Due to a mix-up about dates, we discovered that Babur could only take our booking at 6.15pm in the evening. This is somewhat earlier than I normally like to eat, but I was assured that the experience would be worthwhile. In fact by 6.30, the place was completely full. Most Indian restaurants would give anything to be this popular. So even before I had anything to eat, I realised that they must be doing something right.
You could easily walk past Babur without noticing its presence. The narrow frontage belies what’s inside. Tardis-like it is actually quite a big restaurant, stretching far back from the road.
I was also struck by the fact that the staff comprised a roughly equal mix of male and female waiters. This is welcome, as most Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani restaurants seem to have all-male employees.
The menu is not the usual cut-and-paste Indian fare. Starters included Carb Bonda (dumplings), Goat Shoulder Tikka and Beetroot Cutlet. Our mains were slightly more familiar, including Chicken Chettinad, Coastal Mutton Masala and Chicken Lababdar — the latter being referred to by everyone at our table as Chicken Labrador (in fact it’s a variant of Chicken Tikka Masala).
The food was very tasty, and portions were good. The service was very efficient — if anything a little too fast; this is probably not a place where you can linger for hours over an extended feast.
But I was very encouraged by my first visit, and definitely intend to return.