Is this Enfield’s best Indian restaurant?

Neil Littman on why Anokhi in Winchmore Hill is his favourite local curry house

Channa masala (spiced chickpeas), pilau rice, chicken rezala and a chapati
Channa masala (spiced chickpeas), pilau rice, chicken rezala and a chapati

On a cold damp Monday evening in November, after deciding to give the Masterchef finals a miss, I visited Anokhi in Winchmore Hill Broadway, which has been open since 2019.

This was the first time I have eaten there, having ordered takeaways from them during the pandemic lockdown. My invited guest had a cold, so I went on my own. Undaunted and hungry, I made the effort and was surprised by how busy they were for the beginning of the week.

At one table alone, a party of 14 were already settled in (for a work leaving do apparently) and other tables were occupied, in addition to a steady stream of home deliveries.

Anokhi means ‘unique’ in Punjabi – an appropriate description as it turned out – and the restaurant is a bright star in the area, with award-winning chef Ray at the helm (evidenced by a large gold cup on top of their counter which I initially mistook for a football trophy).

Ray’s experience includes working at Michelin-starred establishments such as La Porte Des Indies in Marble Arch, which features palm trees and a waterfall! Anokhi’s interior, by contrast, is less gimmicky, with clean lines and a mural on one wall.

Anokhi offers dishes from several regions in India and a changing menu throughout the year, though this meant my favourite duck curry was not available. I was also impressed to see a menu offering dishes that I had not heard of before, demonstrating they are prepared to take risks with a non-formulaic approach.

There is a decent wine list, but I stuck to a small Cobra beer and a poppadom and ordered a starter of panner potli. On the plate were four wraps of filo pastry and inside each was spiced paneer cheese with a marinade on the side. They looked like those nibbles you only buy at Christmas from M&S, but the taste of the paneer mix was not something you would get ready-prepared.

From the main courses, I ordered chicken rezala, their version of a popular Bengali dish. The original recipe includes cream and nuts but as a nod to those with allergies, Anokhi avoids serving dishes with nuts. I also ordered channa masala (spiced chickpeas), pilau rice and a chapati which looked like two servings but was simply very large and homemade.

Newer items on the menu include hara gujarat (vegetable cutlets), aloo mutter tikki (pan-fried savoury potato patties) and golden crab cakes, which they have adapted as a house special. They also have an extensive vegetarian menu.

Overall, I think Anokhi are offering the best Indian food in Enfield, and the service is good considering how busy there were on the evening I dined there. My bill came to £35 including drinks and service.

Anokhi Indian Restaurant can be found at 757 Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill N21 3SA and is open Monday-Thursday 5.30pm-10.30pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5.30pm-11pm, and Sundays 5.30pm-10pm. To book:
Call 020 8360 4144
Visit anokhi-restaurant.co,uk