A Taste Of South-asian Roots In London: What To Do When Lockdown Eases
Explore London through spicy fine-dine restaurants, historic jewels, and iconic Asian festivals
As of Monday 17th May, England officially moved onto stage three of the lockdown easing strategy. Cinemas, theatres, restaurants, and pubs are now open, and groups of six people or two households can mix indoors.
The Prime Minister has stressed the end of lockdown “is not the end of the pandemic” and warned the nation continued to “face the persistent threat of new variants”, which means despite easing rules, safety is still the number one priority.
London has a wide variety of South-Asian roots to explore, from the best spicy fine-dining Asian restaurants, traditional art and artefacts, and even relaxing meditation you can experience. Here is a list of things to do in London, with a South-Asian edge.
This handsomely appointed Mayfair address was inspired by India’s social and sporting clubs dating back from the days of the Raj. The northern Indian restaurant scored a Michelin star in 2014 and has kept it since.
Award-winning food and travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller gave us the lowdown on what to order.
“Definitely order the wild Muntjac biryani, whose pastry top is sliced off table-side (cue a heady waft of spices, and a ripple of food envy). Show-stealing snacks, meanwhile, include kid goat methi keema, spooned into two tiny, soft bread buns (say yes to the optional side dish of creamy sautéed brains). More photogenic—and equally delicious—was the aromatic Chettinad duck, concealed beneath a miraculously neat, perfectly crisp cone of dosa.”
Options: Halal meats and Vegetarian dishes are available.
Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, Gunpowder has two sites in the heart of London: Spitalfields and London Bridge. The authentic Indian restaurant has been described as “up there with the best” and “London’s hidden gem.” With fine ingredients, newly minted spices that detonate tastebuds and a fresh service that cares, Gunpowder is a fan favourite. The dessert options are no exception, including Old Monk Rum Bread & Butter and Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, Passion Fruit Shrikhand.
Options: Halal and Vegetarian dishes are available.
Hankies, Marble Arch
The West End’s new dining destination for those with adventurous tastes, Hankies serves small plates or Indian ‘Tapas’ in a faithful homage to classic Indian street food. Named after the traditional roti, hand-spun until thin enough to read through and folded into a ‘hanky’, this is the place to experience inventive flavour combinations in signature delicacies like truffle naan, grill lamb chop and mutter ‘choley.’
Options: All meat is Halal, except duck. Vegetarian dishes are available.
Montcalm Restaurant : Hankies | The Montcalm London Marble Arch Hotel
Festivals and events
Ealing Road Mela
The festival is set in the backdrop of Ealing’s most magnificent parks. The Mela features live singers, dancers, and performers with rows of aromatic food stalls selling grilled meat, vegetarian, sweets and more. Bringing deep-set cultural roots and an appreciation of diversity, the Mela can be enjoyed with friends and family!
EALING ROAD MELA Tickets, Sun 1 Aug 2021 at 12:00 | Eventbrite
Roots and Changes Documentary Film Screening
‘Do Din Ka Mela’ and ‘A Delicate Wave’ are two documentaries filmed in Kutch, the semi-arid region in Gujarat. The screenings portray change and conflict between individuals and communities. The films draw inspiration from Sufism and the folk traditions of Gujarat, previewing in London soon! Grab your tickets before they sell out!
Roots and Changes A Delicate Weave Documentary Film Screening Tickets, Sat 21 Aug 2021 at 11:00 | Eventbrite
Art and artefacts
The Nehru Trust
The Nehru Trust has been running since 1990 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). The collection holds some of the most essential objects produced from 1500 to 1900, including Buddhist sculptures and treasures from the Himalayan regions from 200 BC to 1500 AD. To view the captivating Indian collection, bookings can be made online.
V&A · The World’s Leading Museum Of Art And Design (vam.ac POWER YOGA @ HYDE PARK Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite uk)
At the Tower of London, India’s rarest diamond, Koh-i-Noor, is available for public viewing. Yes, this is the same diamond Hrithik Roshan tried to steal in the blockbuster movie ‘Dhoom 2’ by dressing up as Her Royal Majesty, the Queen.
When touring the Tower of London, you can admire the shimmering stone alongside other historical regal jewels.
Amir Mohtashemi’s art gallery
You will find cross-cultural Islamic and Indian artwork at Amir Mohtashemi’s art gallery in London. Featuring a range of fascinating objects and paintings from 1700’s India, Mohtashemi presents the collection with a modern approach, often mixing humour and culture.
Excited to be reopening, Yoga and Bollywood dance classes are gaining popularity on Eventbrite! From a range of sessions and locations to choose from, you’ll be grooving or meditating away in no time. Check out classes in London’s iconic Hyde Park to make the most of your experience.