A great example of one of those London establishments that seems to have been around forever, Halal Restaurant is the oldest Indian eatery in East London, founded in 1939 and still going strong.

meat biryani with vegetable curry from Halal Restaurant

meat biryani with vegetable curry from Halal Restaurant

They've been in the same Grade II listed building for over 70 years, and they've managed to stay there thanks to the popularity of their good food, generous portions, reasonable prices, and friendly staff.

They get pretty busy with local office crowds at lunch, with weekends being quieter than weekdays. Take away is a popular option, but it's a big restaurant so there's lots of room to sit.

We were told on good authority from a food friend who lives close by, that the thing to get is their meat biryani, which also comes with a side of vegetable curry.

A big plate of turmeric-stained fragrant rice concealing a mound of tender meat in flavoursome gravy, topped with crispy onions and fresh coriander. And that vegetable curry was tasty too. Hugely satisfying, lots of flavour, and not oily or buttery as so many Indian restaurants often are. This is a cracking find.

Note: This meal actually comes to £8.25 if you're eating in, but what's 25p between friends. Also, this restaurant is halal, in case you hadn't guessed.

Words and photography | Leyla Kazim

2 St. Mark Street E1 8DJ

Opening hours
Mon - Fri | 12pm - 11.30pm
Sat - Sun | 12pm - 10.30pm

Website |

Tel | +44 (0) 20 7481 1700

Last updated | 21st May 2016