Straddling the line between fine dining and takeaway, these fun and affordable eateries are heating up the UK"s dining scene
The UK has long been one of the best places to sample Indian cuisine outside the country itself, but its due recognition has been hard won. It was as late as 2001 that Atul Kochhar became the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star while head chef at Tamarind of Mayfair, followed by another in 2007 at Benares Restaurant, spearheading the trend for fine-dining takes on traditional dishes. Now, we are home to some of the most acclaimed establishments in the world, from stalwarts such as Veeraswamy – the UK"s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, which was given its first star in 2016 – to relative newcomers including Gymkhana, which was awarded the accolade in 2014, just a year after opening.
Increasingly, however, even chefs who made their names at the high end are turning their hands to casual cuisine, as fast and easy dining options that take inspiration from India"s bustling cafe culture find favour. The mid-point between pricey tasting menus and cheap and cheerful takeaways, these relaxed destinations offer fresh, vibrant and creative dishes that bring a new lease of life to this well-loved cuisine.