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May 29, 2014

Keep Korma and Curry On: The 10 Best Indian Restaurants in Cape Town

In Bollywood food is never delivered. It's cooked by mom with a huge dose of melodramatic affection. It's a family affair in Cape Town too with our rich tradition of Indian and Cape Malay cuisine and a theatrical infusion of contemporary flavour. Here are 10 of the most Indian restaurants in the Mother City.

Bunny Chow, image courtesy of A and J Seppysills

1. Eastern Food Bazaar

Eastern Food Bazaar is Cape Town’s favourite value-for-money Eastern cuisine take away venue, conveniently situated in the city centre. Get extra kudos if you could find all these locations on a map: the Bazaar has recipes drawn from Bombay, China Town, Madras, Istanbul, Nizami, Punjabi and Tandori.

Cost Bracket: Low (Fast food/take-away) 
Location: 96 Longmarket St, Cape Town City Centre
Website: www.easternfoodbazaar.co.za

2. The Raj

The Raj specialises in serving traditional North Indian cuisine at restaurants and fast food outlets around the country. Get your hot little hands on some Tikka Masala, Vindaloo, Khorma or Bhoona dishes.

Cost Bracket: Low to High (Fast food/take-away - Upmarket, fine-dining) 
Grand West Casino in Goodwood (Low) at 1 Vanguard Dr, Cape Town 7460
Camps Bay (Medium) at Shop 4, The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay

3. Maharajah Indian Restaurant

Authentic Indian cooking in a homely setting, just outside of Cape Town’s city centre. We recommend the muttar paneer, chicken korma, lamb madras (off the bone) and the paratha breads. 

Cost Bracket: Medium (Sit-down) 
Location: 230 Long St, Cape Town

4. Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa plates genuine South Indian cookery served in a Bollywood-type setting, easily accessible within the city centre. The menus are designed on fake Bollywood posters, there are two giant puppets in the restaurant and an upside-down cow on the bathroom roof. 

Cost Bracket: Medium (Sit-down)
Location: 167 Long Street, Cape Town, City Centre
Website: www.masaladosa.co.za

5. Vintage India

Vintage India’s menu ranges from traditional North Indian dishes to Goan and Hydrabadi, providing a choice of multi-Indian cuisine. Their service philosophy is based on the Sanscrit verse "Atithi Devo Bhava" which became a code of conduct in Hindu society, translated as "The Guest is God." 

Cost Bracket: Medium (Sit-down)
Location: Garden Centre, Mill Street, Cape Town
Website: www.vintagehotelandrestaurants.com/cape

6. Chandani Restaurant

Chandani is situated just beyond the city centre and offers traditional Indian and vegetarian cuisine of the Grand Mugals. Try the Machchi Kerela (Kingklip prepared in Kerela style with onion fried in coconut oil, black mustard seeds and cashew nuts in a tomato gravy with a hint of coconut.) 

Cost Bracket: Medium (Sit-down)
Location: 85 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock
Website: www.chandani.co.za

7. Bihari Indian Restaurant @ The Southern Sun Hotel

Bihari specialises in authentic Indian foods, offering an extensive menu of mouth-watering fusions from Northern India. It has a giant wooden lion in the front entrance. 

Cost Bracket: Medium (Sit-down)
Location: Ground Floor, Southern Sun Hotel, Main Road, Newlands
Website: www.bihari.co.za

9. Bukhara

Bukhara offers North and South Indian cuisines at an upmarket venues, specialising in succulent meats cooked in charcoal tandoor and aromatic curries.

Cost Bracket: High (Upmarket, fine-dining)
Location: 33 Church Street, City Centre
Website: www.bukhara.com

9. Bombay Brasserie @ The Taj Hotel

Bombay Brasserie is a swanky Indian restaurant located at one of Cape Town’s finest hotels in the city centre, with an imaginative and opulent take on classic Indian foods. For example, this Old Delhi favourite for your appetizer: lentil dumplings ‘Bhallas’ topped with yoghurt and mango chutney.
Cost Bracket: High (Upmarket, fine-dining)
Location: Cnr Wale Street & St Georges, Cape Town City Centre
Website: www.tajcapetown.co.za/blog/dining/bombay-brasserie

10. Food ‘Adventures’ in Cape Town

Cape Malay Cooking Safari
Learn how to cook Cape Malay style in the technicolour Bo-Kaap suburb of Cape Town (reconise those iconic pink, green, yellow and blue houses?) with a hands-on informal cooking workshop in a Bo-Kaap family home. 

Company: Lekka Kombuis 
Location: 81 Wale Street, Cape Town
Website: www.lekkakombuis.co.za

Cape Town Cuisine Route
Explore the Spice tour and experience local Cape Malay and isiXhosa traditional foods in the homes of local cooks. It's a rich and novel voyage, but don't take our word for it. The New York Times called it "A culinary gateway to Cape Town", TIME Magazine called it a "A cultural treasure hunt" and National Geographic purred that it was "A fascinating window on life." 

Company: Coffeebeans Routes
Location: 70 Wale Street, Cape Town
Website: www.coffeebeansroutes.com/tours-cape-town/cuisine-route

Keen on going even more native? Discover where to find the best of Cape Town's local food. Or how about some thing a little more unusual, as we take you through Cape Town's quirkiest dining experiences. Like our snapshots of Cape Town? You should follow us on twitter here.

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