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Hankies Restaurant

I have always loved Indian food and throughout my life eaten a range of different types at restaurants and at peoples homes.  I am always keen to trying new dishes and was extremely excited about a recent visit to a restaurant called Hankies on Shaftsbury Avenue in London.  Hankies is an Indian street food restaurant.  They serve Indian tapas (small plates) and specialise in Roomali roti and Indian flatbread.  You can see the head chef Manoj Kumar making them at the front of the restaurant so they are nice and fresh for diners.  These roti are great as you can use them to scoop up juices and trust me you are not going to want to waste a thing.

Here he is in action just for you guys making Hankies / Roti.


On arriving at the restaurant we were greeted warmly and shown to our table.  The menu was not particularly large but it is a good size to offer enough choice and I noted there were vegetarian options available.  For cocktail lovers you will be in your element, the cocktails are superb.

The Nimbu Pani (non alcoholic) was amazingly refreshing and boasted a wealth of flavours that combined exquisitely well.  The Guava Spritz (alcoholic) was equally delicious and took me back to holidaying in places like the Dominican Republic with the beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear warm sea.  It was reasonably priced at £6 too.  Ladies this is the perfect place for food and a bite with friends as you can see and I haven’t even shown you the food.

I must warn you that you will now be exposing your eyes to some mouthwatering dishes so unless it’s their opening hours and you are located nearby then look away as otherwise you will hate me for teasing you.


Dahi Puri

Crispy puri, yellow peas, potato, sprouts, sweet yogurt tamarind and sev.

Now we were told that it is of the utmost importance to eat these as soon as possible as they are served cold and crispy and are best eaten that way and in time loose their crisp texture.  I grabbed my camera and got snapping as I knew you’d all love to see these beauties.  Wow don’t they look wonderful and the best part is they taste as good as they look.

The crispy outer shell works well and the smooth savoury spiced filling with the peas and potato contrast beautifully with the sweetness from the yogurt and the tamarind.  I loved these and so did my friend, they were fantastic.  I am hoping she will teach me how to make them – how exciting!

Kachori Poppers

Green peas, yogurt, green chilli, mascapone cheese.

These looked good as I saw them on another table and decided we had to try them.  I had also been told as well as the Dahi Puri these were also a popular dish so we were doing well with our selection.  Again a great dish, these had more of a heat kick to them and were packed with flavour.

These are served hot and have a crispy coating which hides within a soft spiced pea and mascapone cheese.  They were extremely tasty with a light crispy coating and soft smooth filling with chunks of peas.  The dip was great too and even without this you have a tasty dish.

Hankies Dal

Traditional black lentil stew.

Lovely and warming this typical Indian dish is perfect to dip those hankies in.  This is mild and tasty and a great comfort dish.  It’s perfect for this season and makes a lovely comfort dish to warm up with after a touch of shopping.  Often these dishes can be oily and you normally see the oil gathering at the top – not with this.  There wasn’t a drop of oil at the top of the dal.


Hankies with mango and basil chutney and chicken chutney.

We of course had to try the roti / hankies with some chutneys too.  The mango chutney was sweet as expected and lovely and the chicken chutney was more savoury and spicy and also yummy.  It had actual chunks of chicken hidden within which I have never seen before.

Chilli Lamb Chops

Marinated in kashmiri chillies, paprika and mustard.

This was in a word “amazing”!  The mix of the spices and the smokey flavour from having been cooked on the grill made this perfect.  I can’t see how this dish could be improved on.  The meat was thick, juicy and tender and didn’t have any fat on it whatsoever and trust me with my x-ray vision and fat detecting instincts (self trained since childhood) I would have found it.  I could have easily stuffed myself silly on these had I known they would be so good.  Served with guacamole and lime which worked incredibly well all I can say is if you eat meat they are a must try!!!  I heard that people try these when they visit and then then immediately order more which is hardly surprising.

Chive and Garlic Prawn

Grilled jumbo prawn with chive and garlic.

The blend of spices combined with the smoky flavour from the grill make this mouth-wateringly good and a squeeze of the lemon provided finishes it nicely.  This is served with a yogurt and cucumber dip (raita) to help cool the palete.  I loved the size of the prawn it was lovely and meaty and another I would strongly recommend.

Fish Tikka

Seabass with spices.

Honestly the list of amazing dishes goes on at this restaurant as this too was gorgeous.  The fish was cooked to perfection and lovely and plump, juicy and beautifully spiced.  Again grilled to give it a smokey flavour this worked well with the raita.  

Chicken Dhaba

Roadside dry chicken curry.

A lovely spicy dish, watch out for the green chillies.  I loved the addition of raw ginger slithers to add heat, crunch and flavour and the addition of the coriander adding it’s freshness to the dish.  The chunks of chicken were tender and tasty.


We were stuffed silly by this point so requested one dessert to share.  The dessert of choice was the Gajarela.  This dish is made with carrots and evaporated milk and is served warm. It was nicely spiced and not excessively sweet.  This would have worked very well with a vanilla ice cream but unfortunately there was not room for any more food in our tummies as were were pretty full at this stage.

served warm

The restaurant size isn’t very large which is such a shame as their food is fantastic and they seem to be quite popular!!!!  Service is fast and efficient.  I was so pleased to see how passionate about food chef Manoj was and how he loved to talk about it as much as I do.  Clearly a kindred spirit this gentleman knows his food you simply need to try it to understand fully how well.  The dishes were all beautifully presented with fresh garnishes and you can see they put a lot of attention into the appearance as well as the flavour of the dishes.  There is a pre theatre and lunch menu available and the chef also informed me that they were also going to have an afternoon tea available which you should be able to try now – I will need to try and find time one day to try this!

Another important thing to note is that you can use your tastecard here to get 50% off and they take walk ins on tastecard which many restaurants don’t do.  This is a Fab Find that’s for sure and I am so pleased I have another restaurant I have tried and know is good to visit to refuel during or after my West End shopping trips.

Which of these dishes tantalises your taste buds the most?

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This Post Has 58 Comments

  1. What an interesting sounding restaurant and some really interesting sounding meals to try. It sounds like the different things they offer are really wonderful to try.

    1. Their food is amazing, well worth visiting!

  2. This all sounds delicious! Chilli lamp chops would be my choice, sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of this restaurant before!

    1. They were really good. I could eat a plate full of them easily, yum!

  3. Oh wow, what delicious looking food. I haven’t heard of Indian tapas before but it’s a cuisine I love so this is right up my street, the cocktails look yummy too!

    1. It is a great way to try a range of dishes.

  4. The food sounds and looks amazing. I didn’t heed your warning, and continued to read, and now, even though it is only 9 something in the morning, I’d happily munch on many of these dishes. They look amazing. Looks like a place certainly worth visiting.

    1. Opsy. I can tell you I would happily eat it for breakfast too. It’s delicious!!!!

  5. I’m not a huge Indian food fan but I know my friend loves it so I’ll need to tell her to check this place out x

    1. This food is street food so different from many other restaurants. It’s got to be tried as the food was fantastic.

  6. I love Indian food as well and love the idea of eating Indian tapas style food – it looks amazing! x

    1. It makes dining more fun when you have small plates as you can try more dishes.

  7. Garlic prawn is one of our favourites! What a funny name for a restaurant – Hankies. We’ll certainly look out for it on our next trip into the city x

    1. I am sure you will love it too. Enjoy x

  8. Oh wow this looks incredible, I really love small plates as I can never decide what to choose from a menu.

    1. Ha same it. It takes me ages sometimes.

  9. WOW! What a place! I love Indian food, the spicier the better for me 🙂 x

  10. This all looks so delicious! I love little nibbly things and Indian “tapas” sounds right up my street.

    1. It’s a great way to try a range of dishes.

  11. The food here looks incredible! the cocktails look very nice too. I will have to go here one day

    1. Everything here was lovely. I am sure you would enjoy it here.

  12. I have to say the food looks amazing! I am a little put off by the name, as all I can think of is handkerchiefs and runny noses.
    However the food looks so damn good I think I would forget that with my first mouthful

    1. Lol, Tanya I know you will love this their food is fantastic.

  13. Indian Tapas is something I would definitely love! The food looks amazing and those cocktails…amazing!

    1. It was all really good. We loved the meal there. I’m hoping to pop in again next time I am in the area.

  14. I absolutely love places like this and the food sounds amazing just wish my hubbie loved different foods as he is a plain Jane food wise x

    1. In that case go with the girls I am sure your friends would love it too 😉

  15. WOW this all looks amazing! What a feast! I’m intrigued by fish tikka, I’ve never had fish that way before!

    1. It was really lovely, so much flavour and perfectly cooked.

  16. I adore Indian food so I’ll need to check this out next time I’m off to the theatre 🙂

    1. That’s a great idea Fran. Enjoy!!!

  17. I never tried Indian tapas yet but I have heard a lot about them. I would love to try it sometime. I also like the prawns. They look so mouth watering! Thanks for your honest review of the restaurant.

    1. Glad you liked it. I have to say their food was amazing!!!!

  18. Hankies looks absolutely delicious, especially as Indian food is my absolute fave! I love the sound of the guava spritz and the desert also looks rather exceptional too!

    1. I know you will love this Ana I did it was full of flavour.

  19. Whoa, it looks as though you had a great time and all of the food looks delicious!

    1. I sure did and can’t wait to go back.

  20. I used to work in an Indian restaurant and I have been travelling three month in India but I have never seen Indian food like that before! So elevated! But the churney served in a glass jar like that looked like my daughters baby food!😂 Ohh I want them all!

    1. The food here is a mix of traditional and also recipes that have been developed by the chef.

  21. Yum that food looks incredibly delicious! I’ll have to visit one day

    1. The food there is lovely I am sure you will enjoy it.

  22. Oh that looks so good! I think I’d go for the fish tikka – I went to India when I was younger and they did a lot of fish dishes there but it can be quite hard to find in Indian restaurants here.

    1. Looks like this place would be perfect for you to visit then.

  23. You have just made me extremely hungry!! I love Indian cuisine and I must admit I haven’t tried quite a few of these dishes. They look delicious.

    1. You must try them they are really tasty 😉

  24. The food looks incredibly delicious and mouth-watering! I’d love to visit this restaurant!

    1. I am sure you will enjoy their food it’s great.

  25. This looks like a really great restaurant, those Kachori Poppers look delish. Roomali Roti is one of the favorites in my family and everybody loves them. I will be visiting the UK this year, I’ll try to check this restaurant out and will also share this one with my family living in the UK. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. No problem Aditi. I am so please you liked the post. I hope you and your family enjoy the restaurant when you come and visit.

  26. I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisine! My favourites are chicken tikka, lamb tikka and biryani rice 😀 Hankies dal looks so tasty – I hope they have it in the local Indians’ as well.

    1. The dal was very good and lovely and warming too.

  27. This sounds a great little place, definitely somewhere I’d like to visit. The cocktails look amazing and all the food looks delicious. The chilli lamb chops would be my choice I think.

    1. The chops are a great choice I really loved those.

  28. Now I am hungry, the food and venue look really great and food super tasty.

    1. It really was delicious.

  29. I love Indian food so much!!! These place looks really good, the pics look yummy! I want to try it all next time I go on a shopping spree.

    1. Have fun shopping and enjoy the meal.

  30. Definitely making me hungry and the cocktails look fab too!

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