My partner and I went to Chor Bizarre for lunch one day, and overall, I felt that it was very good Indian food, but felt a little tricked by the waitress. We were walking around Mayfair and ask the concierge at the Athenaeum Hotel for some good Indian food in the area, and he recommended this place. He called ahead, though that wasn't really necessary because the place was empty for lunch.
Unfortunately, we were not able to spend a very long time at this restaurant because we had to quickly leave to make our plane back to America. We started with the chutney nadroo (crispy lotus root tossed in tamarind chutney, fennel seed and onion seeds), which were very light and acted as a great amuse bouche. For entree, we ordered the cauliflower and chicken biryani and some bread garlic roti (as well as a chicken dish I forget). They were without except very good,. We both love Indian food, and this is some of the best we've had.
However, I do think to a certain extent that the hostess pulled a fast one on us. They knew that the Athenaeum Hotel had just called for us, so for whatever reason, they did not give us a lunch menu and only gave us the full dinner menu even though we were rushed. Knowing that we had to leave very soon, why give us the menu with the tandoori options that take forever to cook? We didn't think to ask for lunch menu because we thought it would be provided to us if they had it, so instead of an affordable and quick Indian meal, we had all these dinner portions that we could not possibly finish nor actually take back home with us because of customs. What good is that? So while the food was very good we did feel a bit taken advantage of by the hostess.
Also, this place was a bit difficult to find. There's another Indian restaurant on that same street that we went into, and that one also looked very nice. The vibe inside Chor Bizarre was very classic and traditional, and I really liked it.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Chor Bizarre for Indian food. They had a good number of choices, and the food was delicious. But unfortunately, because we felt a little tricked, I can't really give them a perfect score.
We went to Chor Bizarre for dinner tonight. My husband has eaten here before and was raving about the food. Since we were looking forward to a leisurely dinner, we ordered cocktails and a thali each but asked that they not serve our apps until we finished our drinks. Five minutes later, apps were served. At this point, I asked that the thali (dinner) not be served until we asked. Immediately after the apps were cleared, dinner arrived. When I questioned the waiter, he shrugged and walked away.
At no point, did anyone ask how we were doing until I flagged down a hostess. I explained that we felt that we were being rushed. She apologized and offered to take our plates back to the kitchen until we were ready. Of course, that just meant the plates get stuck under a warming lamp until everything turns to overcooked mush so we declined.
Food was overall quite good. Standout items were the chicken tikka and lotus root apps. Dal makhani and aloo gobi were also well prepared. My husband had the non veg thali but thought the veg items were better.
My lychee martini was ok but very sweet. My husband's mojito was very weak. When he asked that it be remade, the waiter asked three times if he wanted more liquor. He just couldn't understand that a new one should come out. Once it did, it was quite obvious that they just dumped in more alcohol without checking that the taste was correct.
We did speak again to the hostess who gave us some vanilla ice cream and 15% off the bill. I told her that we were looking forward to celebrating my husband's birthday in a great restaurant. Anyway, we took our two measly gulab jamun to go (included I the thali) to enjoy back at our hotel.
Total time for a birthday dinner - one hour and ten minutes!!!
Also, they seem to pay more attention to you if you are not of Indian ancestry. I can spend my money elsewhere to be treated like a second class citizen.
Oh and by the way, when she asked us where we were from and we replied New York, her comment was she had heard that NYC doesn't have ANY good Indian restaurants. You can diss me but not my city or it's food.
I've have visited this establishment since 2000. Always good service and excellent food. Once you eat the food you feel a euforic high from the spices. Its a wonderful place to eat at and the atmosphere is out of this world (Indian deco). Thx
Albeit expensive (for the portion size), this place is definitely worth the splurge when visiting London. For a party of 3, the bill came to 126 pounds. And this was only for 2 apps, 2 entrees, a soda, a beer, and ice cream! However, all the food was delicious. The ambiance was sophisticated. The service was great! The tikka masala in the states will not live up to the one here. It was lick the plate amazing!
Met a friend here after work for drinks and apts. All that we got were pretty tasty but the whole time I felt like the staf were rushing us out, which didn't fair well.
We had 3 rounds of drinks and shared three plates. I would totally go back for dinner but not for drinks.
We've been on the hunt for quite some time to find the best Indian food in London, and after a year, hadn't come up with anything worth jumping up and down about. Tayyabs certainly has some interesting stuff, but their grill is way over-rated, often serving over grilled, tough meats. Lahore kebab has some very solid curries, but nothing that really rocks the imagination.
I've gone upscale and tried Veeraswamy - and it was over-priced, predictable, and uninspired. Haven't tried Amaya but it's on the list.
We then went down the list of Mark Bittman's recommendations, and after the first one turned out to be a disappointment (Sitaaray on Drury Lane), we despaired that Bittman had any clue what he was talking about. Then we came across Chor Bizarre.
The combination of flavors, spices, and freshness of the dishes made for some first rate food. Without exception, each of the various vegetable dishes we had was inspired, thought provoking, and must.put.more.in.mouth delicious.
I've only ever come across a similar level of interesting flavors at one restaurant -- Tamarind Bay in Cambridge MA, in its early days. Indian food that is so good, when you walk out into the street, you're already planning on your calendar when you can make it there next.
Service is meh, but COME ON PEOPLE who goes to an Indian restaurant for the service? You come here for the FOOD.
This is a beautiful restaurant that specializes in Kashmiri / Northern Indian food.
The decor is bold and colourful in a tasteful way. Although I don't mind the usual smell in an Indian restaurant, this place has neither THE smell nor overly powerful incense mixed with THE smell it attempts to mask. Very pleasant.
Food was quite good. Here is what I can remember:
+ Appetizer grounded lamb patties -- melts in your mouth with a good flavour explosion
+ Tandoori chicken -- justice done to India's most famous offering to the outside world
+ Prawn masala -- incredibly juicy shrimps bathed in creamy masala sauce
+ A lamb dish in cashew and saffron cream sauce -- umami
I also enjoyed reading the stories and explanations in the menu book.
Chor Bazaar was the choice of a friend who lives in London. It turned out to be quite a good choice, and I enjoyed my dining experience.
We had a reservation and were seated promptly. The decor in the restaurant is pretty cool - and eclectic mix of Indian-themed tables, chairs and decorations that are purposely not all the same. It gave the restaurant a nice eclectic feel.
The food was excellent. They had an extensive menu that focused on North Indian cuisine, but with a few southern twists thrown in (South Indian Parathas, my favorite). The table shared a shrimp masala, lamb ghost and a butter chicken dish. All were delicious, especially the lamb, which came with a wonderful rich gravy.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 starts is because I thought it was a little bit expensive for the portion sizes it delivered.
If you like Indian food and want to try more of an Indian Fusion, give Amaya a try... It's pricey, but the food is well worth it.
This place, once again, was within rolling distance from our hotel. But it turned out to be quite good. The only minor hurdle was the accessibility. We needed a little help negotiating the front door and step up. Once we got in, we were seated promptly and given an extensive menu. We were going vegetarian to share two entrees. I ordered a rasam for starters and a baghare baingan and dal makhni for the main course. My wife and I had rotis.
The food and service were good and we were happy to have had our first Indian meal after arriving in London. The place was packed and quite noisy. We paid about US$39.00 including gratuity and VAT. Rather expensive by US standards for a vegetarian meal without beverages.
Food was nowhere near authentic Indian food. Dal Chor Bizzare tasted like ready meals you can buy the off-shelf in Euston. The "hot" Chettinad Chicken was mild at best. Pistachio kulfi was a "diet" version more like gelato than rich and creamy that it should be. Masala chai which is meant to be hot and steamy was lukewarm. Only saving grace was the service which was efficient if not attentive.
Friend was visiting from NY and read a feature on Indian food in the NY Times -- Chor Bizarre was mentioned alongside some places I'd tried before and enjoyed so we all agreed that eating in Mayfair was better than heading deep into the East.
We showed up without reservation and we waited for ages, but were finally led downstairs into an empty basement. Not sure why we had to wait for an empty room, but we weren't about to sit there anyway so we waited some more for a room upstairs.
Place looks sort of cool, sort of post-tornado in a schlocky Indian town, and all the weird crap ended up in one room. Not particularly inventive or quirky, but not as plain as places like Tayyabs, Lahore, etc., so we're still beating out the East End.
We shared some lamb kofte type "tubes" as a starter which were really dry and awful. Then we had some samosas which would be fine if were delivered by my local Indian, but at like 3X the price these weren't special and I wouldn't have been shocked if they were pre-made.
Chicken tikka (or whatever their rendition was called) was really good, as was the rice, various dals/pulse dishes, and the naans were really quite excellent.
If this were a regular cheap local Indian place I'd give it a slightly higher rating (i.e., a 3.5 if such a score were possible), but at almost Benares pricing with take-away flavour I can't justify anything more than 3 stars (2.5 would probably be more realistic).
Gin and tonics came out fast and boy did we take advantage of the speedy service. We were drinking all day long (starting at 11:30am all day long -- uggghhh), so really needed lots more liquor to prevent a massive crash.
Drinks at Browns Hotel afterwards were awesome, though!
Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!
Visiting London with 3 of my friends & went to Chor Bizarre after reading Mark Bittman's Times review. As well-travelled New Yorkers, our expectations are high & our visit here did not disappoint!
No reservations - we waited for about 20 mins before seated in an eclectic & visually stimulating dining room.
We ordered an assortment of starters - samosa chaat was our fave of three. Then came our entrees - tikka masala was divine as were the lentils & curried tilapia. Note: One of my friends ordered a chicken dish marked as very spicy - it was not.
Service was wonderful - polite hostess & an attentive waiter who was friendly and skilled in making great suggestions!
Could not have been happier with our experience. Delicious!
Fantastic indian food in a wonderfully eclectic restaurant. We all liked it so much that we went twice in the month we stayed in London for the Olympics. In fact, me and another colleague sought out the owner's other restaurant in London, Sitaaray. It's Bollywood-themed. Check out Mark Bittman's great write up of some of London's best, off-the-typical-brick-lane map indian restaurants: travel.nytimes.com/2012/…
It includes 2 I mentioned here.
The food was quite good the lamb appetizer was gobbled up by my adventurous 18 month old in a flash. I enjoyed the scraps the bandit left behind. The room is a dark and exotic hodgepodge of photos, furnishings and textiles. Unlike some of the flat out tackiness seen in the states.
The booth seating is cushy and wonderful for a toddler to drive his trucks on while Mummy can nosh a bit and have a drink.
Now I'm going to be marginally cheeky here and paraphrase my dad's review as this is where I took him for his birthday on my colleague's advice, and we were not disappointed!
"We ordered a light meal as I had had a late lunch. The highlight dish was without a doubt the Sharabi Kababi Tikkia Masala which was absolute divine, chicken cooked in a hot sauce with a predominant flavour of pepper, aniseed and curry leaves. A speciality from the coastal region of Tamil Nadu. The steamed basmati rice and roti accompanied recommended suited drinks. One always knows when food is good if your appetite is rekindled! I had mango kulfi for desert which rounded things off nicely.There are many Indian restarants around but few have this finesse in both flavour and heat. I will be returning!"
Well said Dad, a firm family favourite!
In London for a week and didn't feel like venturing too far out from my hotel on my first night.
I had their poppadom, Chaat and the Chicken Tandoori. The pappadom had some really good spicy toppings and I hoped that was a sign of what was to come. The chicken tandoori was good. Very tender, but not as spicy as I hoped it would be.
Overall the service was good, the food was good, and I will probably stop by again later this week.
Instead of writing the summary of the food at the end, let me get to it first.
The food was pretty good, but nothing that will blow your mind away. I would go back to try some more, but only after exploring some more Indian restaurants in London.
Now, the overall dining experience in this restaurant was definitely fun. From the moment you walk in, the words "cool" or "interesting" or "what the..." keep resurfacing. The name is a play on the term "Chor Bazaar" that is a location in Bombay/Delhi, where you can find pretty much anything you want, either obtained legally or more than likely otherwise (Chor = Thief). Chor Bizarre has acquired (legally I hope) numerous artifacts representing India and used them as decorative pieces within the restaurant, giving it the "bizarre" appearance they seem to seek.
I like restaurants that dedicate some time and thinking into creating their menu. Chor Bizarre definitely did, by associating some of their food items to little historical anecdotes. I ended up learning some stuff about the food I've enjoyed for so many years! (whether its true or not I don't care). Also, unlike a lot of Indian restaurants, they actually offer a wine paring menu which I thought was really nice.
For those looking to go here, make a reservation on toptable.com and get a 50% off on your meal on certain days! Helps bring the price down a little!
Decent food and a calm atmosphere is what can be found at the Chor Bizarre. There are a range of classical dishes of things such as curries that vary from mild to very spicy, to less well-known dishes too.
The wine list is quite extensive, and the house wine is not as dull as a suburban curry house. They are well chosen to match meals (there is an option on the menu for this).
Desert is good, I recommend the Lassi!
It is quite close to Green Park Station, and is a few doors down from the Royal Institution, so you could co-ordinate dinner with your visit to a lecture there.
Fabulous food, amazing service!! I tried quiet a few Indian places between London and New York, by far this is the best one. Not to mention, what a great decor they have at this place. It's a beautiful restaurant with very good food. Can't wait to go back once I'm back in London.
Upscale Indian restaurant - stands out in a world of very average Indian restaurant.
Stylish food, good service, just a bit pricey (£50 per person incl. drinks)
"Chor bizarre" ... i just fell in love with the name when i first heard of it. The name is a pun of "chor bazaar" ... the Hindi name for flea markets ... and the decor of the restaurant does justify the name. The place is filled with a number of seemingly random pictures and objects which somehow seem to come together at the end. The dark interiors help with this i guess.
The food is good. Not the best i have had in London but its definitely among the better Indian restaurants in the area. As i was looking through the menu, i saw "sharaabi-kabaabi (a slang for hedonistic) chicken tikka". They surely know how to name their items :) Having seen this name, there was no way i could not order it. However the taste wasn't as good as the expectations that had been generated on seeing the name. The lamb was significantly superior. My friend had chana masala which was served dry ... one of the very few places in London i have seen doing that. I also liked the dal and was impressed by the spinach.
The prices are high (a function of the location i guess), but surprisingly, only for the non-veg dishes. Meat main courses are around £13-£14. The vegetarian main courses on the other hand are priced much more reasonably at £7-£8. However i strongly recommend the thali if you are a meat-eater. At ~£25, you will get a starter, 2 meat dishes, 2 vegetarian curries, raita, a nan and some rice ... all in small quantities of course. I thought that was a pretty good deal as it allowed me to sample a number of different food items.
I go to piccadilly circus quite often and this is one of the better Indian places i have found in the area (along with Chowki and Dishoom). So it seems certain that i shall be back before long.
My visit to the Chor Bizarre didn't strt well-after having booked a table for two the servers took my guest and I downstairs, into the rather plain and boring basement area for food. My main reason for visiting here was to eat amongst the lovely and outlandish decor, so this was a major disappoitment. The food, for the quality, was around 200% over priced. There was nothing special about it at all. The service was good but for a bottle of house red and two courses for two people, using a 241 offer, £50 is around £20 too much.
I went here at a suggestion from our concierge looking for some Indian food in a town famous for it. The food itself was good (about 4 stars). The main course (a tika masala-like dish and a spicy chicken dish) and the sides (butter naan and a palak dish) were pretty good, but the appetisers didn't impress us. The papadum (thin cracker appetiser) was blander than usual and only saved by chutney, and the pakora dish tried to be too fancy by serving one of several types of pakoras. The real problem with Choz Bizarre is the service (about 2 stars). The waiters didn't check on our table much, but a neighbouring table was fanned over...guess it pays to be a regular. They also switched our rice order to the more expensive saffron rice (which was horrible) and tried to charge us extra for it. Overall we were displeased by the attitude of the waitstaff.
Very good Indian food in Mayfair. The restaurant is beautifully decorated yet comfortable. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive. All in all it was very good but did not blow me away like it was recommended.
The interior of the restaurant and the ambiance is lovely if a bit quirky. The acid test is in the food and I have to say its not what i expected. Its strictly OK but its worth a visit if on a first date purely because its got talkworthy interiors.
I love Indian food, and this is my favourite restaurant when visiting London. Excellent Butter Chicken spiked with cognac, love their Pakoras served with a wonderful strawberry chutney.
Beautiful, comfy atmosphere, great service, great food!
Excellent food, service and atmosphere..
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