Raj of Islington will officially open in January 2020, just off the famous N7 dining stretch, Upper Street. Similar to their flagship venue, Raj of Kensington, the sister restaurant will focus on the same ethos; home-cooked authentic Indian food from different regions across the continent.
Having successfully built up a steady stream of loyal customers thanks to their modern interpretation of classic Indian dishes, the second branch will follow the same tried and formula –serving up a delicious array of traditional plates, made by hand and from scratch. Open for lunch and dinner from mid-November, the 82-cover restaurant will be a light-filled space, tastefully furnished with plush materials and fashionable textiles.
With a knowledgeable kitchen team with years of industry experience between them, the menu focuses on dishes made popular during the British Raj era. The plates burst with distinctive flavours, and fused traditional Indian spices with fresh British produce. Signature dishes include: The Railway Lamb Curry, once served on the long train journey from Bombay to Calcutta, and Murg Salli Zardaloo, from the Gujarat region, both made based on 100 year old recipes. Other regional specialties feature, such as: Delhi’s Butter Chicken, marinated grilled chicken simmered in buttery tomatoes and fenugreek leaves; Meen Moilee, originating in Kerala, comprising of pan-fried Sea bass in coconut milk, curry leaves, garlic and chillies; and Sabzi Panchratni fromJaipur, featuring baby corn, broccoli, courgette, mange tout, mushrooms and peppers tossed in a wok.
Light bites come in the form of Punjabi Samosa stuffed with tempered potatoes, ginger and spices, tamarind and green chutney; Keralan Kekda, crispy soft-shell crab in spicy batter sautéed with mustard and curry leaves; and Sweet Potato and Goat’s Cheese Tikki, lightly spiced and shallow fried patties, seasoned yoghurt and garam flour.
Nostalgic favourites to modern avatars, the dessert menu comprises an eclectic mix of sweet Indian delights. Think Gajar Ka Halwa, grated carrots tossed in ghee, soaked in sweet honey syrup and ground cardamom, served with ice cream; Gulabjamun, warm milk dumplings in a golden sweet syrup, sprinkled with crushed roasted pistachio; and Tandoori Ananas, fresh pineapple glazed with star anise, cream and honey, grilled in the tandoor.
The drinks list spans wine by the glass to spirits, house-made mocktails, and a vast selection of cocktails and gin. Stocking 16 gin varieties, with three sourced from India, Raj of Islington’s gin-based libations are the restaurant’s crowning glory. Guests can sip and savour their way through a variety of concoctions, including: The Lady in the White Saree, a muddle of Jodhpur gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, gomme syrup; Maharaja-tini, Jodhpur gin, Vermouth, green olives or lemon twist; and Lychee and Rose Martini, a medley of Lychee infused Bombay sapphire gin, gomme syrup, lemon juice and Rose petal Bindiya.
Adding to Islington’s growing and diverse dining offering, and drawing on India’s melting pot of flavours and regional cuisines, Raj of Islington is an unassuming spot for good value, home-spun authentic dishes.
Founded in 2016 by restauranteur Salim Sheikh, who has a background in fine dining, Raj of Islington fuses together two of his greatest loves: delicious food and history, specifically the British Raj era.