Photographer: David Loftus
Food & Drinks

How to Experience the New Wave of Haute Indian Food All Over the Globe

In the mode of London's super-popular Gymkhana, six other subcontinental hot spots to suit your fancy.

Indian food is finally having its turn in the culinary spotlight. Say farewell to the days of traditional spices toned down with creamy sauces for Western palates and say hello to restaurants putting forward the best of India's massive regional variety. London's Gymkhana gets credit for crafting a menu that's appealing to Westerners and authentic to please Indians. It's remained one of the most popular spots in town since it opened in 2013 and has paved the way for others. Floyd Cardoz, whose groundbreaking Tabla in New York closed six years ago, is back with Paowalla. Here's a look at some others that are putting Indian cuisine on the map.

If you like...

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JH

Setting: Britain's take on India.

Food: Best Indian in the world?

Bar Scene: Only while you wait.

Noise Level: Loud upstairs in the wooden booths, quiet downstairs.

Date Factor: Great if you can get in.

Groups: Some small, terrific private spaces great for delicious meetings.

Secrets: It's a tough reservation at night. Lunch is easier and less expensive.

New York's Pondicheri.

A dish at New York's Pondicheri.

Source: Yelp

Then you'll love..

Pondicheri (New York): Houston-based chef Anita Jaisinghani brings an all-day dining concept focused on the principles of Ayurveda, the idea that all tastes should be in balance. At breakfast, get the egg wrap with roti bread. At dinner, the spicy khandvi.

Gunpowder (London): Only 30 seats but packs a big punch. Its influence is mainly from the Bengali region. Think homemade style with strong flavors. Hits include the baby chicken tandoori, incredible lamb chops, and porzhi (crispy) okra fries.

Dinner service at Bindaas.
Dinner service at Bindaas.
Photographer: Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bindaas (Washington, D.C.): This is the newest, most casual of Ashok Bajaj's Indian empire. In residential Cleveland Park, this restaurant delivers on street food favorites such as sweet corn-pepper uttapam and kati rolls. (Read more on D.C. here.)

 

A dish at Open Tandoor.
Source: Outdoor Tandoor

Paowalla (New York): Floyd Cardoz's new spot is a more casual affair than the late Tabla with such hits as the pork ribs vindaloo and the eggs Kejriwal—an homage to cheese and egg toast.

Open Tandoor (Portland, Ore.): Like so many Portland restaurants, it got its start as a food truck. Chef Kinder Gill settles into a real brick-and-mortar spot specializing on her native Punjab.

Botiwalla (Atlanta): This place is like a whole Indian street grill turned into a restaurant. The grilled meats and flatbreads Indians love late at night come just with tables and air conditioning.

Botiwalla.
Botiwalla.
Photographer: Mia Yakel
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