I had been hearing really good things about this restaurant called ‘Babur’, named after a Mughal Emperror, in Forest Hill, London. I tried several times to get there, but my workload came in the way! Finally, I made it to Babur and was more than pleasantly surprised at Chef Jiwan Lal’s outstanding creations! He really is one of the most imaginative, skillful and stylish chefs, and I admire all these qualities in a chef. The food was sensational, presentation great and the service too was excellent. The tasting menu with matching wine suggestions was a welcome addition. No wonder they won so many awards and accolades.
Babur captures the essence of Indian cuisine in a contemporary manner and the result not only pleases the palate, but also leaves you craving for more! A restaurant of this calibre and the ingenious chef behind it deserve more recognition. This hidden gem in Forest Hill, South East London, is a Jewel in the Crown of the fascinating cuisine of India. Who wants samosa when you can have Shingara, an East Indian speciallity, not dissimilar to samosa, but with different spicing and a crisp, home made pastry instead of frozen ones that most restaurants use. That’s not all, the filling showed Chef Jiwan’s imagination as he used spinach and sweet potato, both rank high in the list of latest superfoods. Instead of the ubiquitous chicken tikka, Babur offers Gurkhali (Gurkha) ostrich tikka and Afghani chicken tikka. Main courses boast of such delicacies as kalaunji (nigella seeds) king prawns, buffalo lal maas and perfectly executed duck breast; all the dishes were wonderfully fragrant, light and delicious.
As for desserts, you will be transported to a different world! Try cumin chocolate fondant and saffron and pistachio. Both out of this world.
Babur: 119 Brockley Rise, London SE23 1JP. Open 12 -2.30, 6 – 11.30pm Tel: 020 82912400