This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 08/09/2017.
The restaurant that has been rated as the best in Boxpark Croydon
TripAdvisor reviewers have rated an Indian restaurant with vegan and gluten free food on the menu as the best restaurant in Boxpark Croydon.
Indi-go, based in units 20 and 21 at the food and drink mall, made it as high as number two in the rankings for the best restaurants with takeout in Croydon, according to the travel website which ranks eateries based on the reviews of hungry customers.
What’s more, earlier this week it was at number three out of all restaurants in the town, sitting just below McDermott’s fish and chip shop at number one (also rated as number one for restaurants with takeout) and the highly regarded Karnavar.
It slipped to number four in the best restaurants listings by Thursday.
But the rankings still make it the number one eatery in Boxpark.
And a sign on its window has been added thanking customers for putting it in the top spot
Indi-go, which sits 30 people inside as well as allowing people to take their food out to the communal tables in the centre of Boxpark, has been at the food and drink mall since the complex opened in October last year.
It serves a mix of traditional curry dishes that we all know and love in the UK alongside street food dishes that you will find on the streets of India.
The restaurant also serves a big range of vegan and gluten free dishes.
Area manager Sham Mahabir explained how around 70 per cent of the dishes on the menu are gluten free, including all the curries.
At least 60 per cent of the dishes are suitable for vegans and others can be made vegan-friendly.
The most popular curry dish, said Sham, is the aubergine alou. With aubergine, potato and fresh ground spices, it is both vegan friendly and gluten free. Other popular curries are the kashmiri lamb, taka dhal and butter chicken.
He said: “I normally say the experience is like a rainbow exploding in your mouth.
“You have the sweetness of yoghurt, the tanginess of tamarind, we have the spiciness of sweet chilli and the freshness or coriander, mint and lime.
“All of the street food dishes use these ingredients to bring them alive.”
Samosa chaat is another popular street food dish, which, although not gluten free can be made vegan friendly.
It is a veggie samosa with onions, black channa, coriander and sauces.
Indi-go is also known for its Indi-bento box, which, for £10, includes two curries, rice, naan bread, an onion bhaji, salad, mint sauce and a drink. It can be made gluten free and vegan-friendly.
Its vegan-friendly chilli fries are popular too.
Indi-go, which has five restaurants across London, including the one at Boxpark Croydon, decided to increase its gluten free and vegan offering when it opened its Croydon branch, and advertise this range more.
Sham said: “People are surprised that you can actually get a vegan curry and you can actually get a gluten free curry.”
This modern take on Indian cuisine with its gluten free and vegan offerings, is presented in a contemporary style restaurant, featuring corrugated steel painted with vibrant artwork alongside wood features – corrugated steel and wood are two materials you will see on Indian street food stalls, explained Sham.
Sham said: “Boxpark can show Indian food is trendy, it’s tasty, it’s not like it was 20 years ago with the peach tablecloths and Princess Diana and Prince Charles pictures on the walls.”
Sham was thrilled to discover TripAdvisor reviewers rated Indi-go the second best restaurant with takeout in Croydon and the third best restaurant in the town.
He puts it down to the food’s’ “excellent taste, high quality and friendly service”.
Sham said: “To be number three [of the best restaurants in Croydon] is even more rewarding for us because in less than a year we have managed to leave a footprint in the culinary offering in the Croydon area.”
“I think everyone at Boxpark is amazed,” he said. “It is quite an achievement.”
And the menu will continue to evolve into the next year.
Sham added: “We have looked at how we can introduce more dishes in 2018 and change a few dishes around so customers can enjoy different curries and Indian food.”