The best Indian fine dining restaurants to visit during Diwali
Celebrate the Festival of Lights in style with our pick of London’s finest Indian restaurants
Diwali is traditionally a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness. Fireworks herald the arrival of India’s favourite festival across the world, houses are lit up with lanterns and candles, people dress up in their finest traditional wear and, most importantly, gorge on some of the most delicious foods the country has to offer.
With the Festival of Lights fast approaching on 12 November, lots of Indian fine dining restaurants across London are gearing up to celebrate with everything from traditional to contemporary cuisine. From curated special menus to festive cocktails that bring out the best of India’s diverse culture and gastronomy, there is something for everyone to celebrate.
And if, like me, Diwali happens to be your favourite festival and you’re missing home a little extra, or you’re keen to experience a slice of India’s fascinating culture – or if you simply want to eat some truly delicious food – here is our curated list of some of the best Indian restaurants in London to visit for the true culinary Diwali experience.
Located in the heart of Mayfair, this gorgeous Indian fine dining restaurant has something very special planned for Diwali. Chef Rohit Ghai has curated a beautiful five course menu to take you on a culinary journey like never before. Known for blending innovation with tradition, this Diwali menu promises to be the perfect showcase of Chef Ghai’s unique speciality.
With dishes like Ghati Masala Prawns and some delectable lamb chops, this mouthwatering menu is the perfect way to celebrate this vibrant and colourful festival. And if you’re a vegetarian, fret not, as this menu also caters to you with dishes like beetroot chops and paneer tikka, among others.
Located in Chelsea, this sister restaurant of Manthan, once again founded by Rohit Ghai and Abhishake Sangwan, is also ringing in Diwali in style. With their five course Diwali menu, the chefs hope to take you through the rich history and heritage of India, and is inspired by the country’s vast forestry and wildlife.
Like Manthan, Kutir’s menu also caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, with dishes like methi aloo (potatoes and fenugreek) and brussels sprouts idli, or prawn masala and lobster idli. And, as a special treat, the chefs have also prepared an amuse-bouche that will tantalise your palate right from the start of your meal.
DARJEELING EXPRESS, SOHO
One cannot make an Indian restaurant roundup without including Darjeeling Express. Located in Carnaby Street, Soho, this Asma Khan-led restaurant is a staple for celebrities and food connoisseurs alike. Blending classic home-cooked meals with Khan’s Mughlai ancestry, this is one restaurant you should definitely have on your festive radar.
You can choose to try their classic à la carte lunch menu, or if you’d like a curated selection, go for their extremely popular Royal Thali set dinner menu. Presented in a traditional Indian thali platter, with a roster of delectable accompaniments to pair, this is the best way to experience the heart of India, and a beautiful way to ring in Diwali. Don’t miss out on the gajar ka halwa –– very few Indian desserts come close.
CINNAMON CLUB, WESTMINSTER
The Cinnamon Club has long been known as a hub for classic Indian fine dining, presenting fresh and innovative takes on traditional dishes, surrounded by the splendour of what was formerly the Westminster Library. Guests dine on delicious dishes surrounded by book-lined walls for an unforgettable atmosphere.
Chef Vivek Singh has curated a special Diwali menu that includes a fun, festive cocktail for diners to enjoy. From staple Indian canapes like kachori and dhokla to the kokum-crusted halibut and an exceptional trio of Diwali desserts, this is one celebration you do not want to miss.
This Michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair, led by Chef Sameer Taneja, is known for its modern take on Indian cuisine. They use impeccably sourced British ingredients to create their modern and innovative menus, which feature delights such as the chicken tikka pie, the Batak Nihari (pan-roasted duck fillet with Nihari curry), and many more.
Dive into a variety of tasting menus for a curated experience; Diwali itself marks the final day of Benares’ special 20th anniversary tasting menu which honours two decades of culinary excellence. All guests will also be given a small box of petit fours of motichoor laddoo, a popular Indian sweet traditionally made during Diwali.
This high-end Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea has something special for diners to enjoy during Diwali weekend. From 10 to 12 November, Kahani is offering guests an exceptional four course menu, curated by chef Peter Joseph.
The menu boasts staples like berry papdi chaat, paneer tikka and tandoor lamb chops, all served with Chef Peter’s perfect dal, naan and rice. For dessert, there is an unmissable baked cheesecake with raspberry coulis or a kulfi platter. The latter is definitely not something you’d want to miss.