The Empress

4.5
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371 reviews
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£25 and under
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Indian
The best Indian restaurant in the East End? So say The Empress’ loyal following. What we do know is that the quality of service and cooking has been consistently excellent since the Islam family opened their multi-award-winning venture in 1993. That the quality of dishes never falters despite an astonishingly diverse and big menu hints at the kitchen’s expertise. Persian, korai, balti, biryiani, North Indian, tandoori, shellfish – whatever kind of Indian meal you’re after, you’ll get it here. If you try only one of the chef’s specials, make it the lamb rajshai (a medium dish with with baby mangoes). A genuinely welcome from a superb staff and an unique décor of traditional hand-crafted wooden artefacts complete the worthy picture.The Empress has won prestigious awards such as: Top Indian restaurant in the dockland and east London area Top chef and waiter and family Indian restaurant award in the docklands and East London.
What 371 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
vipLunchy
London
34 reviews
Dined on 19 December 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent flavoursome curry

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 7 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another fantastic meal in one of the best Indian restaurants. Well worth a trip

j
jrbath
Bath
34 reviews
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Well cooked, interesting variety, pleasant and attentive service, decent prices for London

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 23 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another excellent meal at this hidden gem. The food just keeps getting better everytime. It's amazing value for money considering it's in London. Well worth seeking out , you wont be disappointed.

D
Daniel
London
6 reviews
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I have been to the Empress some years ago and it was great then. It has improved since then and will be coming more often as the food is amazing and the staff are great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
5 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really nice little restaurant with very helpful staff and excellent food.

GG
vipGGYum
London
23 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Friendly and helpful staff. Wide range of dishes to choose from and great recommendations from the staff
Meal was tasty

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, excellent staff, great prices.

JS
JamesS
Perthshire
3 reviews
Dined on 24 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious main course and dessert for us both - I just wish I’d had room for one of the tempting starter offerings too!
Friendly and helpful staff too, talking my wife (less experienced with Indian food) through the options to make sure she’d get a curry she’d enjoy, of the right spice level.

PJ
vipPJEfoodie
Essex
102 reviews
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Good food, with some out of the ordinary options and friendly staff willing to explain unknown dishes. Food was excellent, with depth of flavour not normally encountered at this level. Prices not bad for London and the popularity was testament to the service and quality. We’ll definitely go back when next in the area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s my favourite curry house in London. Enough said.

o
vipokaycustomer
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Loved it, whole family loved it, highly recommend, will not disappoint. Not like the best meal ever but a very good offering from an Indian restaurant of quality. Had a dirty menu but I must say everything else was on point. Super nice and attentive and flexible wait staff. Go already!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Savannah
3 reviews
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Went here after the rave reviews I had read about it, and wanted to take a friend who had recently moved to London and was keen for a curry.

It wasn’t bad, don’t get be wrong. But nothing to get overly excited about . Food was okay but not amazing: not so say I wouldn’t go back, would just try somewhere else first. Service was great though, and couldn’t be faulted.

NK
NatalieK
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 23 February 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great friendly service, good food- very spicy and tasty

M
Marion
London
11 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Friendly and attentive staff as well as a good selection of different and tasty dishes makes this small Indian restaurant stand out. This was my first but by no means my last visit.

TG
TheGermanFamily
London
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolut empfehlenswert. Sehr sehr freundliche Bedienung, gute Beratung, das Essen war ausgezeichnet. Für London moderate Preise.

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KS
KevinS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 29 December 2018
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Great food, brilliant service, these cold nights they need to sort out the door

m
martini
London
26 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The food and service was good. My chicken was a bit dry but the food looked very authentic.

K
vipKoonsma
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on 2 September 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to the Empress many many time for fun and business. Their food is amazing and so are the staff. Highly recommend especially as an alternative to Brick Lane that cater more to tourists.

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent and great value. the owners are always very friendly and engaging. A very pleasant environment.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Absolutely delicious!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on 6 June 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were visiting from the U.S., and were eager to try an Indian restaurant, as we had heard they were excellent in London. The Empress certainly exceeded our expectations. As we had difficulty deciding what to order, we shared several dishes, family style. Everything was delicious! The chicken was wonderfully tender, the sauces and spices were excellent, and the service was lovely. Even our younger son, who can be a bit fussy, really enjoyed his meal. About a 10 minute walk from the Tower Hill underground. So happy we elected to go here!

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 5 May 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of the best Indian restaurants in London, the food is authentic and always amazing. For London it is very reasonably priced a must for any curry lover, a hidden gem. as its off the tourist routes its quite cozy although it is getting busier now with its reputation spreading and all the new developments in the area. Best to book at weekends.

c
calebandolive
London
2 reviews
Dined on 27 February 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience3

we were visiting The Empress before going to a performance at Wilton's Music Hall. We had a lovely meal with friendly efficient service - would definitely return!

H
Healymonster
London
2 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An EXCELLENT CHOICE!

Great service. Good value. An excellent menu that the waiting staff are happy to talk you through and recommend from. There are some interesting specials on the menu that are worth a try.

R
Rajan
London
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2017
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Working in the city .. my main reservation about this place is that it is off the beaten track and quite a distance from the main hub of the city. Staff were attentive but we were there pretty early. Food wise - mango chutney was like a liquid sauce - poor and not enough onion salad. Naan`s were very small to be honest compared with other Indian restaurants. Main dishes were very good to be fair and over all if the location were better it`s a place I`d visit perhaps again. Staff were v friendly and couldn`t be faulted. Over all I`ve given it a 3 star. Had these small issues been different it would have got a 4 star for sure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2017
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Good food but the wait was too long for the food.

B
vipBoccuzzi
London
80 reviews
Dined on 17 September 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The waiter could not have been more helpful and very friendly. There were two vegans in the party and he was very knowledgable and made good suggestions. The food was very good.

J
J9bunn
London
2 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2017
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Very few customers in the restaurant on a Sunday evening. However the restaurant also offers a takeaway service and when members of the public are waiting for their food they just sit at dining tables in the restaurant talking to staff which totally ruins the restaurant experience. A takeaway service should be kept separate to the restaurant element. The food we had was nice although service was very poor, probably because they were busy talking to the the takeaway customers. We had to remind them of our wine order otherwise it wouldn't have arrived.
We wouldn't recommend this restaurant and will not be returning as there are much nicer restaurants with much better service and ambience.

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a great Indian restaurant , slightly off the normal tourist route but an absolute gem. Food is brilliant, service excellent and small enough to have a kind of private intimacy. Well worth the ten minute walk fro the tube stations . There is nothing on Brick Lane to compare to the Empress.

SS
StuartS
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food excellent service excellent restaurant

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R
vipRick
London
26 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Popped in to the Oliver Conquest gin bar earlier with friends and then walked down to The Empress for a meal afterwards. Service was good and the quality of Indian excellent. Offered the chill vodka shots afterwards fun to try but handle with care. Would definitely return.

S
Seagull5
Brighton
28 reviews
Dined on 20 April 2017
Overall3food3service3ambience3

As a group we have been here before several times and never had a problem. However this will be our last visit here as three of the six people attending suffered from severe and prolonged intestinal problems throughout the following day. All three had the lamb chop starter which looked good and tasted good and this is likely to have been the cause of the problem as the three people afflicted had different main courses.

Also when we paid the bill we normally get offered a complimentary drink on the house but, after I asked, I was the only one offered a drink as opposed to everyone - a strange decision.
Thanks for the good times and goodbye.

m
matboes
London
1 review
Dined on 19 April 2017
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Super Essen. Nette Bedienung. Die Tandooris super. Die Pfannen waren aber so heiß und rauchten derart, dass eigentlich der Rauchmelder Alarm hätte geben müssen.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 29 January 2017
Overall5food5service2ambience3

Wonderful food. Service could be better. Had to wait quite long to get the bill.

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 21 January 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As Excellent as ever, it was the first time my friend had been to the Empress and it was as good as I had said it would be. A Hidden gem and a must for any curry fanatic.

BG
BryanG
London
5 reviews
Dined on 30 December 2016
Overall2food3service3ambience1

We were surprised that the restaurant was so highly rated. The ambiance was poor due to loud Elvis music playing and a large party in the restaurant yelling and singing and staff did nothing to intervene. Having a conversation our table was not possible. Food was average. Service was fast, given the place was nearly empty at 1930 on a Friday night. Overall a disappointing experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 27 December 2016
Overall3food5service1ambience1

The food was exceptional. Everything else was either bad or comically inept. Waiters did not know what was on the menu and forgot orders. I say waiters because three different people alternated randomly. In the middle of dinner, kitchen staff carried garbage out through the dining room. Again great food but takeout is mandatory unless you like dinner comedy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience to spend xmas in London

HF
HFB28
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brilliant food , one of London's undiscovered gems and very reasonably priced too. A must for any lover of Indian cusine.

FAQs

The Empress does offer delivery in partnership with Deliveroo.

The Empress is rated 4.5 stars by 371 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.