LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Lahore Karahi review image
8.0

Lahore Karahi

££££

1 Tooting High St, Tooting
Earn 3X Points

Some days we search for a dining room full of mirrors that’ll have us posting on IG Stories within three minutes of being at the table. Other days we crave a fancy eight-course omakase where we’re told where each fish grew up. But most days we just want somewhere dependable—a laid-back spot with reliably good food. And it’s exactly what you’ll find at Lahore Karahi, an always lively, never disappointing Pakistani spot in Tooting, which has been open since 1995. You can depend on it for excellent creamy chicken tikka masala karahi, being a place to bring friends when one of them has a new-found obsession with samosa chaat, and for family meals where plates of steaming biryani are passed around and garlic naans are fought over.

The floor to ceiling front windows of this corner spot mean you’ll see mounds of the fragrant biryani in silver trays and servers skirting between tables before stepping foot in the buzzing restaurant. The name, Lahore Karahi, is painted proudly on the front wall, and the warm lighting and comfy leather seats make it a place you’ll happily spend a couple of hours in. Dinner often comes with a side of rowdy groups shouting over each other, which means it probably isn’t the best place to bring a date or try to have a serious catch-up. But it is perfect for somewhere that’ll please most people. Your flexitarian friend can stick to the prawn biryani, while your cousin who says “where’s the meat?” any time a vegetarian dish is presented to them, will appreciate the entire section of the menu dedicated to mutton. 

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

As for what’s good on the lengthy menu of Pakistani and North Indian classics, the clue is in the name of this spot. The karahi dishes are the highlight, from the rich and spicy king prawn karahi to the chicken tikka, and the zingy paneer number—this spot makes a top-notch curry. The kind you’ll actually want to take home in a foil container if there are leftovers. The move is to get the samosas (you’ll want one each), both of the refreshing chaats, a big plate of the satisfying biryani, and a few of those excellent curries. The naan is perfectly good, but we prefer to leave that stomach space for the biryani, and some of the mutton dishes can be a bit hit and miss (cc: overcooked masala lamb chops and dry keema naan).

But the majority of the dishes make up for that and it's a predictable meal in the best way possible. One that consists of scooping and dunking, calling the waiter over for another round of samosas, and being pleasantly surprised when the bill comes to around £20 a head.

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Food Rundown

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Vegetable Samosa

We like our samosas chunky, with crispy, thick pastry and a comforting potato and vegetable filling that we’d happily burn the top of our mouths on. This one ticks all of those boxes.

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Papri Chaat

Refreshing and wholesome, this medley of chickpeas, potatoes, pakoris, yoghurt, and a spicy chutney is an excellent version of the North Indian street food snack.

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Samosa Chaat

Even if you ordered the samosa, you won’t regret ordering this as well. Crunchy samosas are broken up and topped with spicy chickpeas, yoghurt, and chutney—it’s part warm, part cool, and completely addictive.

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Chicken Tikka Masala

Thinner than your average tikka masala, this creamy curry is silky smooth and light, which makes it the perfect companion to a biryani. The king prawn version is also a winner.

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Chicken Biryani

A fragrant, satisfying plate of rice that goes just as well with the chicken tikka masala curry as it does alone. Don’t trust anyone who tries to order plain steamed rice at Lahore Karahi.

Lahore Karahi review image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Shami Kebab

You know when people say it “falls apart”, when really it was just kind of soft? This kebab is actually so tender, all that’s needed is a slight nudge from a fork to split one. The patties are made with beef and chana dal, and are a great meaty addition to your spread.

Masala Lamb Chops

These are a little too chewy for our liking, and the masala sauce they’re served in is a meaty slap in the face. We’d steer clear of this.

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