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Haandi

136 Brompton Road, London, England, SW3 1HY, United Kingdom

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Haandi is a very consistent restaurant, serving Punjabi food from an open kitchen. The attention to detail can be seen in the humble popadom, here thin and delicate. Murgh burra tikka has good quality chicken, marinated and then cooked in the tandoor. This staple of the Indian kitchen is taken to a high level of quality here, the chicken precisely cooked, the spicy marinade excellent (15/20). Prawn biryani was pleasant but less impressive, the prawns tender but the rice not having the delicate, fragrant texture that you find in the best biryani, such as the ones I recently had at Adaa in Hyderabad (13/20). Aloo gobi was excellent as ever, the vegetables keeping their texture rather than being mushy, the spices vibrant (14/20). Chollay here has tender chickpeas in a dark, rich sauce (14/20). The best bread here is paratha, delicate and neither dried out nor greasy, the two forms of paratha most common in UK restaurants (14/20).

I have eaten many meals at Haandi over the years, and its weak link is service, particularly since its one really good waiter left over a year ago. The waiters are well-meaning, but tonight there was no attempt to hang coats, a cursory greeting on entering despite us being regulars, a bottle of water delivered to the table but not poured. At times none of the three waiters were in the dining room, despite the owner (Mr Singh) being present tonight. The contrast between here and the well-drilled service at Madhu’s and The Brilliant is striking. However the cooking here is every bit as good as those Southall stalwarts, and the surprise is the low price point, despite the Knightsbridge location. £30 a head will buy you plenty of beer and more food than you can finish. Haandi is one of London’s hidden treasures when it comes to Indian cooking.        

Further reviews: 23rd Jun 2019 | 26th Jan 2016 | 15th Apr 2012

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  • Robert

    A highly successful dinner, our first time. You don't have to order unusual dishes to appreciate the quality: onion bhajis and samosas, for example, were on a higher plane compared with anything I've had before. On a cold Sunday evening it was two-thirds full with a nice atmosphere created by the amiable and helpful waiters. Looking elsewhere on the web there are some dreadful reviews in among the encomiums. It is hard to imagine these delightful people producing poor food with worse service and I wonder if rivals have been posting this negative stuff. There are several other Haandis scattered around the globe, by the way.

  • Piet

    Went here today based on your recommendation. We don't enjoy Indian food in general but thought this was brilliant. Great find!

  • alan fowle

    Intrigued by the review and still searching for our Indian nirvana in london we journeyed here with mixed feelings having read other web sites that talk of very poor service etc. In fact we both really liked it. We entered from Cheval place , pretty little bar, smallish restaurant with windows around the kitchen- pleasant friendly staff. Big menu. Had Bombay potatoes here elevated by clever spicing both spicy and piquant, the chicken burra tikka , excellent, the goan fish curry served like many dishes in a small pot, the lamb roganjosh one of the Indian staples- very good and the prawns labadar. No dessert -no room !- to the bar for a cooling drink - very pleasant barmaid very good cocktails. All in all a relaxing enjoyable experience.Missed by the national press found by Andy - thanks. that thanks to Andy we found.

  • Alex Chambers

    What a find. The cooking and service here is easily a match for the likes of Benares, Tamarind or Andy's much loathed Veeraswamy. Although I'd concur on naans and chutneys, generally the cooking and handling of spices is superb. A rare find was an authentic vindaloo, with well-timed lamb and an understanding that the aim of the dish is balanced heat, not simply adding a truckload of curry powder to a bland sauce. The beers and wine are well priced, vegetables are treated with the respect they deserve, and all for less than the cost of a starter at lesser establishments. There is a slightly cheesy element to the decor, but all in all this is the best Indian I've had in London.