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  • “I remember getting the value set meal for two w/ total of 6 tapas and they were all great!” in 11 reviews

  • “The standard fare did not disappoint.. Naan, Raita & Chicken Tikka were all very good.” in 7 reviews

  • “The executive chef at Imli, Samir Sadekar, was trained at Tamarind.” in 5 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 4.0 star rating
    3/7/2011

    the first Indian restaurant that I have been to and left without smelling like curry.
    I enjoyed the food and service was very friendly.
    Location is great and prices are reasonable

  • 1.0 star rating
    23/1/2014

    Came for breakfast, was terrible. Rude staff, cheap sausages (blasphemy!) and generally overpriced.

    Avoid.

  • 3.0 star rating
    12/6/2013

    I really like Imli.

    Or rather, I really like the idea of Imli.

    Indian Tapas. Indian food (my fav). Tapas, the opportunity to try lots of smaller portions without committing to an entire curry. Perfect.

    The restaurants clean, not too dark and the service is always good. I like the branding of the place.

    There's a reasonable selection for the vegetarians among us and the food IS good. Not Southall good, but yummy, moreish, and anyone who can get the perfect texture in an aubergine curry (Try the aubergine curry) wins my vote!

    However, it is really over priced and the portions, even for more tapas style food are really small. It's not a case of just small portions, it's a case of walking away still feeling hungry, which you wouldn't get at any other Indian-style restaurant.

    Plus, I just don't buy into the fact that Cobra is the best (and only) beer to have with your curry.

    Go at lunch where there's a good deal on, but I wouldn't bother with the evening.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/8/2013

    After reading some pretty negative reviews, I  was a bit hesitant to try this place; but I read that they had redone the place and had new chefs in April so I thought I'd ignore the earlier reviews and give it a go.  Overall, I was pleased.  We ordered 2 dishes/person and had a drink each, were pleasantly full (nearly stuffed) for £25/person including tip.  I'd recommend:

    -Naanwich
    -Boti Kabab
    -Kekda Masala

  • 1.0 star rating
    18/4/2013
    1 check-in

    This place is a complete rip-off and deserves no stars.

    I was very skeptical before I came here. A friend of mine posted a link to the place following an article he read about them re-opening. Now, this friend is the type who reads an article and then boldly claims that somewhere is the best place in London, only for us to try the place and him to have the proverbial egg on his face. This was no different.

    My first concern was the menu. I took a look at it online and although some of the dishes looked quite appealing, it concerned me because 1) I don't think I've seen food like this on the street in India before (admittedly it's been 20 years since I last went touring around India) and 2) I think the street they found this food is called Knightsbridge, or Park Lane, or some other ludicrously expensive street.

    Onto the food. Nothing special. Most of it was incredibly bland, the portions were tiny (if you order for yourself, you will need to order 2 dishes at the very least). Breads were very expensive and very small, so while you're munching away on the food that pretty much all lacks flavour and spice, you are acutely aware that you are also being fleeced for all of your money if you dare to order anything else.

    Nothing on the menu is unique, and all of it can be had far better elsewhere.

    The decor is quite nice since they went upmarket and the service is reasonable (but not great)... but honestly, there is absolutely no point in going here.

    If you want great food nearby, go to Maharani Soho.
    If you want a much better 'street food' experience, go to Ealing Road in Wembley.
    If you want weird new fusion cuisine, take a trip to Cafe Spice Namaste in Tower Hill.
    If you want a much better 'fashionable' place to go to, well you have 2 branches of Dishoom to choose from (one of which is pretty dire itself, but nowhere near as bad as this place).
    If you want to be a cool but entirely clueless hipster type person who just wants to be different and you don't mind paying extra for rubbish, Imli is the place for you.

    I could not have been more disappointed with my visit to Imli last night.

  • 3.0 star rating
    14/2/2013 Updated review

    Recommend the Seafood Malabar with plain naan.

    The service seems to have slightly improved which is good.

    3.0 star rating
    8/6/2012 Previous review
    I've been to Imli a few times now and each time it's been a different experience mainly due to the… Read more
  • 3.0 star rating
    26/4/2010

    Imli announces that it serves Indian tapas and with its vibrant culture of street food, I could see that Indian food could have the basis for this style of food.

    The menu is written in a different style to most curry houses and the decor is also quite modern to blend into its Soho location.

    The flavour of the food was nice but the portions were disappointing for the price. It would hard for a large table to share easily as a single portion doesn't go far.

    The concept is certainly interesting but I would rather go to a proper curry house - places like Red Fort are a few streets away in Soho.

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/12/2008

    I recently took an 8 month pregnant friend to eat here, mainly because it was close to where we were and she didn't want to walk further. Also the sound of Indian tapas made our ears stand up as we thought of all the delightful flavours ahead of us.

    Unfortunately, even though the food that we ordered was good, this place is a complete rip off. Considering I'm over 6 foot and she was eating for 2 we laughed when our cokes came in kiddy sized glasses. The waitress assured us these were adult portions which means the owners laughing all the way to the bank.

    Similarly, all the dishes we ordered were miniscule and in the end we found it hilarious when our ice cream came and it was a measley little scoop that didn't quite hit the spot. What wasn't miniscule was the cost. I was that hungry at the end i should have eaten the receipt so i never had to see how much it all cost for so very little.

    In fact i find this place quite disgraceful as it could be so good but unfortunately greed has gotten the better of the owners.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/3/2011

    This review should be taken with the caveat that we went as a group with the London Taste Card, which halves our bill.  It's hard, when having tasty food at an even better price to not feel good about it..  had my bill been doubled, I might teeter to the slightly sour.  

    Let's go straight to the gripes.  The first really isn't much of consequence, but it's the whole 'Indian tapas' thing.  Never mind the cultural use of the word, these portions were slightly on the small side but priced as I would expect a main at any other curry joint, and not too structurally different.. so to me, the word is completely extraneous.  

    Second.. £3.50 for rice?!  We were four people, and needed 2 portions (very small portions at that) of rice.  Do you know how much rice you can buy for £7?  Enough to take a bath in.  It's almost double the price I'll accept paying for rice at a restaurant.  This stuff should almost be free and inundate your table to convince you to buy more curry.  Like I said, the taste card made it all ok.. but still...

    Otherwise... modernish design, attentive service, spaceous eating area. Really nice samosa chaat (even though they're still your wimpy triangle London samosa and not the Cali pyramid of potato power), fabulous aubergine curry, tender lamb in great spice, and passable chicken dishes.  No dish was greasy or heavy, and I walked out satisfied but not overly full.

    So overall, modern styled Indian that I did really enjoy, but the price is on the high side for the slightly small portions. I think they acknowledge that though, with some specials on display for the weekday luncher.

  • 3.0 star rating
    5/3/2012

    Whenever I hit Indian joints the conventional wisdom for those in the know (as in those lucky enough to eat authentic desi food at home with family) is to order more starters and maybe have a main with rice if still hungry after piling through the sizzler selection. With this in mind the approach of Imlis doesn't seem particularly innovative, but I have to agree with the general pros and cons mentioned in previous reviews:

    The portions are not big and you do pay a bit too much for what you get

    Service is VERY hit and miss - sometimes attentive to the point of intrusion, at other times depressingly laboured - case in point, we asked for some fresh chilli to try and add that spark missing in the aubergine masala and the goan keema pav but they never arrived

    Food is generally of a good standard, the tandoori prawns are the highlight as the flavours are bang on and the chutney is also very good. Squid was also good, unfortuinately no lamb chops which are often the acid test - tayyabs, need I say more?!

    The pani puri was meh but to me it always is - I am not a fan - but the pooris themselves were a little too floury and the texture was not pleasant

    Chicken wings were ok, goot paratha and naan

    Taste card deal helps to soften the blow and so I would say it is worth a try if close by/...

  • 2.0 star rating
    15/7/2012

    Every time I walk by Imli, I'm reminded that I want to try the food and experience at this place. Indian Tapas?! Who would have thought.

    Anyway, today, I got the opportunity to give it a shout and boy was I disappointed. The reviews here are quite spot on about this place and I'm suprised after 2 -3 years of mediocrity, 1. it still exists, and 2. they've not done anything about it.

    Came here today on a TasteCard, i.e. half off. We ordered the Tandoori Mixed Grill since it seemed like that would be the tastiest and the best all around combo/value. WRONG. Even though it says that it's a minimum 2 person order, it really was enough food for one, NOT two. And at £15.50 a person, that's not cheap either.

    Anyway, we order papadums as a starter only because we were told our main would take a while to get to the table. The papadums were a bit on the stale side (I like mine super crispy yo), but the chutneys were definitely flavorful. So all around, ok.

    The main arrives and I'm a little shocked to see how little food is on the plate for two. There's a lentil curry, 2 slices of paneer, 2 lamb chops, 2 pieces of chicken, and two slices of fish, and 4 halves of naan. If we didn't have a TasteCard, that would TOTALLY not be worth £31! Anyway, the lamb chops were tough (but well spiced), the chicken was bland, and dry, the fish wasn't very fresh and my dining partner thought that the lentil curry tasted like Heinz tomato soup with lentils and some curry spices. NOT impressed at all.

    The only thing that we had overall here that I enjoyed was the service. People were attentive, and we did get good service. I'm not one to compare, but for the price of our bill, I would have gone a couple doors down to Chipotle and had me a good burrito (and American nay-sayers about Chipotle - shut it - it's one of the only decent burrito places in London). All in all, I'm never going back to Imli, as Yee Gan says, there are other curry houses in the area that serve better food.

  • 2.0 star rating
    1/12/2012 Updated review

    Don't be fooled by the trendy decor. The portions were small and slathered in an excessive amount of sauce. The attempt at making trendy Indian Tapas failed in my opinion. The duck was the worst of all the dishes. Overcooked with a sauce that did not work at all. Samosa Chaat (V) Great combination of flavours  vegetable samosa topped with chickpeas, yoghurt, tamarind and mint chutneys Tarka Daal (V) Yellow lentils tempered with browned garlic, cumin, green chillies and herbs
    Chicken Tikka Masala*(GF) Chef special  cooked with dried herbs, creamed tomatoes and cashew nuts
    Honey Grilled Duck (GF) Marinated in star anise, honey, ginger, fennel and tamarind on turmeric mash

    2.0 star rating
    1/12/2012 Previous review
    Don't be fooled by the trendy decor. The portions were small and slathered in an excessive amount of… Read more
  • 4.0 star rating
    16/9/2010

    This place makes Indian food fun to eat. To be honest, this is THE 1st time I ever ate Indian food. Now I know this isn't "real" Indian food - but for a newbie like me, the experience of Indian tapas is much appreciated! For Imli to serve fusion Indian food in a tapas style made it easier for me to explore different types of Indian flavors & spices. Which was a good thing because after I visited London, I went straight to New Delhi.

    My waiter is really sweet and friendly. Patient and knowledgeable when I asked him everything about the menu. And he even wrote down places that I should visit while in India.

    I been to London 3 times since and I always go back to Imli AND I eat Indian food all the time now.

  • 3.0 star rating
    2/1/2009

    As a previous reviewer mentioned, the idea of Indian tapas is pretty good. This is what attracted me here in the first place.

    I was shopping one afternoon and my friend recommended we stop by and try out these Indian tapas for ourselves. We didn't order much as we didn't have enough cash on us at the time but I really wasn't that impressed. There wasn't really enough on our plates and it didn't taste *that* great.

    Indian tapas: good on paper, for Imli, bad in practice!

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/3/2009

    We really, really enjoyed this place.

    In Short: It's a unique, fun, good tasting experience.

    In Longer:

    Ambiance: Nice, typical London cool.

    Service: Very good.

    Price: A little pricey.

    And most importantly, the food:
    It's different, interesting, and mostly delicious. Of course, not everything is amazing- we had some dumplings that were good in theory but gross in practice.

    But overall, a great place to try for something new. I'd go back for sure (and it's walkable to a bunch of stuff).

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/4/2010

    As I stood looking through the window from the outside I was pretty skeptical about this place. The decor is really nice looking and places that excel in looking good are often let down by the quality of their food. Added to this, they'd filled the window tables with people that were obviously tourists.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing, but whenever I'm stood outside an Indian restaurant I'm hoping to see Indian people in there eating the food. Just like when I'm at an Italian or Chinese restaurant where I'd hope to see Italian and Chinese people dining there. This is usually a good sign that the food is up to scratch.

    Despite being put off, I was encouraged in by a friend that's been before and I was completely blown away. I've been to plenty of Indian restaurant before and always said "someone should start an Indian tapas restaurant", it makes o much sense! Whatever you order, you always end up sharing with the other people at the table and trying new things without having to commit to a whole dish is a great way to discover new flavours.

    I ordered a mammoth lunch time tapas platter which was incredibly good and incredibly reasonable for the portion size at £8.50. I was also assured about Imli's reputation by the packed tables full of Indian families and business men inside the restaurant.

    Really excellent service too.

    Will be returning soon!

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/9/2010

    I've always liked tapas because I love the idea of food to be shared, but my husband is a fussy so-and-so who doesn't like traditional Spanish tapas, so this suited our needs to a tee!

    Lots of very tasty and extremely filling dishes on offer, so ignore advice to order too many. We had 2 starter dishes, 2 main dishes and 2 side dishes, and we couldn't finish it all - what we had was yummy though. The prices are reasonable, but as you're ordering a number of dishes, cost can stack up quicker than you realise.

    The staff are very friendly, particularly the one waiter I saw giving people directions using the maps on his phone.

  • 3.0 star rating
    5/12/2011
    1 check-in

    A nice modern touch to Indian, but just A-OK.

    The food here isn't bad, the premise is "Indian Tapas".  Which I got to try out with the lamb platter with six small dishes (lamb curry, a vege mix, samosa, salad, rice, etc...).  Overall I didn't think it was anything special.  My brother went with the Chicken Naanwich, which seemed like a good option.  Though the mid-section seemed like a bit of a mess to eat.

    The service here was pretty poor.  Getting seated wasn't bad, but getting an order in, getting our drinks, getting the check, etc... all took more time than I would expect from any restaurant.

    Overall... just a place I dropped in while on my short trip to London and I probably won't be back.

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/1/2014

    A good find - really tasty Indian tapas. About £20 per person without drink.
    Freshingly different.

    • Qype User Timina…
    • Sydney, Australia
    • 634 friends
    • 758 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    11/3/2008

    Imli advertises itself as a modern take on Indian street food. I can see what they mean, having been to India: they serve up tapas-sized portions that would fit in a take-away cup. But it's all done with fine restaurant attention to taste and presentation.

    This isn't the place to come if you want a giant bowl of curry. But if you want to try a number of different things, or you like sharing, and you're up for some twists on familiar flavours, Imli is great. Due to the small portions, you can eat quite cheaply if you want to.

    The restaurant is nice inside, with great service, and plenty of thing to try. It's definitely a modern restaurant.

    I also recommend getting on their mailing list: they have frequent deals and promotions on, so there's always an excuse to go.

    • Qype User deCabb…
    • London
    • 334 friends
    • 515 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/3/2008

    Wanting to experience something different, I sampled this restaurant quite literally by ordering the sampling platter.

    Wow - from the first small dish to the last, this certainly is a modern take on Indian food. While I would hesitate to call it Indian, I cannot think of a better definition of this unique food style.

    The atmosphere is fantastic and the service was wonderful. I would highly recommend this place.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/1/2009

    I've now been here twice, once with my teenaged daughter and once with my husband. I loved it both times, but, and more surprisingly, so did they. Let me explain.

    Imlin is not your typical curry house. It could loosely be described as tapas in style, as it consists of loads of little dishes, beautifully presented and artfully described (by both the menu and the wait staff). You can order 2 or 3 per person off the menu, or you can order one of their tasting menus, which I did both times.

    The little dishes are lovely - the lamb and chicken were all tender, the rice perfectly cooked, and the poppadoms much smaller than is typical of a curry house, and beautifully light and tasty. The nan, however, was disappointing and I'd recommend giving those a miss.

    My daughter is not generally a curry fan - she loved it. She enjoyed most of the dishes (though not so much the potato). She also fancied one of the waiters. My husband, on the other hand, is VERY British, and likes the typical British curry house, ideally where the lime pickle and the lamb madras resemble culinary napalm. He loved Imli too.

    Imli is convenient for the west end, and they sometimes do special vouchers. The restaurant isn't hideously expensive, though a pricey for a curry - with a special offer the value for money becomes much more attractive. They also do cocktails - they are expensive (though tasty).

    All in all, recommended.

  • 4.0 star rating
    20/2/2009

    A very satisfactory 4* rating. Good food with reasonably authentic flavours.

    Chowpatty Beach flavours were evident in the bhel poori, good Gujarati style was displayed with the vadai, whilst there was a satisfying Madras 'depth' in the lamb curry.

    The thyme lemonade was lovely and the dessert of figs and ginger kulfi with pistachio divine. A good lunch menu is available for carnivores and vegetarians at £13.50 each for 7 dishes - you won't leave hungry and it's good.

    Service was sharper than we expected from reading the reviews here. Though we were a large party - it might not have been so were we a couple. Will try that way again . . . . just to be sure! :-)

    • Qype User Sian…
    • London
    • 415 friends
    • 752 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/2/2009

    Update:

    Despite me not planning on coming back, I met my friend here for dinner (which was a press thing, we didn't pay for it) but they've really upped their game! So much so that I've bumped them up by an extra two stars.

    The food is better. The owner explained each dish to us, and made suggestions that we were happy to go with. He knows best after all. And he did! The food was amazing this time. Of course, there was too much of it and we were well looked after, but we looked around and everyone was getting the same special treatment. There's even a waiter who sings (very well) and he's a treat. Cute too.

    The margaritas were fab, the carrot fudge dessert was stunning (think carrot cake and treacle sponge all mixed up together) and every single dish we had was stunning. We had a great time, and yes, I will come back and I will actually pay for dinner next time. In fact, I'm looking forward to it already.

    It's still not tapas though :-)

    *

    Do. Not. Get. It.

    Now, first off, Tapas is spanish. If you're offering anything else, then frankly it's little plates of food their should be a lot of. And considering it's little plates of stuff, Imli shouldn't be so darn expensive.

    I hate the explanation that the waiter gave me, like I was a moron who couldn't order food. I hate that the waitress was snotty when my best mate and I wanted to share our food. They treated us like crap all night and stood in a corner and bitched.

    I've not been back since, and I don't plan on it either.

    It's NOT tapas!

    • Qype User danima…
    • London
    • 75 friends
    • 110 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    5/8/2009

    Not sure how much I can add, given that there are already 34 reviews, but i'll give it a go anyway. Went here for lunch and they have a couple of lunch offers; either a curry meal (including rice, daal etc) and a drink for £8, or some Indian style tapas at 2 dishes and a drink for £8. I plumped for the tapas and ordered some potato style dumplings accompanied with spicy Indian style calamari. Whilst the food was certainly good, two dishes of tapas was definitely not enough for a big (and greedy) chap like me, and I left the place wanting.

    If you are a vegetarian, personally I'd opt for qype.co.uk/place/77311-G… around the corner. Ok it has a bit less character (and certainly not as classy as Imli), but if you are looking for a cheap Indian for lunch you can't do much better (if you can please let me know!).

    • Qype User ljric…
    • London
    • 129 friends
    • 60 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/12/2009

    Remember to wear loose clothing when you go to this place. It's a contemporary Indian restaurant which serves stylish Indian food in small (but numerous) tapas style portions. I feel an enormous sense of achievement after putting away vast swathes of spicy delights.

    For the best experience, get the tasting menu, (veggie or non-veggie - around £18) and enjoy the raucous surroundings while you are brought what feels like an infinity of plates by the staff. All that with hardly any effort - unless you count saying "I'll have the tasting menu please" as effort, that is. If there are more than 10 in your group, they will arrange for a party menu for you. If you're not going for the tasting menu, I'd advise everyone ordering a dish each and sharing.

    At the time of writing, you may be able to get 2 for 1 offers if you book in advance at certain times of the day.

    Oh, and the mango and basil sorbet is the perfect finish - at least, for this overfilled foodie. Just don't forget to do your belt back up when you leave.

    around £15-20 per head inc drinks
    best for groups and friends

  • 5.0 star rating
    27/9/2010

    An affordable option for Wardour Street noshing, Imli offers tapas style Indian dishes. Popular items include papdi chat, samosa chat and the masala grilled chicken and honey grilled duck. I like their chats very much and think the vibe here is most conducive for a low key and casual evening with good friends. Nice cocktails too!

    What folks might not realize is that Imli is the sister restaurant to the Michelin starred Mayfair restaurant, Tamarind. The executive chef at Imli, Samir Sadekar, was trained at Tamarind. Samir takes the same care in preparing and presenting food at this Soho eatery as one might expect at the considerably more upscale Tamarind.

    Here's an interview with the chef:
    londonist.com/2010/07/ch…

    • Qype User boywas…
    • London
    • 33 friends
    • 89 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    9/7/2008

    Interesting idea: tapas / Indian. And it's pretty good too. I took the advice of the other Qypers and went for the £16.50 taster menu. At first I was worried whether it was enough, but it was fine. Service got the thumbs up too - the waitress was chatty without being too over-familiar.

    In fact, there was nothing to complain about at all: so five happy stars.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2/6/2009

    This place was recommended by one of my colleagues during my visit of London this past December!  I remember getting the value set meal for two w/ total of 6 tapas and they were all great!  I really enjoy the taste as i rarely eat Indian in the States and nonetheless Indian Tapas!!!

    Definitely a great experience, great service and awesome cool/hip ambiance!

    I would love to go to a indian tapas such as this in southern california =)

    • Qype User neil_d…
    • London
    • 18 friends
    • 75 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    21/8/2009

    Oh dear. A couple of years ago, Imli was one of my stalwarts, a banker place to impress everyone from the missus to parents and all points inbetween. Great value, lovely food, smooth surroundings, helpful staff it was a no-brainer.

    So what's happened? The staff are still delightful and the surroundings haven't dated particularly but is it just me or is the food going off the boil? Bel Puri, instead of being crisp and fresh and spicy was a little dull, chewy and, I'd suggest, had been made several hours before. Fried fish was still excellent, ditto the two bean curry. The dal was okay, but the naan? I've had better supermarket ready meal naans.

    Ok, so two false notes does not an entire disaster make but I'm worried it's a sign of greater problems. I hope I'm wrong. London needs more banker restaurants like Imli not less.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/11/2010

    We stumbled across this restaurant looking for a quick and tasty light lunch on the way to the nearby Queens Theatre.

    The food was excellent. We picked three dishes from the menu: each was a fairly small portion (hence the Tapas approach) and very tasty.

    The staff were very friendly and helpful, definitely a place to re-visit when we want a bigger meal when we can try more dishes.

    • Qype User doubti…
    • London
    • 26 friends
    • 104 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    13/8/2008

    Went to Imli last night with 2 friends and have to say whilst the experience wasn't too bad I do feel slightly cheated.

    Firstly it has to be said the portions are tiny. I was given a kids sized coke for a fair sum and all of us we're shocked when our ice creams arrived. £3 for one tiny scoop. At 6'4' it was never going to satisfy.

    For the main courses we did as suggested and ordered 3 dishes each. They arrived quite quickly and the tastes ranged from pleasant to quite unusually wierd borderline horrible. The waitress thought we'd ordered too much but again we were all left wanting more and i had to resist the temptation of getting food on the way home.

    Service was polite and attentive and the venue itself was clean and welcoming. Just shame about the portion size.

    • Qype User theku…
    • London
    • 19 friends
    • 104 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    I came here with a bunch of workmates for a lunch one time, and although I liked many aspects, I've removed a star for disliking a number of others (that I'll get to in a second).

    Sharing small dishes and sampling lots of different flavours with the idea of Indian tapas is a great concept, and when we asked our waiter about what would be best, he responded with ordering a certain number per person. We really should have ordered much less than that because we ended up with far too much food even though I thought we already pigged out!

    A lot of their dishes were very tasty and went down a treat though I remember thinking that some of the dishes were disproportionately sized given the relative price of each dish.

    As well as that, our waiter told us they didn't do tap water which really bothers me about places like that, when they served their own filtered water in tiny, tiny bottles at a hefty price (now I realise where they make their money)

    • Qype User BearBe…
    • London
    • 26 friends
    • 152 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    I've only been here for a friend's birthday but it was an ideal way to sample the cuisine for the first time. We just ordered a bunch of different dishes and shared them round.

    Nice atmosphere, good service and overall good value for money.

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/1/2009

    Imli (which translates as Tamarind according to my Indian pal) styles itself as an Indian Tapas - which is different.
    Portions tend to be on the small side and the experience is more of a 'tasting' session than full on 'vindaloo-naan-and-six-pints-of-wife-beater-mate' experience.
    Given it's location it is NOT cheap - but the quality of food and service is excellent. Fresh spices - well cooked and some completely new dishes (recommended by our waiter, you must try the Papdi Chaat.
    We turned up on a Saturday without booking so had to sit downstairs - which was OK but try for an upstairs table where there's more buzz and is better for 'people watching'.
    Six main dishes, naan, Daal and rice plus 4 cobras, 2 mango & passion fruit and a glass of Chenin Paarl came to £81. Close to 5 stars - but the basement table was not the best in the house.

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/7/2009

    I went here as part of a dinner and theatre deal where you get a set menu.  usually i feel like they never really give you the good stuff on a deal like this..but this was actually really good.  i had the lamb curry for my main.  for desert i had sorbet ...can't really remember the flavors but it was tasty.  the portions are alright..not heaping.

    this is random but i thought the lighting was really nice in the place.  not too dark..not too light.

    • Qype User laisse…
    • London
    • 29 friends
    • 61 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    11/9/2009

    The restaurant was still fairly busy and buzzy when we walked in late at night, but there were a few tables for two left, and we got one near the front window. It's not exactly the most attractive place, but is fine for what it is (i.e. a fairly cheap Indian 'tapas' restaurant). There are dark wood tables and wooden floors and notes of orange scattered about. Unfortunately, the place could have been cleaner. There was quite a bit of random stuff on the floors, one of the orange floor lights that projects upwards was flickering constantly, and it just didn't seem spick and span.

    Our very charming and eager-to-please server came over, gave us the menus, asked if we've eaten there before, and explained how everything works. She said four tapas per person would be about right, and I guessed it would be more than right for their profit margin. I often find that with these 'small plate' restaurants that are sprouting up everywhere, their stated number of suggested plates per person is more than you would probably want to consume, even if you were very hungry. We decided to order five dishes in total between us, which turned out to be about right.

    We got off to a cracking start with an excellent chaat. My favorite version of this particular street-food dish in London is La Porte des Inde's 'Bombay Chaat', but Imli's was very good. In fact, come to think of it, it was better than the chaat dish we had not too long ago at Zaika. The underlying brown sauce tasted like a good sweet, smoky and spicy American barbeque sauce, and its thick and smooth consistency contrasted perfectly with the crispiness of the whole wheat and vermicelli. My only issue was that it aired a bit on the sweet side, but it was very satisfying and a good sized portion. 7/10.

    The roasted vegetable plate had some nice flavors, and I especially liked the squash and fennel. The coriander dressing was, well, coriander dressing. This dish provided us with something to munch on that wasn't spicy, which was necessary as the two meat dishes we had definitely packed some heat. 5/10.

    The lamb and chicken were both presented in a patty-like forms. I preferred the lamb patties as they had a nice, rich flavor (not at all 'lamby'), and the fairly sweet beetroot dipping sauce complemented it well. Either the lamb or the chutney was damn spicy, but we couldn't figure out which one it was as our mouths were already too hot by this point to be able to distinguish. 6/10.

    Luckily, Mrs. LF had ordered a salty lassi (which was excellent), so she had that to fall back on. I, on the other hand, had a glass of Peter Lehmann's South Australian My Word is My Bond Semillon, which although sort of pleasant on its own (a fatty, citrusy affair), provided no respite from the onslaught of Indian heat.

    The chicken shammi was also pretty good, and the onion and ginger came through clearly, though I wasn't so keen on the mint pairing. 5/10.

    The daal also had a good kick to it, and tasted okay, although it didn't really have the depth that a good daal should and was very liquidy. I prefer daal to be thicker and have a broader flavor profile  this was very one dimensional. It was disappointing because I've had good daal at many cheaper Indian restaurants in London. Maybe it's just down to my preferences, but I didn't think this was any great shakes. 4/10.

    I will say up front that I am really not a fan of Indian sweets in general. As you will know if you've read some of my other reviews, I have a sweet tooth, but desserts like gulab jamun are too sweet even for the likes of me.

    This caramel custard sounded pretty good, though. It did satisfy my sugary cravings, and was quite light given the coconut milk base. It didn't taste of much besides coconut milk, jaggery (according to Wikipedia, that's a concentrated bit of sugar cane juice without the separation of molasses from the crystals) and a slight hint of caramel. So not intricate, just full on sweet, but not too much so. 5/10.

    Gimmie Imli?

    Sure, most of the food tasted good and if you order cleverly (or go for one of their many deals), the bill comes out on the low side. The staff were all very pleasant and keen to make sure we were happy, and service was efficient for the most part. So, not a bad option for cheap Indian food in Soho, especially since it is a big restaurant and you're likely to be seated quickly even if it's busy. Just don't go out of your way to eat at Imli.

    • Qype User UrFune…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 46 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    24/2/2010

    Finally got round to having dinner here last night.

    Totally agree which ljrich's comments about wearing loose clothing! we had a 2-4-1 tasting menu which meant we got a 'bit of everything' for £14 each (bargain!).

    The dishes didnt look very big (we kept saying 'is that for four people?') but believe me we were stuffed by the end - still managed to force down the ginger and fig ice cream that was included though! I thought my stomach might actually burst if I moved too quick, so we stayed a good 45 mins after we finished our food to let it all digest!

    Good selection of veggie and meat dishes, and one of my friends who was there is Indian and he said it was good/authentic so he probably knows better than me.

    I would def go back, its a great venue if there is a group of you as you get to share lots of dishes.

    For the 2-4-1 book online and click 'view offers'.

    • Qype User Hannyp…
    • London
    • 16 friends
    • 57 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    18/4/2010

    A world away from the Brummy Indian Curry Houses of my childhood, Imli is thoroughly modern, sleek and actually suprisingly lacking in atmosphere.

    However, the service is some of the best I've ever experienced. Friendly and attentive but so relaxed and unfussy - very impressive.

    I went for one of the 2-4-1 tasting menus that other (lucky) people have had the pleasure of scoffing and wow! For less than £15 a head we had plate after plate of amazing curries, fine Indian starters and topped it all off with delicious fig and ginger ice cream. It was all very tasty and goodness me, filling!!

    I would certainly recommend you try a table at imli for a spicy night in SoHo!

  • 4.0 star rating
    16/2/2011

    We are big Indian food fans and have been coming here for years. On this most recent visit, Imli was better than ever.

    The bhel puri appetizer is great crunchy appetizer, both tart and sweet. The tandoori prawns had only 6 of them, but they were truly spicy, not dumbed down. The cheese and coriander naan was a soothing foil, along with the stomach-warming black dahl. A thoroughly reliable, enjoyable place, convenient to theaters --and good value.  We think it surpasses its upscale sister Tamarind.

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