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Asma Said Khan’s Darjeeling Express: True Indian Food

Great news to celebrate 2017’s cultural exchange between the UK and India: Asma Said Khan will open her first Darjeeling Express permanently on iconic Carnaby Street this June. SEEN is very much looking forward to tasting the best home-made Indian food in London at her new restaurant in Kingly Court, where self-taught cook Asma Khan will be replicating the old “daawat”, or feast, which was part of the tradition of India’s royal kitchens.


When Asma moved to London back in 1991, she could not cook at all. Two years later, she travelled back to India to spend time in her ancestral kitchens. Over time, she mastered recipes that had been in her family for generations and fell in love with her culinary heritage. She brought these traditional dishes to London keen to share it with others. Instead, she started studying law at King’s College London and finished her doctorate in British constitutional law in 2012. It was then Khan decided to turn her cooking skills and passion for Indian food into a life of working 24/7, hosting her first supper club out of her home in West London in August 2012. But it was her pop-up at Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho that brought Asma to the fore of the Indian food scene in London.



Asma’s food, straight out of the Nawabi/Mughal school of cuisine, but with her own modern twist, is authentic Indian food, home-made, finely spiced and exquisite in taste. It encompasses the traditions of royal kitchens as well as those from the Rajput population of Uttar Pradesh and Bengali recipes from Calcutta, where Asma was born and brought up, plus other family input from Hyderabad.


The 56 cover restaurant will feature an open kitchen run entirely by women. Most of these women began as part-time assistants to Asma and have stayed with her over the years, and the success of Darjeeling Express has been built on this foundation of female empowerment. Asma and her team believe in the ability of women to dream big and achieve their goals in a supportive community.


Staying true to its roots, once operational, a percentage of the profits from Asma Said Khan’s Darjeeling Express will go towards supporting the education of girls in a village in the Darjeeling District in the Bengal. An excellent social enterprise that only adds to the enjoyment of the food. Stay tuned to learn more on this new true Indian food restaurant by Asma closer to the opening date, planned for this June. SEEN is definitely looking forward to it.

Darjeeling Express
Kingly Court,
Carnaby Street,
London W1B 5PW