The Great Indian Restaurants of Suzhou

The Great Indian Restaurants of Suzhou

Indian cuisine can be a transcendental experience, and not just because spicy food is an aphrodisiac – though that helps. Also, it’s transcendental not only because Indian cuisine ranks amongst the best and most revered cuisines in the world, often creating grumbling, drone-like creatures out of otherwise normal human beings, who scurry from Indian joint to Indian joint for a fix.  It’s the entirety of the whole experience, which is not like much else.

It’s the ambiance and the typical Indian restaurant’s soft glow, with its supple exoticism, often tenderly lighted by lamps opening like lotuses, spread with plush couches, smudged with shades of gold and crimson, popping with paintings of elephants and belly-dancers. It’s the air pasted with the smell of curries and sizzling tandoori chicken and cardamom. It’s your body guiding you through the doors of a place that coaxes you into relaxation and amity, where you’re free to eat, drink and chat for timeless hours. . . Though I could just be obsessed with Indian food.

Either way, I know there are tons of people like me out there who are, more or less, addicted. And for all those Indian lovers, here are a few great places in Suzhou to get your fill and more. All are priced similarly, though  each venue is slightly different, depending on what you want from a night out.

1) Indian at the CrossView In Map
If you’re looking for consistently great food, decent prices, a huge menu and a very friendly wait staff, then this is one of the best eateries in Suzhou. With sinking couches and tables spaced far enough for a quiet seclusion with family or friends, it’s easy to stay for a while. Happy hour runs from 17:00 to 19:00 Monday through Friday, and 12:00 to 19:00 on Saturday and Sunday, and includes buy-one-get-one Carlsberg and assorted cocktails.

Their menu features all the favourites from northern India, as well as a wide variety of southern dishes. Also, there’s an extensive vegetarian menu, as well as tons of appetizers, breads, various types of rice and lots of delicious deserts. For those who love spicy food, try the chicken vindaloo, one of the best (and spiciest) vindaloos I’ve had in China.  For those without an inkling for spicy, try the kurma, a thick cashew, butter, coconut milk curry, that goes great with the paneer cheese. For appetizers, try the samosas, the masala papadum, or one of the savoury soups.

Two of these Indian havens can be found in Suzhou, the first in central Suzhou, at the eastern end of Guangqian Lu (walking street), the other down in SIP on Ligongdi, near Scarlet. Check out their website for details.

Add: 71 Luogua Qiao Xiatang (Guangqian Lu), Suzhou
Tel: 0512 65810067

SIP branch:
Add: A9 Ligongdi 1912 (Bar Street Zone), SIP, Suzhou
Tel: 512 62808325

2) Namaste Indian Cuisine View In Map
Namaste’s Sunday brunch is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to try all the Indian foods you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t. From 11:00 to 14:00, for 98 RMB, you’re handed a hefty menu, from which you can select as much of anything you want, beer and soft drinks included. Their tandoori chicken dissolves in your mouth, and the chicken tikka masala is a favourite. If you’ve room for desert, the galub jamun, a fried flour ball in a sweet syrup, renders the perfect ending to a great meal.

Namaste focuses more on northern Indian cuisine, preferring bread and tandoori over tongue-scalding rice dishes. The restaurant is elegant and simple and the environment casual.  They also offer a nice set lunch on weekdays starting at 48 RMB.

Add: A7 Ligongdi 1912 (Bar Street Zone) SIP
Tel: 0512 6272 0616/ 138 1484 7178

3) Ganesh Indian RestaurantView In Map
Suzhou’s wild Indian joint. Always packed, always shaking, Ganesh touts one of Suzhou’s largest import beer menus, with over 100 imports, and a Jazz Bar on premise. Ganesh makes every effort to be different, hoppin’, and forever young, though it sometimes comes off as gaudy and over the top. To start a night out with some Indian and drinks, it’s the place to go, as the drink menu dwarfs the food menu. Like Namaste, the food is primarily northern Indian, and is of consistent quality. Due to the large crowds, service tends to suffer, though with the great location right on Jinji Lake (beautiful from the patio), it’s likely you won’t mind the wait.

Add: Building C3 at Moon Harbor, SIP
Tel: 0512 6956 9808

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