Next week, the Hindu festival Diwali will shine bright, celebrating the victory of light over darkness. For most families, this joyous festival is observed over five days, with family gatherings, rituals and a tremendous array of delicious dishes.
In honor of the 2018 Diwali Festival, we have a list of five must-try Indian restaurants. To create this, we sought advice from Shanghai-based curry aficionados, the Oakham Curry Club (OCC). Their Vice-Chairman Andrew Cameron and Chairman Greg Siccardi have generously given their recommendations on where to indulge in the best curries around town. This year, they have added a little extra commentary to tell us why we would go to each venue. This includes taking a date, ordering takeout or arranging a home-cooked experience.
The following venues have been awarded the coveted ‘OCC Approved’ sticker for achieving an overall score of 7/10 or higher using the club’s assessment system. This, as you can imagine, meant the club has indulged in many curries, making their list extremely trustworthy!
Image via Pexels
To impress a date
Having relocated from Yongfu Lu to Found 158 in 2017, Bombay Bistro’s new digs don’t look out of place rubbing shoulders with some of the better-known venues in that area. With a large bar, soft lighting and a killer Indian-inspired cocktail list (try the mango lassi), you can even stop by for drinks before a night out. Throw in the smorgasbord of options to enjoy a (hopefully) successful date, and you can’t go wrong. While slightly on the pricier side for a curry Shanghai, the atmosphere, consistent food quality and ‘Instagrammable’ presentation make up for it. Recommended: soft shell crab with a mango lassi cocktail.
See listing for Bombay Bistro.
To take someone from out of town
Tucked away in the winding alleyways of Tianzifang, Lotus Land is a great place to take an out of town guest after ticking off another stop on the sightseeing list. The restaurant stretches out over a number of floors and boasts quintessential laneway views, meaning you can spend the day among the trinket-hunting crowds, before retiring above them for a curry and Kingfisher beer. The food is of consistent quality; we particularly enjoyed the lamb chops from the appetizers and the vindaloo, which had enough spice to get us going without overdoing it. Recommended: lamb chops and chicken vindaloo.
See listing for Lotus Land.
To order takeaway
One of the newer entrants to the Shanghai curry scene, Currify has quickly set up two physical locations in Shanghai and a formidable presence on food delivery apps. While we voted the food as an overall ‘good,’ it ticks the other all-important boxes of a staple takeaway: prompt delivery and great value. Their meal deals, in particular, give you one curry and your choice of naan or rice for under RMB50; this is more than enough to hit the spot for dinner. Recommended: butter chicken meal deal.
See listing for Currify.
To recreate a home-cooked experience
A successful businesswoman by day, by night Anu Aggarwal turns her hand to knocking the socks off curry enthusiasts via her homecooked North Indian meals. Served from her Xintiandi apartment, Anu takes great care in putting together tailored, private dining experiences for her guests.
Anu's bubbly nature makes her a warm and welcoming host, but the real highlight is the food. From the classics like butter chicken and aloo gobi to delightful fusions such as her Indian scotch eggs or the sensational gulab jamun cheesecake, the meal we had was flawless. This option is truly recommended for anyone looking to try something different. Recommended: everything (but if we have to pick, the cheesecake).
Contact Anu Aggarwal (WeChat ID: anu_aggs) via the QR code below.
To simply have a great curry
Like Lotus Land, we also recommended this one last year, but the classics are classics for a reason. Kebabs on the Grille is an all-around great curry experience. They nail the little things that are often neglected in Shanghai, like a welcoming atmosphere and attentive, friendly service. But, more importantly, they back it up with fantastic kebabs and curries. Although we’ve only officially tested their Cool Docks location, they have a number of restaurants across Shanghai (including a new one at Laowaijie), as well as sister-venue, Pera, at Found 158. Recommended: mutton sheekh kebab.
See listing for Kebabs on the Grille.
[Cover image via Pixabay]
The Oakham Curry Club is a well-respected international institution; a collection of curry enthusiasts that take pride in searching for the finest Indian restaurants around the world and providing an impartial review. With branches already existing in Oakham (UK) and Hong Kong, they launched their 3rd franchise in January 2017, to find the best curry houses in Shanghai. Since then, two additional branches have opened in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. To find out more, follow the OCC on WeChat or visit their website, and keep up to date with their Shanghai adventures, your taste buds will thank you for it!