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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

With Royal Mughlai ancestry and a great love of food gained from cooking traditional family recipes, the owner couldn’t be better qualified. Her open k...
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The MICHELIN Plate: Good cooking
Simple restaurant
Home-style Indian regional food cooked by an all women kitchen. All the recipes are family dishes taught by mothers and grandmothers- none of the women cooking are professional chefs. The menu is short with a mix of dishes including vegan and vegetarian.
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner
Indian, Asian
Reservations, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (378)
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All reviews goat curry prawns channa spicy potatoes brown rice kebab curries chicken mango bread starters and mains salad cakes kingly court indian food carnaby street best indian
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Reviewed March 6, 2020 via mobile

Flavorful food in a great atmosphere. We had the prawns and chaat for starter, both were exceptional and good portion sizes. We also had the dal and paneer curry, both were nice but nothing amazing. The dal needed a bit more seasoning and punch, the...Dishoom dal is better and I have had better in other Indians. The paneer was nice but not the same level of green chilli that I normally like. The Puris were fluffy and delicious. Service was great throughout, we would definitely go back when the menu next changes.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed February 29, 2020 via mobile

After restaurants are featured on the Chef’s Table, everything goes up: demand, prices, expectations. I watched the Darjeeling episode on the evening before traveling to London. It was clear that we won’t get a reservation, but tried our luck as walk-ins. Being there at 11:40...helped and we had a wonderful lunch. The chili prawns were a star; the staff was even kind enough to put one more on the plate, so that the three of us could share them without a fight. The prawns were actually so got, that we repeated the order despite having plenty of food on the table already. Puchkas were equally delicious, with the tamarind water adding another layer of flavor and juiciness. The channa chaat was good; we just didn’t fancy the sweet tamarind sauce too much. We equally enjoyed all the main dishes: chicken thighs with tomatoes, paneer, and the goat curry. The latter was a great example of the Japanese kokumi concept; cooked slowly and full of flavor. Spicy potatoes deserve their name, but in a mix of all the dishes, the heat was manageable. The setting is lovely, comfy, and goes well along with the food which feels like being cooked at home. Service was very efficient and kind; the only complaint overall is the service charge of 12.5%. Why don’t they simply raise the prices? And yes, buy the book!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 27, 2020 via mobile

Went here whilst working nearby on the recommendation of a friend who’d been a few times before. They opened at 6pm and we had to wait 5 minutes to be seated as it wasn’t quite 6. First in and within 10 minutes it was packed....The reason for this is the food is amazing and authentic. The menu is not extensive and has a good mix of vegan, vegetarian and meat options for starters, sides and mains. I paid £26.50 for Bihari Phulki (lentil fritters), Jeera Paneer and some wild rice. More expensive than a bog standard Indian but this wasn’t bog standard Indian food. I tried a colleagues starter of mutton kabab and it was melt in the mouth. They added 12.5% service to the bill which I don’t agree with (we were a table of six) as I pay service anyway if the service is good, I don’t agree with it being forced on the customer. Apart from that a very enjoyable experience with excellent food. Highly recommended if you’re in the carnaby street area.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 26, 2020 via mobile

I have to start this review with a caveat. I was brought up in Calcutta (India) and spent my childhood there so have some idea of what traditional dishes in Calcutta taste like. I would also like to add that I greatly admire Asma Khan...and what she has done and continues to do in terms of the second daughter fund. Having said this, here's my experience of Darjeeling express: The welcome: We were welcomed abruptly and a bit rudely by a lady and informed her that we didn't have a reservation on the night. We came at around 6pm to a fairly empty restaurant at the time and were hoping to get lucky. We were informed we could stay if we could finish eating within the hour. Although this seemed reasonable, the manner in which this was presented to us wasn't the most professional and we were put off by it. In the end, we decided to chance it. The ambience: The ambience overall was very pleasant but I'd say the tables were packed in quite close and as a result we couldn't help but hear conversations next to us, and on more than one occasion, bump into the diners next to us when getting up. The food: Unfortunately, I was expecting something extraordinary and perhaps this was my mistake. I believed I payed for a traditional chicken curry (Chicken Champ) for £15 and perhaps was expecting more than the solitary chicken leg I received (picture attached). I was also expecting the taste to be better than what I'd expect from an average restaurant in Calcutta. Needless to say, I should have mentally prepared myself to have those expectations dashed. I don't know what the good people of London expect to get when they order a chicken curry for £15 but average curry consisting of a single chicken leg shouldn't be it. Maybe more than a piece of chicken would've softened the experience... Final impressions: Unfortunately, the experience was disappointing overall. I went in with high hopes and came out of the restaurant hungry and needing some dessert to help my mood.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed February 22, 2020

Was lucky to book one of their special event luncheons prior to going to the theatre. Set price and set menu, because it was just my daughter and myself we were seated with 6 strangers, what an experience. While some restaurants don’t live up to...the hype, Asma Khans Darjeeling Express certainly did. The food is amazing, cooked by superb female chefs with a passion for excellence. Can’t say anything else apart from don’t hesitate, just book.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 20, 2020 via mobile

If you want truly authentic Indian cooking then this place is a must. As it was half term we took the kids with us. From the moment we walked in we felt welcomed. The service was excellent. With the open kitchen and the magical ladies...cooking we glanced to see what looked good. We opted for a variety but the Tangra prawns were amazing. My eldest son decided to have 3 plates as he enjoyed them so much. All the starters came fresh out of the kitchen. For mains we ordered the goat which was good, paneer which was okay and the chicken curry which was really good. We also ordered the potatoes which were really spicy but so good. We had this with the puri soft and delicate but not too oily and yellow pulao. Now the dessert we had the gajjar ka halwa which was amazing and a must have. Only issue is that it is a very small portion. We had the pleasure to meet Asma Khan who sat with us and talked to all of us. Very inspirational lady. Overall, fantastic food and will return again to try her new dishes as she changes the menu every 8 weeks.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 19, 2020 via mobile

Nothing short of exceptional. After hearing about the restaurant and its background on Chef’s Table, I was incredibly keen to visit. I am always keen to support women-run businesses - particularly those which have an all female staff (mainly made up of migrant women!) I’d...waited for four months for the booking, having decided to book it for my anniversary with my partner. Everything was exceptional. The food, the service and the price were all excellent value for money. The menu was simple, yet varied. It had none of the curries you would expect at a curry house and enough variety to make us want to try everything. We had the Tangra prawns and the mutton kebab to start. The prawns were cooked to perfection, with a great texture and a wonderful seasoning. The mutton was incredibly rich and flavoursome and melted in your mouth. For mains, we got the jeera paneer and the goat curry. I preferred the goat curry, finding it more flavoursome and a lot spicier (which I love). The goat was tender and fell apart easily with every spoonful. Personally, I found the paneer to be too yogurty, but my partner loved it; I think it’s about individual preferences for curries because they were both delicious and flavoursome. The rice was wonderfully grainy and well cooked and not dry and the bread was moist without being greasy (despite being deep fried). Honestly, could not fault the sides at all. The portions are very generous so we were mega stuffed for dessert. My partner got a lassi with his main, which was wonderfully milky and rich. The service was great and attentive. Nothing took very long to arrive and everything was very calm and breezy. For such as prestigious restaurant, I loved how relaxed, welcoming and comfortable the atmosphere was. The bill was very reasonable, coming to £72 for me and my partner, with service for two starters, two mains and a drink each. I honestly wish I could come here more often and will be booking the next available date to come again and try some more of the amazing menu. Do not miss an opportunity to visit!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 10, 2020 via mobile

We were a group of 6 visiting Darjeeling Express for the first time and we tasted nearly all the dishes in the menu! All of them were delicious and we loved the different tastes. It was indeed a lovely lunch...all of us highly recommend this...place!! Thank you!!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed February 8, 2020 via mobile

We've been to the best Indian restaurant in London. Its the second time we've been. The food is unbelievable.the staff are so nice the service is very good. I'll be back.

Date of visit: January 2020
Reviewed February 4, 2020

My daughters love Indian food, and I was willing to try it. I was pleasantly surprised by the food and service. The location was in a lovely trendy but low profile courtyard, would definitely come back.

Date of visit: December 2019
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
March 29, 2020|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Gulagboy | Reviewed this property |
Yes. Even have a cocktail bar
Bill B
November 10, 2019|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from mrmrsgoff | Reviewed this property |
You wouldn’t want to be there more then two hours anyhow as the service is speedy but not at any time do you feel rushed. It’s more of a cafe feel then fine dining therefore even if there is a time limit (which I am not... More
October 28, 2019|
Response from Conoso | Reviewed this property |
Hi Zyhtak, I didn’t see a single baby at the time of our visit l, so as far as space, yes they have it and staff friendliness they also have it.
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