The best Indian fine dining restaurants to visit for Holi

Celebrate the Festival of Colours with our pick of the finest Indian restaurants in London

Holi is one of the most anticipated Indian festivals of the year. Signalling the triumph of good over evil, the entire country turns into a rainbow of colours as people celebrate with the best Bollywood tunes, lots of colour paint and water balloons and, as always, the most delicious food and drinks. 

This year, the Festival of Colours falls on 25 March, with many Indian fine dining restaurants in London gearing up to celebrate with specially curated menus, traditional dishes and festive cocktails that champion India’s storied culture and gastronomy. 

The story of Holi is something that has been passed down in tales for generations. In a nutshell, Holi is a festival that is born out of the story of a prince whose devotion to Lord Vishnu — despite his evil father’s decree that the only god in his kingdom was him — ended up saving his life. When the prince’s father saw that his son was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, he tried to have him killed using various methods, but to no avail.

Finally, the king called upon his sister, Holika, who was blessed with the ability to never burn in a fire. She built a giant bonfire and led the prince into it. However, thanks to Lord Vishnu, the prince remained unharmed while the king’s sister perished. This also effectively ended the evil king’s reign, which resulted in a kingdom-wide celebration with water and colours the next day. Now, the night before the colourful event, giant bonfires are lit across the country to symbolise the prince’s triumph over the king’s sister.

To celebrate the occasion, we have compiled a list of some of the best fine dining restaurants in London to visit for a luxurious culinary Holi experience — and what you can do if you want to celebrate at home.Holi at Farzi — Indian fine dining restaurantFarzi, Piccadilly Circus

From 25 to 31 March, Farzi, the modern Indian restaurant located in Piccadilly Circus, will be serving some limited edition desserts that are traditional to the festival. First up is the tutti frutti sponge roll, a layered sponge cake infused with cardamom, saffron and almonds, rolled with pieces of tutti frutti alongside cream yoghurt soaked in rabri milk.

The second dessert is Thandai — a chilled milk-based drink traditionally served during Holi. This refreshing drink is infused with a blend of nuts, spices and saffron, and is often spiked with alcohol or spirits for that extra zing during the festive celebrations. Guests at Farzi will have the option to do the same.

As Holi also coincides with Farzi’s five-year anniversary, they have also launched a special menu to celebrate with dishes like beef boti kebab, robata grilled scallops, tandoori paneer, chicken biryani and more.Holi at Kanishka — Indian fine dining restaurantKanishka by Atul Kochhar, Mayfair

To celebrate the festival of Holi, Kanishka by Atul Kochhar in Mayfair has curated a special menu that will be available from 23 to 25 March, combining pan-Indian cuisine with British ingredients.

The menu will include dishes like aloo chaat, lamb boti kebab, tiger prawn mappas cooked in a coconut and tamarind sauce, slow cooked lamb curry and more. For dessert, the restaurant is paying homage to the traditional sweets of Holi with gujiya (sweet fried dumplings), malai kulfi falooda with rose caviar, and Thandai ice cream.

They have also created a special cocktail for the occasion called the Holi Hai cocktail (translation: it’s Holi), made from glenmorangie, orange marmalade, aperol, lemon juice, orange juice, egg white and orange bitters. And if you’re vegetarian, there is also a vegetarian Holi menu to suit your needs.

And if you need any more convincing that Kanishka is one of the best Indian fine dining restaurants in the city, check out our review here.Kahani HoliKahani, Sloane Square

This Indian fine dining restaurant in Sloane Square is celebrating the Festival of Colours with a special, limited edition Holi menu curated by chef Peter Joseph. With this meticulously curated four-course menu, guests can try out some of the classic Indian dishes like tandoori grilled prawns, lamb chops, Kerala fish curry, chicken vindaloo and more.

For dessert, Kahani will be serving an assortment of Indian sweets with kulfi ice cream, which is something you definitely don’t want to miss. Manthan MayfairManthan, Mayfair

Located in the heart of Mayfair, Manthan’s head chef Rohit Ghai has curated a beautiful five course menu to celebrate Holi and Easter, which will be available for guests during Easter weekend (29 to 31 March) — available in both vegetarian and non vegetarian variations.

The non vegetarian menu boasts dishes like ghati masala prawns, lamb chops, chicken tikka masala and more. Whereas the vegetarian menu will serve the likes of beetroot cutlets, paneer makhani, plantain kofta and more. For dessert, there will be a classic trio of popular Indian sweet dishes like gulab jamun, besan laddoo and srikhand.KatieKutir, Chelsea

Manthan’s sister restaurant, Kutir, which is located in Chelsea, is also celebrating Holi and Easter with a series of specially curated five course menus to choose from.

Available from 29 to 31 March, their signature menu will feature dishes like lamb chops, chicken tikka masala, Madras duck and more. The vegetarian menu features dishes like aloo tikki, cauliflower samosas, aubergine based curry and more. Their final offering, the Jaltarang menu, will feature dishes like soft shell crab, lobster, kokum stone bass and more.

Based on their culinary preferences, guests can select a menu and celebrate Holi — and Easter — in style.Gymkhana Fine FoodsGymkhana Fine Foods — At Home Dining

If you’d like to enjoy a Michelin-starred Indian fine dining experience from the comfort of your own home this festive season, you can do so with Gymkhana, the fine dining Indian restaurant in London. The team at Gymkhana have curated special bundles of marinades and sauces to help elevate your at-home dining experience.

Gymkhana Fine Foods have three different bundles to choose from: the marinades and chutneys bundle, all star sauce bundle and the full feast bundle. And if you’re looking to elevate your lamb recipes for either Holi or Easter, they have partnered with H G Walter to create a selection of alternative suggestions for your recipes.

Suggestions include dishes like tandoori rolled and roasted lamb belly, slow cooked vindaloo lamb neck and garlic and chilli slow roast lamb shoulder, among others.

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