Behind an unassuming exterior down Willesden Lane, off Kilburn High Road, lies Vijay's, a treat for lovers of Southern Indian cuisine. A friend recommended Vijay's to us a few years ago and we have been regulars ever since, sampling its authentic dishes, served with a smile and great value for money.
Don't be put off by the décor, which looks rather tired, as the food is fantastic and comes in portions perfect for sharing. The menu is extensive and includes biryanis, and a wide range of meat, vegetable and fish dishes, such as Keralan Lamb Fry, Chicken Chettinand, Fish Molly and Green Banana Khadhi. Prices range from £5.25 for vegetarian to £9 tops for meat and fish dishes.
There are a variety of accompaniments including rice, paratha, chapati, poppadoms, pickles and chutneys. Liquid refreshments worth trying include mango lassi, a delicious yoghurt based drink, and the Indian beers Kingfisher or Cobra.
When three of us visited Vijay's recently we shared poppadoms with chutneys, followed by two meat, two vegetarian dishes, four breads, one beer and one lassi, which came to only £48.
Established in 1964, Vijay's claims to be the first Southern Indian restaurant to open in the UK. it is very popular with the locals on Friday and Saturday nights, so make a reservation if you're planning on going then. Otherwise, the staff will go out of their way to accommodate you.
Located about half way between Kilburn underground station and Kilburn High Road overground station, it is a 10 minute walk from either.