise are unable to work and restricted by work timings and home responsibilities.

The menu itself keeps changing every 8 weeks, so I'm not sure you will find the same food when you visit.

The puchkas/paani puri/golgappas were better than any that we have had at a London restaurant. Husband loved the tangra chilli garlic prawns which he said were extremely fresh and very delicately flavoured.

We had absolutely outstanding shikampuri kebabs with luchchis/puris. We had FIVE plates of the shikampuri kebab! 3 to takeaway, but even then...

The Degh Ghosht - beef stew was brilliant and the gobhi, gajar, aloo - cauliflower with carrot and potato tastes like my best friends mum makes it. The mains all come with a very light pulao. But we also ordered a side of luchchis (Bengali style puris) to go along with it.

They serve India's favourite sodas - Limca and ThumsUp, but they also have a licence to serve cocktails, beer and wine.

Sundays are for biriyani and I look forward to making a booking there very soon.

We loved the food so much that we wanted to order some more to take away. They aren't really equipped for that, but when they heard us gushing over the food, they did their very best to pack it all up for us and I'm happy to report that every single item that we packed reached home in perfectly pristine condition!

Go, go, go. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience.

Rating : 5 / 5

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