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Indian Kitchen

Expectations were running high.


New openings have been a rarity of late on Shanghai’s curry scene. So, imagine the OCC’s collective delight: new restaurant; downtown location the right side of Yannan Lu; classic-looking menu. This is the latest venture from Shanghai’s Indian food OGs (and former CHOTY winners), Indian Kitchen. Things looked promising.


Fresh from pre-gamers at a small bar on Fumin Lu, OCC members rolled into the not-much-bigger Indian Kitchen, 758 Julu Lu, with the punctuality we’re famous for. ProprietorSiva greeted us with a warm welcome, showing us to our table, which for our group of 12 nearly filled the place.


The restaurant is part of the More Than Eat complex – a collection of what would once have just been described assmall restaurants, but are now ‘boutique F&B concepts’, replete with designer shopfronts and Insta-ready plates. But it is here that Indian Kitchen truly stands out. The place iswonderfully, unashamedly, proudly old school – an analogue restaurant in a digital age.

The décor sets the scene for what is to come. A huge picture menu adorns the back wall, below which tall windows look into the semi-open (Indian) kitchen. Walls are adorned with colourful Indian portraits and the floor is tiled. The look is rounded off with their crowning glory – and envy of curry houses the world over – their CHOTY certificate from 2018.Familiar surroundings for the OCC you might say, and sufficient to trigger a Pavlovian response among certain members.

Callum, finally gracing us with his presence, was on ordering duty. Having seemingly steered clear of pre-meet Duvels this time, he did a fine job and the food soon started flowing.


Things kicked off with poppadoms (of the flat variety) and samosas, accompanied by mint sauce and chutney. Bazmati – buoyed by a mysterious newfound drive for perfection – bolstered the offering with his very own pear chutney. Sweet,delicately balanced, with an underlying sharpness, Bazmati is a valued member of the OCC. But he was tight-lipped about what went into his creation, offering just “spices and stuff”.Nevertheless, the chutney was a triumph and received universal acclaim. Some gifts just keep on giving…

Next came fish Amritsari, delicately spiced little strips of flesh wrapped in a nutty batter. This was quickly followed bygreat big skewers of chicken tikka, that if judged by the speed at which they were devoured, were a solid hit.

Barely a moment to slake our thirsts before the curries start to appear. First up the king of dishes – the yardstick by which restaurants are judged the world over – butter chicken. Aromatic, rich yet delicate, neither too creamy nor too sweet (a rarity in this city), this ticked the boxes.

After this they came thick and fast. Mutton varutha - a rich, hearty dish, full of coconut sweetness. A very passable aloo gobi. Something simply named ‘beef curry’ - a standout dish that was the clear favourite of the evening. And gobiManchurian, a spicy, sweet and sour dish clearly influenced by Chinese cuisine.

All of this was mopped up with piles of paratha, naan (including, controversially, cheese covered ones) and plates of lemon and coconut rice.

Siva and his team provided faultless service the whole evening, offering great care and attention, with beers being refreshed as if by magic.

Entertainment for the evening came by way of a rerun of the hotly contested Oxford quiz, the title having been vacated with Kam’s departure. Ned, clearly still reeling from his past defeat, spotted his opportunity and was letting nothing get in his way – not even the lack of a babysitter. And so, it was with his 3-month-old daughter looking on proudly, that Ned finally took the crown.


The evening was rounded off with Barry generously sharing around some things he picked up in India, the most pleasant of which was some almond brittle.

So, did Indian Kitchen live up to expectations? The answer was a resounding YES. The combination of service, location, food and value for money earnt them a very respectable score of 7.9, proving that sometimes the old ways are the best.


Restaurants are scored using the following criteria:


Customer Care:  8.4

Service: 8

Value: 8.4

Quality: 7.5

Atmosphere: 7.1

Total: 7.9


OCC Core Competencies








Customer Care







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