Raj Of Islington Is A Mouth Watering Mid-Market Indian Restaurant
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We all have our favourite local Indian restaurant. You know the one. It may not look great from the outside and the decor may be spartan but the food is great and the prices are low. I've got several reliable joints in Tooting, that knock out delicious traditional dishes, even if the ambience is lacking.
So what happens when you take that model upmarket a bit, charge a bit more for a refined setting yet stick with that assortment of traditional dishes? Raj of Islington is the result, it's just opened on Holloway Road and it's the sister restaurant to the original 'Raj' in South Kensington.
The clean and elegant interior stands out from the many cheap eats in the area and while £10-15 isn't that much for a mains by London restaurant standards, we are spoiled in having access to the many Indian eateries that are priced far lower.
Thankfully the prices are justified by the quality and presentation of the food. The butterflied prawn starter is zinging with spice without being overbearing, while the lightly fried chicken morsels are the right balance of tender and crispy.
The mains of the railway lamb and the wok tossed vegetables don't particularly stand out, yet it's worth noting they've not gone too heavy on the oil in the sauce so it feels a little lighter than your standard Indian. Similarly with the dessert of gulabjamun, where I'm grateful that it doesn't turn up drowning in syrup, remaining fluffy — the way it should be.
The food hits the spot and my only concern is how empty the place is — granted it's a cold February night but we have this rather large restaurant to ourselves for most of the evening. We can see how this menu is competitively priced in South Kensington, but it feels like this second outpost may struggle to pull in the local punters.
Raj of Islington, 359 Holloway Rd, London N7 0RN. This meal would cost circa £45 for two excluding drinks.
Last Updated 13 February 2020