When Simply Indian invited us via Instagram to come down and taste their Thali, a selection of different Indian dishes, we were so excited. What can beat the nation’s favourite food, curry? Running for over 17 years and having won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award 4 years in a row, we had high expectations.
Simply Indian is on Tabard Street close to Borough tube station, located on a quieter side-street lined with a variety of restaurants and takeaways. Looking from across the street, we’d describe the restaurant itself as understated, and the interior as not fussy. The restaurant is intimate, seating a maximum of 28 people. We love a BYOB – the novelty never wears off, and this was a great place to kick back and relax on a long summer’s evening with a glass of wine.
We arrived around 7pm and were warmly welcomed by the front of house. When we got there it was quiet and empty – it was a hot day, surely not a day for curry. But soon enough, the restaurant was filling up rapidly and when it was full there was a real buzz about it. Sizzling plates of meat, hampers of naans and more Thalis were being brought out of the kitchen – we were intrigued.
The menu itself has a good variety of dishes and goes further than the usual dishes – korma, tikka masala, and others – that you would expect to find on British Indian restaurant and takeaway menus. The menu hosts dishes from all across India, including Goa, Kashmir, South India and Delhi.
The Thali included a starter, main and vegetarian side. We both went for the mixed appetisers which included a smoked lamb kebab (spicy but delicious, the meat was of really good quality), chickpea samosas, and a succulent piece of white creamy yoghurt chicken tikka, accompanied with mint and chilli chutney and a tomato and cucumber salad.
For main we tried a selection of: Goan Green Chicken, Lamb Rogan, Tilapia Hara Masala, and ‘Proper Original’ Veggie Biriyani. At this point we have to give a special mention to the naans, which were absolutely delicious. We had peshwari and garlic. The peshwari naan was like a flatbread, with desiccated coconut inside and sesame seeds on top.
Goan Green Chicken: We’ve had a fair few green curries before, but more of the Thai variety than anything else – that’s why we need we definitely had to try this dish. This was a beautiful infusion of classic Indian flavours and ingredients, including green chilli, mint, coriander and tamarind. It was also served with broad beans. This with a dash of the yoghurt was great.
Lamb Rogan Josh: Simply Indian’s take on a much-loved curry, the lamb rogan josh, was good – a rich red colour, it was milder and creamier than the Goan Green, however the lamb still with spicy undertones to it. A good plus for this place is that it provides fully certified halal meat.
Tilapia Hara Masala: The fish, cooked in a mint and coriander curry sauce, provided another dimension to our meal – meaning that we had tried meat, veg and fish options. However, with some minty undertones coming through, it probably had the least strong flavours out of the dishes we tried.
Proper Original Veggie Biriyani: A fragrant and spicy veggie curry cooked in classic South Indian style. This was served alongside a delicious serving of spiced basmati rice layered with fried onions. This was a great vegetarian option, and eaten with the garlic naans was one of our favourite parts of the meal.
The staff were friendly, and really made us feel welcome. It was a hot day, and they were attentive with the water, and were keen to explain the menu and the restaurant to us. Price wise – you can eat a main course meal for under £20, or two course meal for under £25. We believe this is great value for money, especially with the BYO policy and no additional corkage fee.
Here at @ldn_eats we do believe that great food is the kind that can silence the entire table. When the Thali came out we were silent. For good Indian food and a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere, choose Simply Indian.
If you’d like any more information on this restaurant, or any of the other restaurants we have reviewed, please free feel to contact us.