Historical version 13 of Babur, SE23 1JP
- 020 8291 2400
- 119 Brockley Rise, SE23 1JP
- Mon-Sat: noon-2:30pm, 6pm-11:30pm; Sun: noon-4pm, 6pm-11:30pm
Modern Indian restaurant in Forest Hill.
Entry is into a lobby with a bench along one wall for people waiting for tables or takeaways, with a small tray of nibbles set alongside. Further in, a long, narrow, dimly-lit space stretches back alongside a enclosed bar with modern woodwork cut-outs and concealed lighting. This opens out at the back into a wider space with a skylight.
Walls are exposed brickwork with abstract art hung here and there. The metal ducting running the length of the room just beneath the ceiling is a slightly odd design note — possibly intended to mesh with the brickwork, but it's not clear that it really works.
When bob, Flick, and Mike visited on a Thursday night in July 2007, the restaurant was full. The food was very good and very well presented. A particular highlight was the beetroot samosas for dessert.
Kake visited on a Thursday evening in September 2018. Arriving at their opening time of 6pm, I was the first customer of the evening, but they still had to check their booking sheet to make sure I could have a table, and by 6:30pm there were about a dozen people in, with more continuing to arrive. Chill-out music was playing, not too loud.
I decided to just have a main course: baby aubergines stuffed with spinach and paneer, served with peanut sauce and a semolina cake (£15.75) photo. The flavours were a little indistinct, and aside from a few slightly unpleasant semi-raw peanuts and some rather incongruous cress, it was all quite soft, and I wished for a bit more texture. I initially thought the carbohydrate component looked a little small, but actually it turned out to be nicely balanced.
Service was efficient, and tap water arrived in a jug with ice. No service charge was added to the bill.
They deliver within a 2 mile radius, and you can order online via their website. The takeaway menu is different from the eat-in menu. They have a buffet available at Sunday lunchtimes.
Kake's verdict: I wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped to be, but I'd be willing to give it another go.
Accessibility: No steps to get in, but the toilets are up a flight of stairs with a bend and a handrail on one side.
- Photo of the menu as of September 2018
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