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Darjeeling Express

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What you can expect during your visit
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

Ratings and reviews

#84 of 1,226 Indian in London
#900 of 17,320 Restaurants in London
Travellers' Choice


US$55 - US$100
Indian, Asian
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features, about

Location and contact

Covent Garden
0.1 km from Trafalgar Square
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Reviews (450)
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All reviews goat curry prawns channa rice carrot halwa thali kebab chai potatoes curries mango bread starters and mains salad cakes fries indian food
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We were so glad to be able to book a table for a fantastic lunch at Darjeeling express. The food was delicious (and they even gave us boxes to take away our leftovers) and was complemented perfectly by the mango lassis. The service was friendly,...prompt, attentive and relaxed (read non pushy at all) which we really liked (they kept replacing our still and sparkling carafes - no bottles of water here which is great for the planet). The interior is gorgeous too - it was warm and cosy and felt like being in a warmer country (despite the grey and cold weather outside!). We look forward to visiting Darjeeling express again soon.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Dear Jean, Many thanks for your kind review and visiting our little piece of warmth in the winter. See you again soon. Julien Angot General Manager

Reviewed 1 week ago

After watching Chef's Table, my girlfriend and I visited for her birthday dinner. We chose the standard set menu, and decided to get a couple of sides instead of dessert - there were just too many savoury options to choose from. For starters, the chicken...momos were a real standout - very succulent filling and paired beautifully with the green chutney. The papri chaat was lovely too, and would recommend eating each one with one bite - it's like having the ultimate bombay mix. My girlfriend ordered the prawn malaikari for her main dish, which must be the best prawn curry I've ever tried. Incredible flavours with a fairly strong fish taste, and the prawns were cooked perfectly. Otherwise, the kala channa was really satisfying, and we were pleased to have the kachumbar salad as a palate cleanser. The rice was not the most fragrant, but definitely no complaints on the food. I would say it's on the pricey side, but that's to be expected given the restaurant's reputation and location. We did also have a long wait for our mains (which the staff apologised for), but it did not bother us as the restaurant itself was quite relaxing. Perhaps they have not quite settled into the new space, and I sense it is lacking some unique aspect to make it really special. Overall though, I would 100% return just for that prawn dish!More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Dear Zak, Many thanks for this lovely and thorough review. The prawn is a lot of people's favourite (including mine!). We look forward to welcome you back! Julien Angot General Manager

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I was always a skeptic about the class of food of the so called “Indian” restaurants of London. Having lived here in 80s and frequent visitor to London I have had the opportunity of tasting food served at these restaurants a lot. A Bangladeshi, I...get “withdrawal symptoms” if I don’t have desi food for 6/7 days. But this restaurant has been highly rated by critics and many of my friends have thoroughly recommended it. So when we planned this visit we had to seek assistance of friend who used her contacts to get a reservation (none were available for a couple of months). I was looking forward to this visit and my patience was rewarded. It was really five stars. The paratha which most can’t get right was A++, the Lamb with Tomatoes was great with the lamb pieces soft and juicy, the Prawn dish was equally good and service matched the food. This is the best South Asian food I have had at a restaurant in London, ever. Thoroughly recommended. A patient wait for reservation is a requirement but you will be rewarded with a 5* treat and a truly a feast for your taste buds. Thank you Darjeeling Express. May your food get better at express speed and reac even higher hieghts than Darjeeling!More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear visitor, Many thanks for this great and thorough description of your visit. So glad you managed to get a booking with us and had fantastic experience. Kind regards Julien Angot General Manager

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was so excited to eat at DE after watching Chef’s Table. The food was lovely, although a very long wait for our mains. Staff were apologetic, which we appreciated. The interior design is awful however. So cold & uninspired unlike the old space. It’s...cheap & takes from the culinary experience. Some investment should be made.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear guest, Sorry to rad about the delay with your mains. I am quite surprised to read about the comment on the design of the restaurant as we have had many great feedback from Londoners and travellers alike, feeling like they are dining in Asma's...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Oh dear - we went to the Darjeeling express’ old restaurant in Kingley Court twice and were so excited to try the new venue 1. You can only have the set menu or the Thali - so if you’re at a table of 6 you...all have to have the same. You can’t mix and match 2. When we ordered we were told there was a 35 person order wait on the Thalis so to order the set menu 3. We then waited 2.5 hours for our mains, and when we started to ask where they were/complained nothing was really done. We then complained again and asked for a bottle of wine to be taken off the bill which they weren’t too pleased about. 4. The wait staff are really really good and really they were the best thing about this place. Except the manager at the end who was quibbling with me over £5 on the bill after being in there for 4 hours !! He was rude and not understanding Need work on making sure customers are happy instead of just trying to make a profitMore

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Frankie, I can only apologise for this experience you endure when visiting us. I hope you don't mind but i have reached out to you directly via email. Julien Angot General Manager

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Been meaning to come here since first visiting them round the back of Carnaby Street. I admit I adore and admire the concept. This is a clever, fast turnover restaurant - but I don;t mind rapid service if it doesn't hassle you out - and...this doesn't. Easy menu - all set choices. Can;t understand anyone saying small portions, we couldn't finish our dishes, no way. Excellent flavours, spicy enough to hit the target. Not cheap, but representative of the efforts. Decor is reminiscent of eating in a hotel on a tea plantation in India (ok I;m showing off here- but it is..)..it just all feels rightMore

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Ceclie, Many thanks for this kind review of our restaurant. For the sake of people reading reviews (and my responses), our service tends to be fast early on (6-7pm) and staggered more around 8-9pm as the orders build up, as our food is cooked...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Lunch on a Wednesday. We had not booked earlier, and found that we were lucky as we landed up at the opening time. Wednesdays are busy days, and the place was soon filling up. A large restaurant, with minimal decor , well lit. Pleasantly received,...swiftly seated, menus produced. Still and sparkling water is complimentary, a nice touch, as only tap water is free usually in most places. Simple lunch menu, easy to choose. We chose a potato and cashew toastie cake and a vada pav, but were told shortly that the toastie was not available, so decided on the puchka instead. For mains we two decided to share a kala channa with rice , and also ordered one mirch ka salan as a side. The puchkas were well done but mild, would have prefered a bit more of spice, and the vada of the vada pav was very good, like a Alu Bonda, but the pav ridiculously small, and the vada spilling out of it from all sides. Food takes a while to arrive, but the kala channa , the rice and the mirch ka salan were utterly out of this world, this is the best part of the dining experience today. The service is quietly efficient , unobtrusive, but rather slow . The rice was beautifully fluffy and light, the mirch salan rather sweet with a kick of chili and spice, the channa was tomato-ey but delicious. Do note that the quantities of all the dishes are ridiculously small, dont be misled by the description of the item as a "large plate" ..... For dessert we went for a Carrot Halwa and a Koobani ka Meetha the hyderabadi special sweet. The halwa was barely a tablespoon ful. The biggest disappointment was the Koobani ka Meetha which was basically stewed apricots in sugar syrup. The traditional dish should be almost like a fruit compote or jam, this one was miles from it all, and nowhere near what it should look and taste like. I could also barely see any sprinkling of almonds or other nuts. My recommendation : avoid the desserts, and order a lot of food if you are hungry . Starters AND mains are very small portions .More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Arun, Many thanks for this thorough review of your visit. Just to address the portion issue, it seems that this depends on appetite. More often than not, we have to give people take away boxes as they can't finish the food they ordered. The...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Have to caveat my review by saying that, given the circumstances around the pandemic, I’ve not really been out much for many months up to the time of writing, so perhaps my expectations had been higher! Ultimately the Covent Garden postcode will dictate the pricing,...which will largely be lead by the establishment’s rent bill. That said, given what’s on offer, my personal opinion is that it’s on the pricey side, so whilst it was enjoyable, I don’t feel that you’re getting good value. Of course, good value isn’t really what’s top of your agenda when dining in a global tourist hotspot, however as they’re pushing the ‘ethical’ angle, I wouldn’t have expected the menu pricing to be quite as toppy. Clearly if ethics is what your agenda is, you’d opt for a venue location with more modest outgoings! Anyway - to the food… sorry to hark back to price, but again the royal thali, weighing in at £55 a head just seemed to extravagant for a Wednesday night get together with old pals, so we instead opted for the £40p/h set menu. Starter and main choices were interesting and I liked the fact that the food had a regional slant, thus not offering the more ubiquitous ‘Indian’ offerings of tandoori platters etc. Even the humble naan doesn’t make an appearance, with paratha instead being the bread offering. As we didn’t really fancy any of the desserts on offer, we instead opted to each have some sides as part of our three courses. We also had a couple of extra sides (salad, paratha and papadum) - each of which are £5 a pop. Shami kebab was delicious, though would’ve expected three of the small patties (about the diameter of a £2 coin) rather than just the two. I’d always thought the rules of food presentation were not to use even numbers?! Tangra Prawns - delicious, but unsure why these warrant the £3 supplement on a set menu. Momo were also superb - so all in all - starters were delicious. Main courses (Prawn Malaikari, Tamatar Gosht, Shahi Paneer) we’re all a reasonable portion, especially as they’re quite rich. Prawn Makaikari lacked the usual chilli heat of this Bengali classic, so tasted not dissimilar to a Thai style yellow curry. Shahi paneer was as expected, lamb was sumptuous and tender, very moorish indeed! Ran into problems when we noticed a hair in one of our parathas. I don’t mean just on top, but actually baked into it, so obviously a stray from when it was being rolled out. We advised the waiter who obviously apologised, but it took much longer than expected to replace it, by which time we’d almost finished the other food. Now - one would usually expect that after an incident such as that, there’d be some sort of concession made, perhaps the item would be knocked off the bill etc. However, no such gestures were made, and aside from the apology at the time the incident occurred, there was no follow up. Now - aside from 4 beers, 2 Karma Colas abs three masala chais, we’d not had any other drinks. Was therefore a bit of a shock that the bill was just a shade under £200!! A whopping £22 of that constituting service charge! Again - sorry to hark back to price, but let’s just be clear that this place isn’t trying to be fine dining, it’s pitched more as street food. Whilst I appreciate the restaurant ethos is based around ethical sourcing and food production, therefore meaning (in theory) paying staff a decent living wage, I just feel the overall package doesn’t warrant the tag. That’s not to say I wouldn’t return, the masala chai is worth special mention, as it was absolutely delicious!!More

Date of visit: October 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear reviewer, Many thanks for this thorough and honest review of our restaurant. We really value this feedback. All your points on pricing is very fair and provide great information for future customers. Our lunch menu, a la carte might be more appropriate in term...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My friend Jyotika Kapoor-Kalra had interviewed Asma Khan for FICCI FLO Bangalore so I booked the restaurant when she was in London and it turned out to be a smart decision. The food was outstanding. The service excellent. Ambiance just right. We appreciated Asma spending...time with us and want thank Tejeswani, Daisy, Mary-Ann, Monika and the Manger, Julien who recommended an excellent Portuguese wine which complemented our meal perfectly. Look forward to the next time.More

Date of visit: October 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Dear Zahid, Many thanks for taking the time to review after your visit. So glad our team made a difference (and you liked my choice of wine!) Julien Angot General Manager

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Loved the DE experience. The venue is amazing, seating and music all nice, service is good. Waiters had to be reminded to explain the food but they were very pleasant. Starters were delicious - I like my mutton kebab with a bit more texture but...nice to taste a different fine ground mince version. The mains were awesome - no idea how people complain about small portions - I was stuffed. The methi chicken was like all dishes rich in flavour. I can make Indian food at home, go to cheaper restaurants but love to test my taste buds. Love to know which Indian restaurants are better.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Darjeeling Express, Owner at Darjeeling Express, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thanks for visiting us and leaving this honest review. Julien Angot General Manager

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
29 March 2020|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Gulagboy | Reviewed this property |
Yes. Even have a cocktail bar
Bill B
10 November 2019|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from mrmrsgoff | Reviewed this property |
You wouldn’t want to be there more then two hours anyhow as the service is speedy but not at any time do you feel rushed. It’s more of a cafe feel then fine dining therefore even if there is a time limit (which I am not... More
28 October 2019|
Response from Conoso | Reviewed this property |
Hi Zyhtak, I didn’t see a single baby at the time of our visit l, so as far as space, yes they have it and staff friendliness they also have it.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Darjeeling Express

Yes, Darjeeling Express is taking precautions against COVID-19. A full list is available within the "safety precautions" section of this page.

Darjeeling Express is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4