History is so weird. Think of this: if Elizabeth the First hadn’t granted the East India Company the Royal Charter 410 years ago that led to their trade domination of the Indian subcontinent, you would never have tasted chicken tikka masala.
And furthermore: if Queen Victoria hadn’t married one of her sons off to Princess Alexandra of Denmark (the ‘Ally’ of ‘Ally Pally’) then her father, the king of Denmark, might never have dined out at Veeraswamy restaurant in London’s Regent Street. But he did and he loved it so much that he sent a case of Carlsberg lager as a gift, which started a trend among Indian restaurateurs. Which is why you have a lager with your curry.
Thanks to two great English queens – and a lot of other people who did the heavy lifting – Indian cuisine is now our national favourite cuisine. And an explosion of creativity and energy among Asian Britons has brought a tidal wave of brilliant, stylish, modern, exciting Indian restaurants to the heart of every city and town in the land.
We just love Indian food. In fact, next week we’re celebrating National Curry Week to mark 200 years of Indian restaurants in the UK and that is something worth celebrating. Probably by dining at of our terrific Indian restaurants and raising a glass of lager in toast.
And while we’re at it, let’s save you some money. Right now on toptable, there are more than 150 special offers at Indian restaurants, including deals at top-rated and most-booked favourites.
Michelin-starred Benares, for instance, in Mayfair is a stunning restaurant with superb service and a complex menu by chef Atul Kochhar that combines elements of north and south Indian cuisine. And two courses at lunch or in the early evening cost just £19 – an amazing deal.
Perennial favourite The Cinnamon Club in Westminster is a highly rated awarding-winning innovative Indian restaurant with a brilliant atmosphere and there’s a 2-for-1 breakfast offer as well as two courses and a glass of twinkle cocktail for £19 at lunch or for late or early supper.
Vatika restaurant in Shedfield, Southampton, is another Atul Kochhar eaterie that’s right in the Wickham Vineyard and serves, along with the Michelin-starred chef’s cutting edge Indian cuisine, his own label very local wine. Vatika has three special offers going right now for lunch and supper.
In Edinburgh, one of toptable’s most highly rated restaurants is The Spice Pavilion in New Town where fresh, not overly hot, flavours are the byword. At lunch, three courses are a teeny-tiny £8.95.
Ashiana restaurant in Newark, Notts, has all the style and flair of new-style Indian restaurants that makes it a real local hotspot. The innovative menu is Indian and Bangladeshi and at supper (except Friday and Saturday) you can look forward to 25% off food.
Roz Ana restaurant in Kingston-upon-Thames combines chic décor with a feelgood factor that makes every corner of this restaurant a pleasure to visit. Roz Ana’s 20% off food deal (except Friday and Saturday) is a corker.
Asha Bhosle is a legendary Bollywood singer with a thriving, authentic and award-winning restaurant empire and that includes Asha’s in Birmingham. It’s stylish, roomy and has an a huge menu to satisfy your Indian cravings. On Monday and Sunday evenings, main courses are 2-for-1.
So you see, highly-rated Indian restaurants with terrific deals are everywhere, from Southampton to Edinburgh. But what if you’d like to try a long-running restaurants, the one that started it all?
Veeraswamy in London’s Regent Street, the one that started the lager with curry trend, is still going strong since 1927. It’s a vibrant, exciting place to sample divine Indian cuisine in an historic setting.
And finally, if you’re thinking that all we want to talk about is high-end Indian restaurants, we’d like to respectfully call your attention to Light of Gurkha in Balham, one of toptable’s most highly rated restaurants full stop that specialises in the cuisine of North India and Nepal. There isn’t a special deal on right now, but starters are about a fiver and mains about a tenner and that’s everyday great value in any language.