A decent neighbourhood Indian restaurant, Taj Mahal offers enough to keep the locals happy.
Taj Mahal doesn’t look like much from the outside – a bold blue and yellow sign shows its presence alongside a picture of the Taj Mahal. See what they did there? Otherwise, the frontage is made up almost exclusively of windows. Inside, however, the restaurant is quite pretty. A blue and white colour scheme is well put together with tables decorated with pristine white tablecloths and gleaming glass and silverware. A chandelier overhead finishes off the look.
Taj Mahal definitely has the feel of a neighbourhood Indian restaurant. Attracting mainly locals – be they couples, families or groups of friends – the staff are welcoming and obviously rely on repeat business. The wait times for food is minimal but you’re not rushed in and out. Taj Mahal works as both a place for a quick bite or for a long evening sampling more Indian dishes than is probably good for you.
It may not be the best Indian food in London, but as far as local eateries go it makes for good value for money. The menu is very simple – meat rogan josh, anyone? Who cares what meat? Old favourites are at a good enough level given the prices, with main dishes well under £5. The onion bhaji, for example, is just £1.70 and is well spiced with a nice crunchy texture with a floury undertone and pleasant hit of coriander. The chicken madras will keep those who enjoy very hot dishes happy with so much chilli it will very nearly blow your head off. However, the sauce is rich and very well spiced, and if you’re not a fan of overly hot curries you can ask for the heat to be taken down a notch. The chicken korma, alternatively, is light on heat with a rich, creamy flavour with a flavour of coconut that lingers in the mouth. Anyone that like reams of genuine or original Indian dishes will be disappointed but for people who just like a simple, straightforward Anglicised Indian curry house then Taj Mahal gets the job done.
Coke, diet coke, lemonade, mineral water... you get the picture. All priced at just under £2 a bottle, drink certainly comes second here. You can bring your own bottle, though.
The Last Word
It's not exactly the Tayyabs of Streatham - you won’t find people from all over the capital clamouring to get into Taj Mahal. However, for locals it’s a fine option for a no-fuss, cheap curry.