London: Started As Home Dining, Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express Is An All Women-Run Thriving Restaurant

Join Asma Khan on her culinary voyage through India's diverse culinary landscape.

by Mallika Khurana
London: Started As Home Dining, Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express Is An All Women-Run Thriving Restaurant

Once upon a time, in the bustling streets of London’s Soho, there stood a culinary gem that captured the essence of Indian cuisine like no other. This is the story of Darjeeling Express, a culinary journey from a humble dinner for 12 guests to a glorious establishment in Soho’s Kingly Court. The story is as captivating as the flavours it serves.

The Remarkable Journey Of Darjeeling Express


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It all began with Asma Khan, the visionary behind Darjeeling Express, whose culinary roots trace back to her royal Mughlai ancestry and the vibrant streets of Calcutta. With recipes passed down through generations, Khan embarked on a mission to share the authentic taste of India, starting with intimate gatherings at her own home.

From these cherished family recipes emerged a menu that pays homage to India’s diverse culinary landscape. From the streets of Calcutta to the kitchens of Hyderabad, Darjeeling Express promises a journey of flavours and textures that celebrate the essence of Indian cuisine. Here, food isn’t just sustenance; it’s an invitation to gather, share, and revel in the traditional ‘daawat’ feast.

But what truly sets Darjeeling Express apart is its all-women kitchen team, comprised of passionate housewives who infuse each dish with love and care. From day one, they’ve been the backbone of Khan’s culinary vision, crafting home-style meals that nourish both body and soul.

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Inviting  Londoners To Explore India’s Culinary Heart


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The evolution of Darjeeling Express from a supper club to a pub pop-up and finally to its current home in Soho’s Kingly Court speaks volumes about its success and acclaim. Khan’s relentless dedication to her craft has earned her recognition as one of the UK and India’s brightest culinary stars, with accolades ranging from awards to best-selling cookbooks.

But it’s not just about the food; it’s about creating a space where tradition meets innovation, where every bite tells a story. The streamlined yet diverse menu reflects Khan’s commitment to showcasing the breadth and depth of Indian cuisine, drawing influences from every corner of the subcontinent.

Asma Khan’s journey from hosting intimate dinners to becoming a prominent figure in the culinary world is nothing short of inspirational. Her commitment to social change, unwavering passion for food, and relentless pursuit of excellence have cemented Darjeeling Express as not just a restaurant but a cultural institution—a testament to the power of food to bring people together, tell stories, and transcend borders.

Where: SOHO RESTAURANT 2.4 Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London
When: A La Carte LUNCH 12 pm to 2:45 pm | Royal Thali DINNER 6 pm to 8:30 pm

Cover Image Courtesy: Darjeeling Express/Instagram

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