For real Indian food ask Indian people, and most in London will recommend this long-established fixture in the Asian community of Southall. The main dining room was completely refurbished in January 2007 and the look now is modern and tasteful. There is a pair of plasma TV screens that show Bollywood films, which is somewhat surreal but quite fun. The clientele is mainly Asian families, and portions are designed with that in mind i.e. large, but they will pack up whatever you can't finish. I have been coming to the Brilliant on a regular basis for two decades, and it serves consistently good Punjabi food. It has been running since November 1975, and long may it continue.
Amongst my favourite dishes are the chicken starters, e.g. butter or jeera chicken, the tasty bhajia mix or the lovely aloo tikki (chilli chicken is not for the faint of heart). I would suggest in particular trying the tandoori quail, a fairly recent menu addition, which can be superb. Fish pakora is another good starter, a tasty snack. For main courses the methi chicken is superb, as is just about any prawn dish. Owner/chef Gulu Anand has his own garam masala recipe made from forty ingredients, and the quality of the spicing here is very high. Breads have not always been their strong point, but this has improved with the addition of a romali roti hemisphere and a chef from India who knows how to make it properly. The romali roti is now superbly light and airy. Another highlight here is the kulfi, which is made from scratch (very few Indian restaurants in the UK make their own) and excellent, as is the halwa.
Service is extremely slick at the Brilliant, and would shame many a French restaurant. A nice touch has been the addition of some "healthy eating" menu options which are much lighter than the traditional curries, which use ghee. This has been at the instigation of Dipna Anand, owner Gulu's daughter, who has recently completed her degree in catering (she got first class honours as one might hope) and is actively involved with the restaurant. The food here is remarkably good value (though costly by Southall standards!).