Dar’s Tandoor and Grill

2 Elm Terrace Constantine Rd London NW3 2LL

The food critic Charles Campion got Dar’s spot-on. It would fit right in, he said, if it were in Southall or Wembley, but to find a really good, home-cooking Punjabi restaurant in Hampstead is a bit of a surprise. All the better for us locals, as this is a top class budget restaurant, with very good grilled meats (the tandoor lamb chops are a treat – and you get a big portion for your £7.50), nicely-done onion bhajis (£3 for 4) and samosas (£2.50 a pair), and highly credible prathas and nan breads. That would make a very good meal – but it’s only for starters. Dar’s also does some excellent karahi curries, with lamb or chicken on the bone (£7.50) and some unusual chef’s specials at weekends (or if you order ahead) such as eight-hour slow-cooked lamb paya (£9) or the ginger- and lime-marinated lamb nehari (£10). Dar’s is a family-run place, the family in question driven on by Majek, who looks determined that nobody will leave without eating their fill. Oh – and it’s unlicensed (they do excellent mango lassis) but there is a Turkish grocer’s right next door with a good selection of beer and wine. All in all, a terrific addition to the Hampstead restaurant scene, and a distinct cut above its local curryhouse rivals.

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