I have being going to this restaurant for about 15 years, mainly to their glorious Sunday buffet, currently about £10-11 per head without drinks.
The restaurant was closed for a revamp for nearly a year and we were curious to see how it looked when it finally reopened. I must admit that although the place is beautiful now, I didn't feel quite so relaxed in this new, very 'designed' space. However, it is wonderful to see the owners being so adventurous in slightly ramshackle Brockley.
What do I miss? This used to be a much cosier affair: always a slightly awkward shape, the long thin space leant itself to different types of tables, such as nice little private booths or ones with brightly coloured cloths in a more open area. I miss the cosiness - and being greated by a Host makes you instantly feel scruffy, as if you might be refused admittance.
There is a lovley 'kalamkari' in the entrance area - this is a traditional art form where natural inks are applied to cloth with a stylus (see picture which shows a section, as used on their card) and the architect has used 'natural' design throughout with a lot of emphasis on 'raw' brick and glass, the design concept following through to detail, such as attractive table runners. And am I am pleased to say that the slightly kitsch giant tiger over the door remains!
Favorite Dish: We went for the Sunday buffet and we started with delicious and crisp collection of golden-fried samosa or aloo-choff type delicacies (these change each week); always an exceptional collection of home made dips/chutneys and nice salads. Then 4 or 5 wonderful meat or vegetable curries and rice. Lovely fluffy nans are brought to your table. Great ice creams too ... if you haven't overdone things already...
A good selection of beer, including Cobra, wine and cocktails.
They have regular seasons where they explore the cuisine of different parts of India - for example Goa. They have won endless, well-deseerved awards for their cooking and so, despite, not feeling quite so cosy here, this place is highly recommended.
The restaurant does takeaways too, and there is a good area up-front where you can sit with a drink while waiting. Although there is a takeaway branch of the Babur a hundred yards away, I recommend coming here for your take-out.