North London just got a new royal family.
The Tamil Crown is the shiny new sibling to the excellent Tamil Prince (and presumably to be followed by The Tamil Younger Sibling Who Didn’t Even Want To Be Invited To Christmas, Actually).
You’ll find it tucked away on a leafy, canal-side Islington street that could easily be a set from a period drama. It may be the younger of the two, but it’s a lot bigger than the Prince – the handsome two-floor space is all dark polished woods, gilded mirrors, and walls with burgundy wainscoting, giving it a vibe of nostalgic elegance.
The menu is a reassuringly short, with just a dozen or so items in total, but they’ve paid the due attention to each, to make sure they’re as good as they can make them. Thus things start off with light & crispy onion bhajis (that seem to have sidestepped the usual oily fate of their street-food cousins) served with a zingy mint sauce, as well as some fragrant lime leaf-roasted chicken & pineapple chutney.
Then the mains include the likes of a creamy coconut prawn moilee that’s the culinary equivalent of a warm hug, a beautifully spiced whole crab masala, and robata lamb chops that are the epitome of ‘melt in your mouth’… but, fair warning, are priced as if they’re laced with gold leaf. Oh, and you have to order one of their rotis, they’re listed on the menu as ‘buttery & flaky’, and there’s no word of a lie there, they’re absolutely wonderful.
The cocktail menu has a similarly short-but-sweet-but-beautifully-made energy too, with a dozen drinks including the Gunpowder Margarita (with chilli & Tamil spice mix), the Charcoal Old Fashioned (with smoked whiskey), and an espresso martini made with black cardomom.
Chai one on for size.
NOTE: The Tamil Crown is open now, seven days. week. You can find out more, and book a table at their website right here.
The Tamils Crown | 16 Elia St, London N1 8DE
Like dining locally? Check out our pick of Islington’s best restaurants