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REVIEW: Hankies, Leicester Square

REVIEW: Hankies, Leicester Square

WHAT? Authentic Indian curries, grill dishes and marinades mopped up with classic Indian roti – hand-spun flatbreads cooked on a burning hot roomali tawa, then folded into ‘hankies’, the restaurant’s namesake.

WHERE: An almost baffling location for a genuinely good restaurant, Londoners won’t often head to the neon signage of Shaftesbury Avenue for a memorable meal. But Hankies offers a short menu of truly great Indian dishes and strong cocktails, served tapas-style by smiley waiters – if you’re looking to pop in for a cheap bite and some beers, this should be your stop off.

BEST DISH: Begin with one or two portions of roomali. Beautifully soft, they’re perfect for wrapping up grilled meats or dipping in spicy sauces and signature chutneys. The Chicken Achar – a jaggery chutney studded with chicken, mixed spices and curry leaves – makes an excellent little starter, followed by a portion of the moreish egg and crab gotola (£7.50). This is a type of egg ‘masala’, a dry curry mixed with spicy crab, perfect alongside a cocktail (at around a fiver, have two). 

From the grill, try the chive and garlic prawns (£6.50) or a pumpkin paneer tikka (£4), cooled with the aubergine raita as a side dish. Each would stand up perfectly on their own, but scoffed down DIY sandwich-style, they’re fun too.

GOOD TO KNOW: Reservations aren’t possible, which is the only downside to this little gem – Shaftesbury Avenue’s throngs of tourists should ensure the place is never empty, which is bad luck for locals in the know.


Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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