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Vegan tikka masala and more at Indian restaurant Babujee on Dundee’s Perth Road

For food reviewer Poppy Watson, Dundee's new Indian restaurant had an inclusive offering for vegetarians.

Diners are spoilt for choice at Babujee in Dundee. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson
Diners are spoilt for choice at Babujee in Dundee. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

Dundonians are spoilt for choice when it comes to good Indian food, including the new eatery Babujee.

From Rishis and Jahangir in the city centre to Bombay Joe’s and Indos in Broughty Ferry, there are plenty of options for those craving a curry.

And those choices increased last December when new newcomer Babujee Tawa and Balti House moved into the former Underworld Cafe on Perth Road.

Babujee restaurant is situated on Perth Road. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

What is Babujee Dundee like?

The restaurant, launched under the stewardship of Nasir Hussain, who previously managed Goa in Broughty Ferry, has been welcomed with open arms.

When my friend Scott and I arrive on a Saturday night, the place is abuzz with couples, families and groups of friends, whose lively chatter fills the brightly decorated venue.

As we wait to be seated, I am enchanted by the sizzling plates of food flying around us, which leave a delicious smoky trail in their wake.

They are tawa dishes – a way of serving food on a large hot sharing platter – which Babujee claims to be the first restaurant in Dundee to introduce.

Babujee on Perth Road in Dundee.
Babujee opened its doors last December. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

What’s on Babujee’s non-traditional menu?

Despite being 15 minutes late for our reservation (sorry Babujee) a lovely table by the window has been saved for us.

Due to a temporary alcohol licensing issue, which has since been resolved, the venue is offering free BYOB at the time of our visit.

It is for this reason we have picked up a bottle of white wine from Sainsbury’s on the way, which a friendly waiter swiftly pops open for us.

Babujee on Perth Road in Dundee serves a range of Indian and South Asian dishes.
Babujee serves a range of Indian and South Asian dishes. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

Then it is time to peruse the rather non-traditional menu.

It not only features Indian and South Asian dishes (jalfrezi, korma, bhuna and more) but also pub grub such as steak, lasagne and fish and chips.

When I later contact the venue to arrange pictures for this review, I am told they are scrapping most of the latter dishes, which have not proved popular.

But, much to my vegetarian relief, they are keeping the list of tasty-sounding vegan dishes, which includes chamakar chickpeas, vegan garlic chilli and vegan madras.

We kick things off, of course, with poppadoms – which are just a quid each.

Poppadoms from Babujee Dundee.
The poppadoms were delicious. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

These are large, warm and crunchy, and come with a generous pot of homemade onion chutney, which is sweet, tangy and chunky.

A perfect start.

My vegetarian samosas then arrive alongside three creamy dips and a fresh vegetable salad.

The potato, peas, carrots and onions inside are tender and well-seasoned, and perfectly carry the aromatic flavours of garam masala.

I only wish the pastry parcels, which are slightly anaemic, had been fried for longer.

The vegetable samosas. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

Scott goes for the vegetarian pakora, which arrive with the same dips and salad.

The fritters, made with onions, potatoes and gram flour, are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

They have the perfect level of spice, he says, and when I nab one, I have to agree.

His only complaint is that he could have eaten more.

The vegetable pakoras. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

How was Babujee’s vegan take on the popular tikka masala?

After watching one of our fellow diners – an unsuspecting elderly man – treated to a rendition of Happy Birthday by the restaurant staff, our mains arrive.

I have ordered the vegan tikka masala.

It is a classic I have missed out on since giving up meat 10 years ago, so I am excited to try a meat-free version.

It looks glorious, with a huge pile of cubed tofu coated in a luxurious, vibrant red sauce.

The vegan tikka masala from Babujee Dundee.
I was excited to try the vegan tikka masala. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

The tangy tomato sauce is sweetened with a coconutty creaminess.

I am only disappointed that the tofu, which is soft and squishy, doesn’t appear to have been fried off before it was plopped into the sauce. A crispy outer layer would have added some much-needed texture.

Scott opts for the chilli garlic chicken, which is topped with chunks of red chilli and lots of fresh herbs.

Although he enjoys it, saying the sauce is tasty, the vegetables are overcooked and too mushy for his liking.

Babujee's chicken garlic chilli. 
Babujee’s chicken garlic chilli.  Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

Babujee’s sides impress – especially the masala fries

We scoop our curries up with sides of pilau rice, garlic naan and masala fries to share.

The rice is steamed to perfection, fluffy and flavoursome.

Meanwhile the garlic naan – bigger than my head – is soft, suitably garlicky and very buttery. Delicious.

Finally, the masala fries, which were a first for both of us, are crispy and moreish.

The garlic naan  at Babujee was buttery and delicious. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

I would definitely recommend these – but they are spicy, so be sure to have a glass of water ready to go.

Although we had originally planned to have dessert – delicious-sounding options include homemade rice pudding, cake and ice cream – we are sadly too full.

Instead, we ask to have our leftovers packed up and grab the bill.

The sides at Babujee.
The sides at Babujee did not disappoint. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson

Babujee Dundee review verdict

Babujee Dundee with its vegan menu, kids menu and (for now) steak and pasta menu, caters to all tastes.

Although I am not sure how I feel about chicken nuggets and pasta at an Indian restaurant, I admire the venue’s willingness to push boundaries.

And as a vegetarian, I really appreciated the array of meat-free options.

With the bill coming to less than £60 for the two of us, it also proved to be good value for money.

Keen to try one of its special sizzler dishes in the near future, I am already planning my next visit.

The dishes sampled on our Babujee Dundee food review.
We didn’t have any room for dessert. Image: Mhairi Edwards/DC Thomson


Address: 204 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4JY

T: 01382 472415


Price: £59.80 for popadums, two starters, two mains, and three sides.


Food: 3/5
Service: 4/5
Surrounding: 4/5

For more restaurant reviews, check out our food and drink section.