Curry has long been crowned one of the nation’s favourite dishes. If you’ve got a craving for something hot and spicy and you want to experience the very best of Indian cuisine, then Liverpool has certainly got a lot to offer. In fact, the city lays claim to some of the best curry houses in the country, with a mixture of award-winning restaurants and slightly smaller independent venues that still manage to remain a relatively well-kept secret.
We’ve searched long and hard and tasted all manner of sizzling Tandoori goodness in a bid to find the most heavenly blends of spice and flavour. So if you’re ready to loosen your belt and load up on the onion bhajis, then look no further. Here are some of Liverpool’s top curry houses:
Holdi Bar, Restaurant and Lounge
5B Woolton St, Woolton Village, Liverpool L25 5NH
Tucked away on a small side street, this exquisite Indian eatery adds a touch of spice to the leafy suburbs of Woolton village. Holdi’s own unique blend of spices has won them numerous awards, including the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival. The restaurant was also shortlisted for the British Curry Awards in 2015, which, for anyone who doesn’t know, is basically the Oscars of the curry world. The lamb Raj Shahi is one of their best sellers. It’s a medium-heat dish packed full of fresh tomatoes, hints of coriander and generous portions of meat. There’s plenty of sauce, which is great for scooping up with some of their crisp, fresh poppadoms. The great thing about Holdi is that it also functions as a takeaway. This means that you have the option to experience a refined restaurant setting or just kick back in front of the TV and enjoy your curry at home with an ice cold bottle of beer. Perfect!
23 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4DN
If you’re looking for spice, then KO Grill promises to bring a real fire to your belly with their authentic eastern grill. The Bold Street restaurant has taken influence from a large mix of tastes and cuisines from around the world. You’ll see Middle Eastern staples like Hummus and Tabbouleh sitting alongside traditional Indian and Pakistani curries. Somehow it just works. If it’s your first visit to KO Grill, then we recommend that you head straight to the grill section. Whether you go for the shawarma or the mix grill, you just can’t go wrong! The curries at KO Grill are all bursting with flavour. The meat is charcoal grilled to perfection and because of this, you’ll find its tenderness to be beyond belief. KO Grill’s buttery handmade naans are also a must try.
114 South Rd, Waterloo, Liverpool L22 0ND
Da Gurkha Fine Dining may be a little while out of the city centre, but a visit there is definitely worth your while. Their Nepalese cuisine is unlike anything else you’ve tried. The food is lighter and milder that typical Indian cuisine and it’s more about embracing rich flavours than spice, making it perfect for anyone who prefers a milder curry. There’s a wonderful variety of sizzling starters, which are all immaculately presented. One of Da Gurkha’s most popular dishes is the chicken breast with green chillies and pickled spices. Served up with green tomatoes, mango and mint, your taste buds won’t have experienced anything like this savoury awakening.
Rumi by Bukhara
46-48 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD
Rumi is a curry house that’s renowned for its authentic taste and feel. The venue has a laidback café feel to it and a great daytime menu, making it the perfect place to drop by on your lunch break. Even the most seasoned lovers of Asian cuisine will agree that Rumi’s specific fusion of North Indian and Pakistani cuisine is something else. The talented chefs there cook up an exceptional selection of tikkas, tandooris and biryanis which you’ll find to be great value for money, considering their sheer quality and freshness. But the Madras is the dish that really stands out. Expect succulent meat that has been expertly spiced and marinated for just the right amount of time. Rumi are also big on their desserts, and those of with a sweet tooth can enjoy waffles, milkshakes and real gelato. Your only regret will be that you didn’t find this place sooner!
Mowgli Street Food
Mowgli, 69 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4EZ
Mowgli, 3 Water St, Liverpool L2 0RD
Mowgli is a restaurant that needs no introductions. The relatively new curry house now boasts two Liverpool venues, on Bold Street and Water Street, and their success has even led to another restaurant opening in Manchester. Mowgli was founded by Nisha Katona, who calls herself a curry evangelist. She wanted to bring a true taste of Indian Street food to Liverpool, and the results have been spectacularly inventive. Sticking with true street food style, the food is served mostly in Tiffin Tins, which are full of bright and intensely flavoursome dishes. More filling options such as the Bunny Chow have taken inspiration all the way from South Africa. But if you’re looking for something really unique, then we recommend the Yoghurt Chat Bomb starter, which involves crisp bread puffs that are filled with chickpeas, spiced yoghurt, tamarind, coriander and mint. A wacky of flavours burst out as you bite into it – don’t say we didn’t warn you!