CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

India Dining, 6 The Green, Warlingham CR6 9NA - restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 00:11 01 February 2016 | UPDATED: 20:49 04 February 2016

You never know who's watching over you

You never know who's watching over you


The accolades have been coming in thick and fast for Warlingham’s India Dining, with the latest seeing it awarded two AA rosettes. Matthew Williams visits this fine-dining Indian restaurant

The restaurant's stylish interior makes for a relaxing eveningThe restaurant's stylish interior makes for a relaxing evening

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2016


India Dining

6 The Green, Warlingham CR6 9NA

Tel: 01883 625 905


What we ate

Tasting menu

£39.95 per person


Large glass of Malbec, Finca de Origen, Argentina, £7.75

Large glass of Cape Mountain Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa, £7.50


REVIEW: Having long been intrigued by what we were hearing from a little corner of Warlingham, interest in a visit to India Dining was piqued when it became a two AA rosette establishment. As long-term Surrey Life readers will be well aware, the embracing of fine dining in our county’s Indian restaurants is nothing new, but there’s definitely a heat around this village eatery at the moment.

Having first opened its doors back in 2003, India Dining is the brainchild of restaurateur Asad Khan, one of the original team who launched London’s renowned Cinnamon Club.

“Central London has more Indian fine dining restaurants than Delhi, but try finding one south of Wimbledon,” he says. “They are few and far between.”

Found just off Warlingham’s village green, the unassuming exterior of this particular restaurant belies 
a classy and relaxed interior.

Pop art adorns the walls (characters from Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction movie watch over), lights fall from the ceiling like stars, there’s a cocktail bar that we’re unfortunately unable to make the most of on our visit (the babysitter being back at home waiting…) and the seating is comfortable and well-spaced.

We arrive early on a quiet midweek evening, and are greeted by the affable manager Tony Sebastian with a warm welcome from the throes of winter outside.

Having ordered a couple of glasses, we browse the menu – and it immediately becomes clear this isn’t just any old Indian restaurant, with each dish as tempting as the next.

Tantalising flavours

While the tandoori-roasted rump and slow-cooked 
Welsh lamb shank certainly tempt, they’ll have to wait 
for our next visit as we decide to dive into the tasting menu to experience India Dining style with a slightly broader brush.

We’re on familiar ground though at this early juncture, as a poppadom basket is delivered with home-made chutneys. This isn’t a throwaway dish, however, as it can be in less salubrious surrounds. And conversation warms as we break our ‘bread’ and sip our vino.

When the starters arrive, it reaffirms that this really is not your average High Street curry house. The tandoori pepper chicken tikka, marinated in cardamom and cream, and the home-smoked tandoori salmon, in a mustard and chilli marinade, are both beautifully spiced, succulent pieces of meat. Neatly presented on a single dish with a punch-packing north Indian- style lamb sheek kebab in chilli and coriander, they each showcase the chefs’ mastery of flavour.

The AA inspectors described this place as a “classy thoroughbred” with an “intelligent” menu on their latest review, and you can certainly see where they’re coming from. We’re told that all of the restaurant’s chefs trained at five-star hotels in India.

In another break from tradition, our taste buds are then brought back to earth with a delicate lemon sorbet. Unexpected, but a pleasant break in-between such bold flavours.

As the main courses arrive, ready for sharing from little white bowls, the aromas that waft from each take you on a journey to a place where the trees aren’t creaking under chilly winds outdoors.

From the Delhi-style chicken tikka morsels in a creamed tomato and fenugreek emulsion to the Rajaastani-style, firey-hot lamb curry to the tiger prawns in a moilee sauce (consisting of coconut, lemon and a hint of chilli), each offers an individual take on well-known dishes. The first two are deep and powerful, while the latter is a fresh and light dream that manages not to get lost against its heavy-hitting cousins.

Accompanied by a delicious coriander-infused mashed potato, saffron rice and an assorted 
naan basket containing easily the best variants 
of the breads I’ve ever tasted, this is a relaxed feast that encourages table talk. As we chat, we notice the restaurant moves from quiet to bustling and yet the noise levels even then allow for an easy chatter.

Normally, I don’t take a second glance at dessert menus at Indian restaurants, more from habit than lack of interest to be honest, but the tasting menu included home-made Gulab Jamun (a traditional favourite that has a little treacle sponge about it), coconut ice cream (they are supplied by St Joan’s in Leigh) and passion fruit crème brûlée, all served aligned on one dish.

Before visiting India Dining, I’d wondered if there was any way that it could possibly live up to the current hype but strangely, having been, this still feels like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. We’ve eaten at a fair few exotic restaurants over the years in these pages, and this one holds its head among the best. The real skill is that with all the tweaks and refinements here, there’s nothing intimidating: this restaurant’s success comes from cooking great ingredients exceptionally well with a mastery of spice. As winter warmers come, it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.


3 more great Surrey curry houses

Le Raj

Nowadays, Indian cuisine sits comfortably alongside the finest dining in the UK foodie guides – and it’s fair to say Le Raj had a hand in this since opening nearly 30 years ago.

• 211a Fir Tree Road, Epsom KT17 3LB Tel: 01737 37137

No 7 Temple

They aren’t scared of trying something different at this Weybridge Indian. Expect sleek, classy lines and food and drink to match.

• 7 Temple Market, Queens Road, Weybridge KT13 9DL Tel: 01932 849847

Gurkha Kitchen

Over the years, the curries at this Nepalese have drawn plaudits from everyday diners to the likes of Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star.

• 111 Station Road East, Oxted RH8 0AX Tel: 01883 722621


• Share your Surrey restaurant tips with us by e-mailing


More from Surrey Life


The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Yesterday, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search