"Modern Indian cuisine in a cool brasserie - style setting"
The AA Restaurant Guide 2015
"Its food is more ambitious than the usual neighbourhood fare"
Will Beckett, co-owner of Hawksmoor 2015
"'head-and-shoulders above' many of its ilk"
"Babur is not just any old Indian restaurant - it is unique, exciting and fresh..."
"Food and drinks worth crossing the river for"
Foodepedia Review Jan 2014
With a prowling, life – size tiger on the roof, newcomers could be forgiven for thinking this is just another flock- wallpapered curry house, but Babur takes a thoroughly creative approach to cuisine as well as decor. Inside the look is classy and modern: walnut veneer, exposed brickwork and blue limestone flooring meets brown – leather banquettes and industrial ducting – throw in a gallery of striking ethnic artworks and funky pendant lighting and the place really comes to life. The cooking certainly doesn’t hold back either, delivering a colourful blend of traditional and contemporary thinking. Quality ingredients –many not widely encountered in Indian cooking – and judicious spicing and joined by well –dressed presentation. Witness ostrich (clove- smoked and marinated in Rajasthani spices) or goat petties (with tamarind and raisin chutney) to start, followed by mains like well – spiced Kerala- inspired coconut lamb with tomato rice. Desserts follow the East – meets –West theme perhaps a spiced chocolate fondant or mango brulé- while wines are spice friendly and the menu includes recommendations to match each main course.
With a prowling, life-size tiger on the roof, newcomers could be forgiven for thinking this is just another flock-wallpapered curry house, but Babur takes a thoroughly creative approach to cuisine as well as décor. Inside the look is classy and modern: walnut veneer, exposed brickwork and blue limestone flooring meets brown-leather banquettes and industrial ducting - throw in a gallery of striking ethnic artworks and funky pendant lighting and the place really comes to life. The cooking certainly doesn't hold back either, delivering a colourful blend of traditional and contemporary thinking. Quality ingredients - many not widely encountered in Indian cooking - and judicious spicing are joined by well-dressed presentation. Witness ostrich (clove-smoked and marinated in Rajasthani spices) or goat patties (with tamarind and raisin chutney) to start, followed by mains like well-spiced Kerala-inspired coconut lamb with tomato rice. Desserts follow the East-meets-West theme - perhaps a spiced chocolate fondant or mango brûlée - while wines are spice-friendly and the menu includes recommendations to match each main course.
Brockley's local Indian Babur restaurant is a far cry from the neon signed ones that grace most neighbourhoods in London. This is a place for the sophisticated eater and drinker. I have rarely seen such attention to detail in a local neighbourhood restaurant. Babur is most definitely one of the best Indian dinners and I have had.
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Babur is not just any old Indian restaurant - it is unique, exciting and fresh... most definitely somewhere you would want to go for 'a nice meal out' rather than just 'a curry'. From the tiger on the roof - which is something I loved straight away and is about as chinzty as Babur gets.
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Innovative, sophisticated, modern: sycophantic descriptions usually reserved for the worlds of engineering, architecture, and the arts. If innovative, sophisticated and modern all went for counselling, then Babur would be their counsellor, without ever being remotely connected to Norman Foster, Damien Hirst or Isambard Kingdom Brunel. And that’s because Babur is simply a restaurant.....from the planet Totally Bloody Brilliant! Now how’s that for sycophantic? Any restaurant that has two enormous flags and a great big Bengal tiger stationed outside its entrance must be worth keeping an eye on. If you haven’t been there already, prepare your jealously cortex now. You will love this restaurant more than your own skin.
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Food and drinks worth crossing the river for. It could be all the liquor clouding judgement, but I’m more inclined to think it’s about the clear skill in the kitchen and behind the bar. Food and drinks alike at Babur are fragrant, fresh, and clean; the refinement allowing you savour each and every flavour, both on the plate and in the glass. By now, we’re both ready for another round, this time from the House Specials – Mango Mary for me, Currytini for the chap.
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Classy surrounds, creative cooking. One of South- east London’s most enduringly popular restaurants, this 30 – year – old veteran is a smart, professionally run outfit. Against a bacldrop of exposed brick, stone, glass and wood veneers, customers can sample skilfully rendered modern Subcontinental cooking. The fusan of old and new in some creations has considerable appeal. Scallops aromatised with ginger, garlic and crushed spice butter and teamed with roasted cumin and onion cauliflower puree and cauliflower popcorn is a different way to start. You could follow on with sea bass with pickled vegetables and moilee sauce, pot – roasted mustard rabbit with garlic roti, or a memorable rendition of spice crusted lamb shoulder served with beetroot khichadi (a yoghurt - based Keralan – style curry). Finish with spiced apricot and fig crumble served with saffron custard. Sunday lunch is a leisurely family buffet, and wines (from £19.25) are well chosen to accompany the spicy food, with excellent by – the – glass recommendations.
Classy looking Babur goes where most suburban Indian restaurants fear to tread, the creative kitchen moving beyond the usual high-street clichés into adventurous modern Indian cuisine. As can be seen with a starter of clove-smoked lamb chops cooked in the tandoor and served with roasted garlic yoghurt, the cooking shows great respect for tradition but brings a measure of inventiveness. Creativity is given full rein in main courses such as Gressingham duck breast with sweet-and-sour plum sauce and carrot mash, but more conventional sounding alternatives might be lamb biryani served with boondi raita. Desserts include caramelised pineapple tarte Tatin with vanilla gelato. Wines are well chosen to go with the spicy food, with excellent recommendations by the glass for each dish. House wines from £19.25.
The best restaurant in SE London'. A “gastronomic jewel”; this “unfailingly impressive” Honor Oak Park Indian attracts a huge amount of feedback, almost all of which tends to confirm it as “the best restaurant in SE London”.
People don't come here and ask for curry house dishes - instead they enjoy the wonderful offerings of the highly talented chef and his team,' explains Peter. 'The restaurant only has 74 covers and is very popular so booking is advised. It must be the leading restaurant in the UK for its specialist festivals and events, which range from Burns Night and its Nepalese haggis to fantastic regional Indian cuisine events.
Long before Brockley Market took hold, this 29-year-old Indian was the foodie face of the neighbourhood. Creative dishes such as clove-smoked lamb chops and tamarind-glazed quail are signatures, while the kitchen’s careful sourcing and delicate cooking of high-quality meat, fish and game really sets it apart. Big flavours come together rather than overpower each other, and suggested wine and beer pairings are given for each dish to ensure drinks do the same. A contemporary light and airy setting complete with modern art also bucks the curry house trend.
To be honest, I would have gone through hell and high water to go for a tasting at Babur. Their food is constantly delicious and full of surprises, so I would have cleared my diary, come what may. I can't tell you specifically about their new summer tasting menu, since it hasn't been announced yet.
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From the moment we sat down we were salivating at the food the table next to us had ordered. But choosing what to have from the mouthwatering menu was a bit of a tall order. While we were trying to work out what to eat we decided to have a cocktail from the drinks menu, which sounded just as interesting.
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It’s not just its good looks and innovative cooking that set Babur apart this long-standing Indian restaurant is also run with great passion and enthusiasm. Regular customers are invited to tastings and can even have an input on the quarterly changing menus – and the makeup of each dish is fully explained when dishes are presented at the table. The south and north-west of India feature most predominantly on the menu but there are also Western-influenced dishes available, like crab claws with asparagus and saffron. Seafood is certainly a highlight, so look out for the periods of the year when the separate ‘Treasures of the Sea’ menu appears. You’ll find suggested wine pairings for each dish, along with some inventive cocktails.
Regular customers are invited to tastings and can even have an input on the quarterly changing menus - and the makeup of each dish is fully explained when dishes are presented at the table. The south and north west of india feature most predominantly on the menu but there are also Western-influenced dishes available, like crab claws with asparagus and saffron. Seafood is certainly a highlight, so look out for the periods of the year when the separate ’Treasures of the sea’ menu appears. You’ll find suggested wine pairings for each dish, along with some inventive cocktails.
The Outstanding Restaurant of the Year was, once again, Emdad Rahman's Babur in London SE23 which was the only restaurant to receive 100% in the voting from the thirteen judges for the second consecutive year - an amazing achievement covering food, service, wine, ambiance, health and safety - the whole dining package.
‘Innovative, contemporary and stylish' neatly sums up the all-round appeal of this highly regarded Indian, which delivers consistently excellent food based on ‘adventurous ingredients and unusual combinations'. The dramatic interior with its floor-to-ceiling glass entrance, American walnut panelling and intricate kalamkari textiles is matched by a modern menu that's strong on seafood and game. Seared mackerel might be paired with a palate-cleansing salsa of green apple and fresh coriander, while clove-smoked buffalo receives a Rajasthani-spiced masala sauce. Regular festival menus introduce new dishes, and desserts are exotic riffs on the French classics – think mango brûlée or pineapple tarte Tatin. Suggested food and drink pairings are worth following (perhaps a Meantime Pale Ale with soft-shell-crab curry), and Babur's Sunday buffet is ‘the best around', says one Indian fan (‘born and bred in Yorkshire').
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The best dining in South East London
For almost 30 years, this unexpectedly smart dining room in Brockley, a leafy but overlooked pocket of south-east London, has been offering adventurous twists on traditional, regional dishes. Mains that include steamed spice-crusted lamb shoulder with beetroot rice, and pot-roasted mustard rabbit, helped it to be crowned “London’s best Indian” by Zagat (“worth the journey”). The lifesize Indian tiger statue over the entrance is the only nod to curry-palace kitsch.
Reviewed by Will Beckett, co-owner of Hawksmoor
Babur is a really great restaurant. Its food is more ambitious than the usual neighbourhood fare (which I sometimes love, but it can be difficult to distinguish between one restaurant and another). Whereas with most Indian takeaways I stick to the same script every time (chicken rogan josh, garlic naan, sag aloo), at Babur there’s so much great stuff I mix it up a lot. Three dishes I’ve really like are the clove-smoked lamb chops, vegetarian thali and the pan-seared stone bass with fennel chutney.
"head-and-shoulders above" many of its ilk; Food 27 Décor 22 Service 26
With "delicately spiced" dishes featuring atypical meats like quail, venison, rabbit and mackerel on its "reliably good", "high-quality" menu, fans claim this long-standing, moderately priced Honor Oak Indian stands "head-and-shoulders above" many of its ilk; service is "attentive and friendly", while the interior of floor-to-ceiling glass and exposed brick adds to the "pleasant" experience.