Ask where to go for London's best curry and most punters look east to the bright lights of Brick Lane.
But if you knew what the menu at Hounslow's African Queen had in store, you might well reconsider.
While many make the lengthy trip east to get hassled by curry-toting touts, this East African-influenced Indian resto-pub has got it all.
Exquisite flavours and cheap prices are the combination that have made curry meccas such as Tyabs of Whitechapel a favourite, but while you're queuing round the corner there, you could already be comfortably seated in the African Queen. The secret lies in the diversity says manager Umesh Bardwa.
"Most Indians don't even recognise all of the dishes on our menu," he says.
Since taking over two years ago, Umesh's dream has been to introduce customers to the breadth of India's flavours, highlighting the influence of many east African delicacies.
People are used to orange chicken tikka and red lamb chops because of the colourings, but we've scrapped all that and are slowly introducing the true colours and tastes of our home countries," he says.
The resulting combination is a mouth-watering journey into the unkown. The earthy texture of the daal makhani, a delicious, 24-hour slow-cooked black lentil and bean stew , for example. Or the thikke patange, marinated and tandoor-cooked extra spicy chicken wings; the dark, succulent flavours of the garlic chilli chicken; the herb-encrusted whole tandoori seabass; or even the lobster African Queen, fresh lobster treated with lime and tumeric, tossed in peppery onion and fennel masala, finished with coriander and served on naan.
Each dish has its own distinctive brilliance and not a hint of the cross-seasoning that many restaurants resort to in order to save time in the kitchen. It may not look Michelin material from the outside, but African Queen is fine-crafted cuisine at affordable prices, without any of the pretension.
African Queen, 315-317 Wellington Road South, Hounslow. Mon-Fri, noon-11pm. Sun, noon-10.30pm. Nearest tube: Hounslow Central. Call 020 8572 8903. See www.aqrestaurant.com