Best paneer curry in London: SIX amazing Indian restaurants for vegetarians

For many vegetarians, a good paneer main course can elevate a curry from ‘good’ to ‘great’ - and here are six examples.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

For many vegetarians one of the great curry menu treats has long been paneer, a cheese made from cow or buffalo milk.

It is no help for vegans but if you haven’t given up dairy, paneer adds a delicious, rich meatiness to a south Asian dish.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For a long time, saag paneer and palak paneer - both usually made with spinach - were Indian menu staple side dishes, but more and more you see paneer used in creative ways. Often it is cooked in a tandoor or prepared in a creamy curry.

I like to use it in a homemade pathia - a hot, sweet curry with tamarind for a sour note.

Here, I’ve picked out six amazing paneer experiences I’ve had eating out (or ordering in) in central and north London.

Namaste Holborn

Tucked away in Boswell Street, near Southampton Row and Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the capital’s great vegetarian treasures.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Namaste Holborn offers superbly fragrant and varied curries at, frankly, incredible prices for the quality of food.

A range of paneer dishes are available but I recommend the Chilly Garlic Paneer starter (£6.95) - “Golden fried Paneer florets tossed with a spicy Manchurian sauce.” - and the Kadai Paneer main (£9.95), which is cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers and a spice mix.

Namaste Holborn can be found online at

André paneer pathia with steamed spinach. (Photo by André Langlois)André paneer pathia with steamed spinach. (Photo by André Langlois)
André paneer pathia with steamed spinach. (Photo by André Langlois)

Ravi Shankar, Drummond Street

While Brick Lane is London’s most famous tourist street for a curry, anyone travelling through Euston should not miss a mooch down Drummond Street.

Now accessible through a HS2 building site corridor, Drummond Street has a great heritage of Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants. There are several options, but you would do well to try the vegetarian Ravi Shankar, which opened in 1982.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has a very filling weekend buffet and set menus, as well as several a la carte options, including Achari Paneer (£6.50), Paneer Karahi (£6.25) and Paneer Dosa (£8.95).

Ravi Shankar Bhelpoori House is online at

Memsaab, Islington

Head chef Mr M Asrar has worked in the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi, Hotel Crown Plaza in Jerusalem and Dishoom in Shoreditch. At Memsaab, in Westbourne Road, his team produces “the finest Indian dishes in the art of Indian cuisine”, including meat and vegetarian dishes.

Among the paneer dishes are a delicious Chilli Paneer and Paneer Tikka starters (both £5.45), but it is the Paneer Shashlik main (£9.95) that stands out - chunky pieces marinated in Punjab style, cooked in the tandoor with peppers and onion.

Kanishka, Mayfair

Tandoor-smoked paneer from Kanishka. (Photo by André Langlois)Tandoor-smoked paneer from Kanishka. (Photo by André Langlois)
Tandoor-smoked paneer from Kanishka. (Photo by André Langlois)
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Up-market Kanishka is run by celebrity chef Atul Kochhar, who was one of the first two Indian chefs to receive a Michelin star, awarded in 2001 for Tamarind.

Situated inMaddox Street, just off Regent Street, Kanishka provides an enjoyable fine dining experience and is a place to be spotted (Grand Budapest Hotel and Spider-Man actor Tony Revolori was holding court in the corner when I visited).

The menus are changeable, including tasting and set-menu options.

I tried a tandoor-smoked paneer with fermented garlic and jalpai asaar - soft, earthy and incredible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dishes currently on the menu are a fantastic sounding Paneer Aur Palak Makhani - “tender paneer cubes and baby spinach leaves braised with makhni gravy” - at £32.

Kanishka by Atul Kochar is at

Yaatra, Westminster

 Khubani Paneer Tikka from Yaatra, Westminster. (Photo by André Langlois) Khubani Paneer Tikka from Yaatra, Westminster. (Photo by André Langlois)
Khubani Paneer Tikka from Yaatra, Westminster. (Photo by André Langlois)

Set in the old Westminster Fire Station, in Greycoat Place, near St James’ Park is another upmarket gem. Again, there is a range of set and tasting menus.

I tried a fantastic Khubani Paneer Tikka starter, which saw the cheese combined with sweet and tart flavours of apricot and coriander chutneys, accompanied by the crunch of a quinoa and lentil chat.

Tandoori Khubani Paneer currently features on a £58 vegetarian tasting menu, and the a la carte menu includes a Paneer Butter Masala (£20)

Yaatra is online at

Namaaste, Highgate

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chef patron Sabbir Karim already had restaurants in Camden Town and Bloomsbury, when in 2020 (despite the pandemic) he launched Namaaste Highgate in South Grove.

The menu features several paneer options, including Schezwan Paneer (£6.50) and Saag Paneer (£6.5/£8.50). But for me it is the Walnut Crusted Bhatti Paneer Tikka (£6.50) that is something special: Paneer marinated in bhatti masala, crushed with walnut and charcoal grilled. Wonderful.

Namaaste Highgate is at

Related topics: