Darjeeling Express

I LOVE Carnaby. It’s my go-to food spot and never fails to provide a great selection of restaurants, including old faves and trendy new hotspots. Home to some of my favourite restaurants, such as Pizza Pilgrims, Dishoom and Le Bab, this foodie heaven is prime location for any new restaurant. Constant footfall, hungry tourists and a lively atmosphere. It’s all about #goodvibesonly these days and Carnaby provides this time and time again.

After the huge success of her pop ups and supper clubs, Asma Khan has found a permanent spot on the top floor of lively Kingly Court. The food encompasses a mix of North Indian and Bengali cooking. Just from this, you know you can expect flavourful, hearty food.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated, authentic and bright. The service was good and friendly Asma was around to make sure diners were enjoying their experience. I came here with one of my girlfriends recently and we were sat at a lovely table by the window overlooking Kingly Court.

How have I not mentioned that you can make reservations here yet!? I cannot understand how this has become such a rarity at trendy restaurants in London, but honestly Darjeeling Express – you had me at the ‘Grab A Table’ page on your site where I was easily able to book a table. I am so over being expected to queue for two hours to try the latest opening and be crammed on a sharing table with people I don’t know, not being able to hear the people I do know  – no thank you.

What we ate:

  • Papri Chaat
  • Puchkas (aka pani puri)
  • Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan
  • Hyderabadi Tamarind Dal

For any fellow vegans out there, the majority of veggie dishes on the colourful menu are vegan – yay! The food here is delicious, an array of textures and flavours making up a wonderful Indian feast. Shout out to the all-women team (who aren’t trained chefs and learned their culinary skills from their mothers and grandmothers) in the kitchen passionately cooking up the home-style food. These ladies are killingggg it!

My top dishes were the Papri Chaat and Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan. The papri chaat is a classic street food dish from India and successfully combines savoury flavours from the papri and sweet from the tamarind chutney with extra crunch. The Hyderabadi Baghare Baigan is roasted aubergine in a thick, slightly sweet sauce.  This was vibrant and satisfying complemented well by the dal. So yet again, Carnaby didn’t fail to produce the goods – Darjeeling Express and the restaurant’s wonderful food with a side of #girlboss values won me over!

Rating: 8/10
Location: Kingly Court, Carnaby
The damage: Around £30

Darjeeling Express Website


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