Indian cuisine: it’s one of the most diverse you are likely to find anywhere. Over the last few years, Shenzhen has become home to more and more good-quality Indian restaurants. Whether you like searingly hot lamb vindaloos, or mild fragrant kormas; southern Indian style prawn curries or delicious vegetable and lentil dishes, Indian restaurants in Shenzhen are striving to cater to the demanding and disparate tastes of expats and Chinese alike.
If, like me, you are from the UK, Indian cuisine will probably have been an integral part of your upbringing. By my own shocking admission, when I moved to China a few years ago I was actually worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a decent Indian curry out here. To my pleasant surprise I have found that not only are there some fantastic establishments throughout the city, but also they are run and owned by Indian families ensuring that the food you get on your plate is as authentic as possible.
Shenzhen has a steadily growing number of Indian restaurants, including the northern and southern styles of cooking, and it is even possible to get Nepalese food, a style that includes some fantastic vegetarian dishes. These establishments can be found in the three main areas where expats are likely to live; Nanshan, Futian and Luohou. As with all non-Chinese cuisine in China, eating out can be a relatively expensive experience, but none of the restaurants listed below are astronomical and generally offer good value for money.
1) Bombay Indian CuisineView In Map
Claiming to be the first Indian restaurant in Shenzhen, Bombay Indian Cuisine has everything you would expect from an authentic Indian eatery, including a bar replete with hookahs and gaudy Bollywood music videos on the wall-mounted TV. The food here is simple no-nonsense North and South Indian fare, with delicious hard-to-find haryaly chicken, a tandoori dish made with mint so the chicken has a delicate green colour. This place seems to be popular with Chinese diners.
Add: Shop 116, Seaworld, Taizi Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2667 6049
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-00:00
Price: Average 45 RMB per dish
2) Spice CircleView In Map
This relatively new but award-winning restaurant takes the business of North Indian food very seriously. With a branch in Luohou and one in Shekou, they are ideally situated so that the majority of expats are within reach. As soon as you enter you can see that the owners have paid great attention to detail, firstly with the décor and secondly with the expansive menu. As well as the usual curries and dishes you would expect like rogan josh and chicken tikka masala, look out for their delicious mushroom soup or their signature lamb biryani.
Add: Behind theTaizi Hotel, 5 Taizi Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8220 2129
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-14:30, 18:00-23:00
Price: Average 50 RMB per dish
See website for information on other branches in Shenzhen
3) Taj Mahal View In Map
Only open since early 2010, this establishment is rapidly gaining popularity amongst local Indian residents in Shekou, as was evident during the recent Cricket World Cup, when the outside tables were full of people eating and watching the games. According to Mr Shuresh, one of the owners, popular dishes include the lamb rogan josh and chicken korma, and he is particularly proud of his selection of authentic garlic and olive naan and roti breads.
Add: Shop 115, Seaworld, Taizi Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2683 1777
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-14:00, 17:00-23:00
Price: Average 48 RMB per dish
4) 1947View In Map
Hidden away inside an office block in busy downtown Shenzhen, this family-run restaurant offers a simple yet excellently chosen menu that highlights the most popular in northern and southern Indian cuisine. The friendly Indian staff are really helpful in explaining different types of dishes on offer, but I would seriously recommend the delicately scented but greedily delicious prawn masala, especially when eaten in combination with a home-made garlic naan. 1947 also stock Kingfisher beer, imported from India and an essential accompaniment to any curry.
Add: 1/f, Shenzhen Development Centre, Renminnan Lu, Louhou District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8228 1808
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-15:00, 17:30-23:30
Price: Average 40 RMB per dish
5) Little IndiaView In Map
The newest Indian restaurant in Shenzhen, Little India is a welcome addition to the south Asian gastronomic scene in the city. Owned by Pramood, a very hospitable and enthusiastic host, the menu combines the cuisines of northern India and Nepal. Traditionally vegetarian, Nepalese food has a strong emphasis on delicious vegetable dishes such as yellow dal, a lentil dish flavoured with dried chilies and fresh coriander from Nepal, served here and best eaten with a few slices of homemade roti bread. According to my research, Little India also serves the hottest authentic chicken or lamb vindaloo in Shenzhen, but you can ask the chef to taper it to your tastes.
Add: B-18B, Coco Park, Fuhua Sanlu, Futian District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0775 8317 4827
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs, 10:00-23:00; Fri-Sat, 10:00-03:00
Price: Average 45 RMB per dish
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Keywords: Indian restaurants Shenzhen Indian cuisine Shenzhen Shenzhen Indian food best Indian food Shenzhen
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