We are proud to join in the grand celebration to mark the milestone event in the life of Britain’s longest – serving monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as the world celebrates her 90th birthday,” declared Camellia Panjabi, co-owner Camellia Panjabi, a world-renowned expert on Indian food. “It’s another milestone for us as the prestigious Veeraswamy restaurant in London, the oldest Indian Restaurant in the world, turned 90-years-old this year.”
Situated in a prime location overlooking London’s Regent Street, Veeraswamy has been offering the finest classical Indian cuisine since 1926. As the first of its kind, it is celebrated as a great historical restaurant of London and certainly as the grand dame of Indian restaurants and is known for its refined cuisine and opulent Raj-inspired style. It has always exuded a great deal of glamour.
Opened by Edward Palmer, the great-grandson of an English military strategist and an Indian exotic Mughal princess, Veeraswamy, in its early years, served cuisine of the entire Indian sub-continent. Palmer himself was a retired British Indian Army officer and in 1924 – 5 had run the Indian section at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, where his company, E.P. Veeraswamy & Co., Indian Food Specialists, sold spices, chutneys and curry pastes and ran an Indian café.
A few years later the restaurant was taken over by Sir William Seaward in 1930, an English Member of Parliament. Throughout the 1930s during the Great Depression trade was very difficult, but the owners used great resourcefulness and came through the challenging times. In the 1940s and 1950s the restaurant became a great success.
From then on, the Veerasawmy was wildly successful and continued to attract a celebrity clientele until the 1960s when it started to decline.
The first ever curry in a can was introduced under Veeraswamy Food Products brand in the early 1950s. The restaurant was sold by Sir William in 1967. The food products business under the Veeraswamy name continued to be owned by the couple into the 1990s.
In 1996, the restaurant was bought by Namita Panjabi and Ranjit Mathrani, then owners of a successful Indian restaurant called Chutney Mary in Kings road Chelsea. The next 18 months were to see more changes than during the previous 70 years. The restaurant décor was completely updated and adopted an ultramodern theme in the late 1990s; however for its 80th anniversary in 2006, it was redecorated in the opulent 1920s motif.
Veeraswamy is currently owned by the Chutney Mary group whose owners’ profile now includes Chutney Mary, Amaya and Masala Zone chain. The Company bought back the brand Veeraswamy of pickles, curry pastes and chutneys which is now marketed in the UK and worldwide by BARTS U.K.
In recent decades, based on the popularity of authentic Indian food in the UK, Veeraswamy serves a menu of regional Indian cuisines, including dishes from Punjab, Lucknow, Kashmir, Kerala and Goa. “You can taste all varieties of freshly made food under one roof, elegantly served,” says Panjabi.
Camellia Panjabi, who is the author of “50 Great Curries of India,” which has sold over 1.5 million copies, which describes the secrets to creating authentic Indian curries at home, oversees the menu at Veeraswamy.
The menu is different from other Indian restaurants and really interesting. This is the place to experience classic Indian dishes that you may not even find easily even on restaurant menus in India; there are also some amazing modern creations as you relax in opulent Raj-inspired surroundings.
To celebrate its 90th year, the menu has incorporated a few dishes from the Royal Palace Kitchens of India – from the Nizams of Hyderabad’s Palace kitchen and the Royal Palace at Patiala.
National Geographic claims that Veeraswamy is among the 10 best “destination and special restaurants” in the world. It’s high-class, high value fine dining right in London’s West End. Described as one of the least expensive restaurant on National Geographic’s list of the Top Ten Destination Restaurants on Earth, and as one of the most mind-blowing meals one has ever experienced in life. For more information and to visit the oldest and the finest Indian Restaurant in the world, please visit: http://www.veeraswamy.com