If there was any proof that local Indian restaurants are capable of change, then Babur is it. It’s been feeding the good people of Forest Hill since 1985, when it’s menu staples no doubt included ‘classics’ such as chicken tikka masala & lamb bhuna in a venue which was probably liberally ‘decorated’ in flock wallpaper and red velvet. However, Babur has evolved into an Indian restaurant of genuine culinary interest and provides a good template for curry houses up and down the country looking to join the rest of us in the new millennium!
Following a complete redesign in 2005, the restaurant has got a clean and modern look. Plenty of exposed brickwork, hanging pipes, natural light and touches of Indian décor gives a contemporary yet cultured feel. The drinks menu lists a few cocktails, which are probably best left alone, but the impressive wine list has been professionally created and is full of good value.
The menu changes frequently with regular specials to supplement the a la carte. Starters of Chicken kala mirch (Skewered black-leg chicken, marinated in soft cheese and black pepper) and Scallops in a thin pastry, with tamarind & dried plum chutney were both interesting and tasty; however, the Vegetable beggar’s purse was disappointingly full of tired looking veg and not so great. Mains were a delicately spiced Baby lamb shank and a Pot roasted rabbit saddle in a star anise and seriously punchy ginger sauce – delicious and definitely not for faint-hearted. The accompanying side of Dal makhni was creamy and full of rich black lentils and completed a very decent meal.
Cuisine type: Indian
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £50
119 Brockley Rise
Tel: 020 8291 2400