The enticing aroma of curry on Nottingham’s Maid Marian Way draws diners to the city’s Indian restaurants. The Cumin, Calcutta Club, MemSaab, 4,500 Miles from Delhi, Laguna and newcomer Kottaram are located less than half a mile from each other.
In Trinity Square, Tamatanga is a popular spot, Kayal brings South Indian flavors to Hockley, while Vi-Va is all the rage on the street food scene. The Balti House, Anoki and Mogal E Azam are old favorites that need no explanation.
But a top-notch curry doesn’t have to mean a trip downtown. Sometimes a local curry house is all you need for a spicy fix.
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We could honestly list dozens of places for a tasty rojon josh, chicken jalfrezi that packs a punch, or something else entirely like lobster or a Sunday roast with a kick. Here are some of the contenders for the best out-of-town Indian restaurants worth exploring.
Head to the heart of student country in Lenton for a spicy experience at a reasonable price. Chaska is a lively and relaxed place for subcontinental snacks and curries.
On the menu are street food favorites gol gappe, the crispy puff pastry balls filled with potato, chickpeas and tamarind water, which fit in your mouth in one go. Head over to ‘Chaat Corner’ for more mouthwatering dishes you’ll find on the streets of Lahore and Mumbai.
The open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs in action, roasting chicken and chops on the grill. Desi tawa is a feast that brings together chicken tikka, mutton seekh kebab, wings chatt patt, desi mutton, chicken karahi, rice chips, malai boti and naan on one huge plate. You will most likely take some home with you.
You say: “Fantastic food, great service and decent size portions. My young son loves it and it’s now his favorite restaurant. The atmosphere is really nice, the decor is done well and overall a fabulous experience. This is our go to definitive”. -place for a good meal, reasonable prices too. The tawa for two is amazing. Take a look, you won’t be disappointed.”
Location: 35 Lenton Boulevard, Lenton, NG7 2ET
The local curry house plunged into the national spotlight after being named a featured restaurant at the English Curry Awards 2021. Apart from the classics, bhuna, korma, madras and co. serves specialties in a stylish contemporary setting.
Signature dishes include dhesi karahi, an authentic home-cooked dish with lamb, chicken or prawns and kaalimirch, a creamy curry with cashews and green chili, which they say offers “the best flavors that only taste can describe”. They even recommend wines that are the perfect pairing for starters and main courses.
If you don’t fancy a traditional Sunday roast, a three-course banquet from a set menu is available, priced at £18.95 for adults and £12.95 for children (under 12) between noon and 9am. p.m
You say: “We’ve had takeaway from here many times, but this was our first experience eating in. All the staff were friendly and helpful. The food was (as always) very, very good. They make the best korma I’ve ever had and have no issues Allergy-related. Service was quick and attentive without being intrusive. We had a seven-year-old with us and all the staff took the trouble to talk to him.”
Location: 4 Nottingham Road, Nuthall, NG16 1DP
As lockdown loomed, the future looked bleak for the Carrington restaurant, but it was again in good hands after the same team that runs the award-winning MemSaab in the city center took over. A few tweaks and the restaurant is now back in business.
The best recommendation? The battakh tikka is to die for – the tandoori roasted duck breast is succulent and spicy with mustard, lemongrass, chilli and ginger. Another favorite is the lamb rogan josh, delicious meaty pieces smothered in a rich and flavorful sauce. Before the poppadoms or starters, an amuse bouche is served in a mini gol gappe martini glass, awakening the taste buds.
You say: “What can be more pleasurable than having a decent curry during a cold and rainy day? Excellent service as if you are dining in a Michelin restaurant and a great atmosphere. The presentation of the starters is simply beautiful and most importantly they taste great “I am thankful that the restaurant was spared from permanent closure. This is one Indian restaurant not to be missed if you are looking for delicious and authentic Indian food.”
Location: 301 Mansfield Road, Carrington, NG5 2DA
A colleague swears by the “amazing” mutton bhuna at this North County Indian restaurant, which he says aims to engage all the senses.
No artificial colors or additives are used in dishes flavored with freshly ground spices. They say, “We believe we’ve created tomorrow’s dine-in and takeout that is traditional yet modern, authentic yet innovative. We simply can’t afford to be expensive, but we can afford to be the best.”
Floral wallpaper creates a homey atmosphere for diners to enjoy signature dishes of garlic masala lamb tikka tawa, chicken tikka cheese and the special chicken tikka naga.
You say: “Absolutely gorgeous food, some of the best Indian I’ve had locally and absolutely brilliantly priced, I’d say it takes a bit of a beating in Sutton, Mansfield and Kirkby. Definitely our favourite.”
Location: 19 King Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, NG17 1AT
Not exactly your cozy neighborhood place to go, this stately-looking restaurant draws families from far and wide. The luxurious cabins and opulent surroundings give a sense of decadence.
One diner, visiting recently, said he would happily make a special three hour drive from East London for the meal. It’s a long way to go for Sultani cutlets or peshwari chicken, so it must be good. Opinion might be divided by Magaz though, as the sautéed lamb brain won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
The restaurant is dry (don’t even bring your own alcohol) but serves a good cup of chai, lassi and delicious mocktails. There are also special events from time to time, including live music.
You say:”The staff really take care of you. They were patient and informative. We were cold so they brought a warmer. The server gave us lots of tips and information about the menu. The food came quickly. It was hot and delicious. Second time here and loved it both times.”
Location: 482 Mansfield Road, Sherwood, NG5 2EL
The best of Indian gastronomy, just off the A52. It is definitely worth a stop to experience the excellent food, service and elegant setting with white linen tablecloths and tall vases.
Spicy cod fillet in spicy and grilled sauce with chicken tikka, lamb chops, onion bhaji and malai tikka are our favorite starters. The coconut-flavoured Goan sea bass curry transports you to the shoreline, while the mutton handi is bursting with flavor as it falls off the bone, all served by staff who are genuinely happy to oblige.
If you don’t like desserts in an Indian restaurant, make an exception with Crepes Suzette, flambéed at the table, for a true theatrical feel.
You say: “Went here for a meal tonight, been going by it for years and finally walked in, food was beautiful and service was excellent. He even came out with a cupcake and sang happy birthday to me which was very thoughtful. Definitely would.” would recommend”.
Location: A52, Radcliffe Road, Radcliffe-on-Trent, NG12 2LF
The restaurant pays homage to the South Indian cuisine of Kerala, the land of spices and an area known for its palm-fringed beaches and backwaters. Although Newark lacks scenery, it doesn’t lack flavors.
Koinonia brings something different to the table, offering dishes like Cheera Parippu (spinach and lentil) soup, dosas, and Pothu Ularthiyath (bite-sized pieces of beef).
Seafood is a specialty. Look out for calamari, crab curry, malabari lobster, and Meen Pollichathu, a traditional fish dish wrapped in banana leaves that is mostly served at refreshment shops (local pubs) and backwaters.
You say: “So I find myself in Newark on a Monday night and this place scores highly on all the reviews, why not? First impressions are of another curry house until you look at the menu, which is very different to what I’ve seen anywhere before. In fact, I was so unsure that I relied on my waiter’s guidance to help me choose. What arrived at my table was really, really good and certainly very different from anything I’ve ever had. before. Washed down with a couple of cold glasses of Cobra, this was a memorable meal. The service was also excellent.”
Location: 19 St Marks Lane, Newark, NG24 1XS
Speaking of restaurants with a difference, Tamasha brands itself as a one-stop destination for breakfast, Asian tapas, grills, and cocktails. Former boxing legend Carl Froch is a fan of the restaurant where diners sit under cherry blossoms and crystal chandeliers and can watch chefs prepare food in an open kitchen.
It’s not the cheapest and the main complaint in the reviews seems to be the price. A typical main course will set you back £20 to £32 for a turf and surf, but the food scores 10/10.
The menu includes both Thai and Chinese dishes, but on the Indian side, there are tikka skewers, lamb chops, lamb shank, salmon tikka with spice puree, and rail mutton curry. Visitors can start the day the Indian way. Alongside a full English is a full Indian with omelette, curried chickpeas, tomatoes, mushrooms, masala beans, crispy paratha bread and homemade chilli chutney.
A Sunday roast comes with Yorkshire pudding, Tamasha’s own stuffing and spicy Bombay potatoes.
You say: “I had a breakfast – the Full Indian was so filling and so delicious.”
Location: 948 Woodborough Road, Mapperley, NG3 5QS
Bombay Sweet Center
It’s a takeaway, not a restaurant, but we couldn’t miss this family-owned Hyson Green institution that’s been going strong since 1995. The name is a bit misleading because there’s so much more to it than just sugary gajjar halwa and barfi.
This little gem is worth a ride on the tram from the center of town, which stops right across the street from the store. Street food such as paneer tikka wraps, papri chaat and Bombay bhel puri are excellent with hops. Chicken, salmon and paneer are served fresh off the grill. The classic butter chicken curry makhani, vegetarian aloo gobi and mutton karahi and the rest of the items can be ordered online via click and collect.
You say: “Absolutely delicious food. We ordered curries, pakora and samosas for another dinner, everyone was very impressed. This has to be the Indian restaurant in Nottingham, can’t recommend it highly enough!”
Location: 133 Radford Road, Nottingham, NG7 5DU