My family has owned this restaurant since the 90s.
When trade started to dip, we thought: what’s the next evolution? We decided to incorporate street food and build a more casual, café environment.
What was there before?
The unit has always been an Indian restaurant, owned by Mo’s family since the 90s.
Mo’s father came to London from Bangladesh as a teenager and worked in kitchens across London before opening the restaurant. Mo remembers it as an “old school” curry house, complete with carpet, flocked wallpaper and wooden chairs.
In the early 00s, Mo’s older brother took over, and finally handed the baton to Mo in 2018.
What’s the story behind the shop?
Aiming to bring the family restaurant into the 21st century, Mo designed Babuji to “rekindle people’s memories of India”, with Bentwood chairs and Victorian tiles like those in Indian railways stations. Most of the restaurant’s décor is second-hand.
The food has had a makeover too, now street food with bold flavours that you can eat with your hands.
What’s the best thing you can buy?
A Bangladeshi shingara is similar to a samosa. The shingara is crushed and topped with yoghurt, sev, chutney and coriander, making it a simple dish with flavours that pack a punch – spicy, sweet, creamy and crunchy.
What’s your favourite thing about being in KT?
Mo has lived locally since he was two years old and relishes people recognising him as “the Babuji guy”. Many of the shop and market stall owners have been on KT high street for decades and the camaraderie between them makes for a sense of community.
How can people in KT support them?
Come in once a month and recommend them to friends. The food industry has changed and now people will travel to eat, so write them a Google review or post about them on your Instagram to encourage people across London to visit.