Indian Ritu London St John's Wood Halal Fine Dining

Impressive new tasting menu at Ritu in London St John’s Wood

HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu (duck subject to availability (phone ahead); prepped & cooked separately) • Alcohol served

The last time we visited this area of north west London’s St John’s Wood, was in 2018 for our review of Lebanese restaurant Yasmeen.

This time our return to the corner of Blenheim Terrace was to review a new tasting menu at Indian eatery Ritu, whose kitchen is led by Muslim Head Chef Shoeb Haider.

Haider has worked at places like Michelin-starred Benares in Mayfair, and Tamarind Collection’s Zaika of Kensington, whose sister-restaurant Tamarind, also in Mayfair, was the world’s first Indian fine-dining to win a Michelin star.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Owned by Anubhav Srivastava, Ritu’s Head Chef is the talented Shoeb Haider

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's WoodOwned by restaurateur Anubhav Srivastava, who has restaurants in India’s Chennai including KNK Project, Ritu means “seasons” in Sanskrit (there being six according to the Hindu scriptures: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn, pre-winter, and winter), which means that the menu is updated with new dishes in accordance with the cyclic seasons.

Having opened in September 2021, the restaurant serves a fully Halal food menu, except for the duck, which is subject to availability (although it’s prepped and cooked separately so as to avoid cross-contamination), with guests requested to inquire in advance as to its Halal status.

While alcohol is served on the premises, there’s a separate room situated well away from the bar area to the right of the premises for 16 diners, with heated outdoor seating also accessible all year round.


Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Tapster – Pineapple juice, lychees, lime & black berries; Coast Guard – Watermelon & coconut – £12.00

If you love your watermelon, then the Coast Guard is a no-brainer. Garnished with a wedge of watermelon, it’s finished with coconut sprinkles on top.

Of the two, however, the frothy Tapster would be our choice, with a sweet almost candy-like fruitiness to it.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Seasonal Crush – Seasonal berries, passion fruit, cranberry & lychee juice; Flavoured Mojito – Mango, strawberry, passion fruit, mint leaves, lime wedges & choice of flavours – £12.00 each

And while the smooth Seasonal Crush’s fruity tanginess was comparable to the above Tapster, our overall favourite was the slushy-textured Flavored Mojito, whose mixture of mango, strawberry and passion fruit was superbly balanced by the eye-squinting zestiness of the mint and lime.


Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Gunpowder Prawns – Grilled with hot gun powder, served with Masala Caesar sauce, £19.00


What’s better than plump, meaty and juicy jumbo prawns whose smokiness, courtesy of some tremendous tandoori charring, complemented its spicious marination.

Dipping these Gunpowder Prawns in the accompanying sauce, and chasing that with some of the pickled onions served in a crunchy papadom cone, meant a strong start to proceedings.

Ritu Indian Fine Dining Halal restaurant St John's Wood London

Lamb Seekh Kebab – Minced lamb skewers spiced with black cumin & dry chillies, £15.00

Although seekh kebabs come in a variety of tastes and textures, Ritu’s Lamb Seekh Kebab was on the softer side of the spectrum, which, while being appreciated by one Lion, was tentatively criticised by the other as “a little chalky”.

Nonetheless, there was no denying its taste, with the spices being strong and robust without ever being harsh, and going really well with the sauce and pickled onions.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Lotus Stem Chaat – With chickpeas & potatoes, £11.00

This Lotus Stem Chaat was one of those that you might question at first, before eventually beginning to appreciate its complexity with each given bite.

Made up of an assortment of flavours and textures, which sees a mixture of chickpeas, diced red onions and potato enveloped in plenty of vermicelli sev, with four large slices of fried lotus stem all dusted in masala chaat, combining to challenge the senses.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Kolkata Chicken Lollipop – Fried chicken wings marinated with spices in Kolkata style, £12.00


You’re simply not going to get better chicken lollipops than Ritu’s Kolkata take on this classic Indo-Chinese street food staple.

What stood out for us was the incredible texture they’d managed to achieve, with a subtly spiced crispy batter that had a chewy edge to it, and which gave way to moist chicken that retained a good bite. Just be sure to give these lollipops a good squeeze of lime, before making use of the aforementioned green sauce.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Blue Cheese Malai Broccoli – Roquefort & cream marinated broccoli, £10.00

This Blue Cheese Malai Broccoli could have been better had the broccoli been more charred so as to impart a deeper smoky flavour, which might have then married nicely aganist the blue cheese sauce, had this not been so watered-down as to dampen its piquancy. Having said that though, a decent dish all the same.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Chilli Pesto Murgh Tilkka – Chicken thighs marinated with hand-pounded basil pesto with green chillies, £16.00

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's WoodAlthough we loved its texture, with the clay oven managing to lock in those juices, this Chilli Pesto Murgh Tikka wasn’t quite there flavour-wise.

While one Lion found the basil and pesto marination to be over seasoned, the other considered it a touch over.

Nevertheless, giving the chicken a good squeeze of the lime, and having it with the accompanying pickled onions and mayo sauce, just about did the job in masking said shortcoming.


Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Laziz Pasanda – Slabs of delicate cottage cheese stuffed with potatoes, cashews & mint in a rich Nawabi sauce, £16.00


There aren’t many places that offer this popular dish. Ritu’s is vegetarian based, and quite magnificent.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's WoodThe star of the show here were slabs of cottage cheese which, while being stuffed with a potato mash mixture, were battered and fried to deliver a crispy-cum-chewy exterior which contrasted beautifully against the tender softness of the cheese.

But it was that silky smooth and vibrantly orange curry sauce, made rich and soothing by the unmistakable aroma and taste of cardamom, as well as a touch of spice, that we couldn’t get enough of.

Be sure to order either a portion of rice or some naan bread to really enjoy this outstanding Laziz Pasanda. One of the dishes of this review; and which may, we suspect, feature in our end of year awards.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Fish Mappas – Monkfish tails in a coriander coconut sauce with cherry tomatoes, £22.00


And things didn’t let up either with this delicious Fish Mappas continuing our culinary euphoria.

While its attractive tawny-coloured curry sauce was rich and buttery, it was ultimately driven by the combination of mustard seeds and fried curry leaves, which helped temper its spices just enough for us to enjoy the natural taste of the meaty chunks of monkfish tail. Delightful!

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Champaran Gosht – Lamb is cooked in clay pots with mustard oil, onions & select spices, £20.00


A simple looking dish it may seem at first glance, but the complexity of flavours and the ability in balancing the spices was masterful.

With the lamb turning out absolutely tender, and coated in a semi-viscous masala sauce, this astounding Champaran Gosh was full of flavour, and enjoyed immensely with the tandoor naan below.


Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Naan – Butter, Garlic, £4.00

Not sure the £4.00 price tag justifies what is ostensibly a single naan; but the execution is something we couldn’t argue against.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Grilled Seasonal Vegetables – With a hint of garlic & chilli, £7.00


And this was a wonderful medley of Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, which had the garlic coming through pleasantly, while also retaining a crunchy bite throughout.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Classic Kuchumber – Diced cucumber, tomatoes, onions & olives, £4.00

This Classic kuchumber was well made, with everything you’ll need to complement the curry dishes above, including green chillis.


Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Gajjar Ka Halwa Strudel – Carrot pudding with pistachios stuffed in a strudel, all spice Rabri, £8.00


This slow-cooked Gajjar Ka Halwa Strudel was a first for us, and, we hope, not the last.

The strudel pastry was nice and flaky, with a touch of spicy-sweetness from the rabri condensed cream helping to cut through the richness of that wonderfully smooth-textured carrot filling.

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

Tandoori Ananas – Roasted with cinnamon & sugar; fruit coulis, £7.00

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's WoodAnd the clay oven played its part a final time in helping to roast these segments of cinnamon-infused pineapple to a perfect caramelised finish.

Add to that the cherry coulis base, and this turned out to be an excellent palate cleanser after a spicy evening.

Of course, there was no way we were going to leave Ritu without enjoy a cup, or two, of their karak chai.

There’s nothing like masala tea to settle the senses. This did the job.

4.5 FTL's Roar
5 Pride's Roar (1 Roar)
Alcohol/ Pork?
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Last Checked: 13/05/2023
Ritu certainly put the 'seasons' of India into its new tasting menu, which offered enough quality and variety to make our first visit to this restaurant a truly memorable one.

Muslim Head Chef Shoeb Haider churned out one quality dish after another, with some we'd never had before, such as Ritu's version of a Pasanda, and the Gajjar Ka Halwa Strudel; and others we're not going to be forgetting in a hurry, with one or two that'll probably be in the offing for our end of year awards.

With a solid 4.5/5 rating, there's plenty to admire here, with many more intriguing dishes worth revisiting for. Respect to Ritu!

Menu Recommendation

Drink - Flavoured Mojito

Starter - Gunpowder Prawns/ Kolkata Chicken Lollipop

Main - Laziz Pasanda Fish Mappas

Side - Grilled Seasonal Vegetables

Dessert - Gajjar Ka Halwa Strudel

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1 Blenheim Terrace, St John’s Wood, London NW8 0EH.

T: +44 (0)20 3857 2754 | W: | E: [email protected]

Opening Hours:
Mon CLOSED | Tue-Thur 17:30-23:00 | Fri-Sat 12:00-15:00, 17:30-23:00 | Sun 12:00-15:00, 17:30-22:00

Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood Ritu Indian Halal Restaurant London St John's Wood

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