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“A Unique Experience”

The India Club Restaurant
Ranked #5,770 of 23,211 Restaurants in London
Price range: $8 - $15
Cuisines: Indian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Trafalgar Square / Embankment
Description: The charmingly eccentric India Club Restaurant has remained much the same since its opening in 1946. Hidden up a flight of stairs, India Club is one of London’s best kept secrets. Enter a timewarp, with portraits of the Independence era on the walls, bottle-green leather chairs, red lino flooring and wooden laminate tabletops. It is a British curry house of the first generation. Authentic ‘home cooked’ South Indian cuisine at extraordinary value makes India Club an unforgettable dining experience.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

I can't really add very much to the previous reviews but can confirm they are all very accurate - you will either love this plate or hate it! Initial impressions were not good, going up a dingy staircase into a restaurant which hasn't been redecorated for at least 50 years, with grotty chairs and formica-topped tables. However the serving staff were all very sweet, and the menu, though quite limited for an Indian restaurant, was certainly very reasonably priced. We had Chicken Bhuna, Lamb and Mushroom Curry, Vegetable Curry, rice and Naan Breads. The food came quickly and was really quite lovely, with a real home-cooked feel, and came in generous quantities. The atmosphere was lively with a steady stream of diners, which I would guess features very little passing trade but lots of regulars who clearly love the place. Being able to bring your own alcohol with no corkage fee is also bonus. All in unique and very enjoyable dining experience.

Afterwards we went downstairs for a drink in the bar, which was a similarly unique experience. Run-down but clean, with basic tables and chairs, lots of vintage Indian pictures on the walls, and very reasonable prices, it too had the feel of a 1940's/50's Indian club, and rounded off the evening nicely.

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3  Thank Peter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (216)
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147 - 151 of 216 reviews

Reviewed March 7, 2014

Those who have given this place negative points on decor, should note that it already says on the entrance that it is recreating the look and feel of pre-1940's restaurant in Delhi or Mumbai. The food is average to good and not expensive at all.
Overall an experience to have in London.

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2  Thank esharah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

I would agree with the review left by Ian_LDN - this is a truly marmite experience. I can see why some people did not enjoy their visit, but I think they missed the point of this place. Yes, do not come here for a romantic date, but if you want to find somewhere truly unique with a remarkable history and the most authentic South Indian cuisine, this is the place.

This restaurant is the definition of "no frills" dining. I was told by my friend that it is one of the 1st Indian restaurants which opened in the UK (in the early 40s) and the decor has not changed much since. So yes, it is a bit scruffy around the edges, but I salute the owners for not giving into souless modern designs and instead retaining a faded colonial charm.

When we were there, it was packed and very lively. It's customers seemed to be largely office crowd but I was told it also has a loyal and longstanding clientele who regard this reataurant as something of an institution.

As for the food, it really is very good, and tremendous value for a central London restaurant. I ate the Bhuna lamb which was succulent and the sauce reminded me of my Indian friend's home-cooking. You can also bring your own booze which makes for a good night!

So dont write this place off until you've tried it, and keep an open mind. The best things in life don't come with shiny lids on. Yes, this place is rough around the edges, but it is one of the most authentic Indians I've ever been to!

1  Thank Tessa1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

This place is in a dingy london hotel upstairs, upon entering the room not a restaurant it was a cold bleak and dull room
tables lacked everything no tablecloths no cutlery just 2 seater brown foldaway small tables packed side by side
No background music, service was also very cold
Curry looked and tasted like slop only thing that was average was fresh nan

This place really was disappointing being in centre of theatre land and covent garden you would expect a little extra this was beyond poor
Would not recommend wasting your money take it elsewhere

Thank honestmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

Bought a voucher on Living Social for £16 for two beers, vegetarian curry, rice and nan for 2 and two main courses for under £7. Advertisement, photos and deal sounded great so I did not check it fully out beforehand-which I will now always do before buying from Living Social, Groupon, or the likes. When I looked up the reviews I had a sinking feeling.
Upon entry up a battered staircase with historical articles on walls we entered what reminded me of The Woodside Social Club in Glasgow-shabby flooring, walls requiring painting and very basic furniture-not the impression the advert gave. To add to this the weird bad oil smell. We were the first in at 6pm until the herds of Living Social Dealers.
As we are both vegetarian choice was more for meat dishes and they did not have our usual veggie dishes such as paneer saag or aloo gobi. The hubby doesn't drink beer, so we did not quite get our value for money.
We ordered masala dosa, bindi and dhal, vegetable curry All dishes were substandard and lacked flavour and spice apart from the small portion of bindi. The dhal was green and tasted like watery peas blended. The rice was plentiful and two small round hans basic. No poppadoms offered. Beer could have been cooler.
Staff were reasonable but were annoyed I couldn't print voucher out despite me having it on my phone and once resolved they became friendlier.
At the end they mentioned twice they expected a service charge which I cant recall being mentioned in Living Social and will take this up with them. If you have had the same experience I would ask for a refund from Living Social.
The only positive things about this restaurant are the price, location, space and calm from the bustle and of course its interesting history.

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1  Thank Margarete M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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