A new wave of top end restaurants offering gourmet Indian cuisine, often with a European fusion twist, has been gathering momentum in recent years.

Establishments such as Trishna and Gymkhana have blazed a trail in central London but punters interested in something that’s a cut above the traditional curry need not go further than our very own restaurant quarter and its newest addition Karnavar.

Opened earlier this year, Karnavar has already attracted rich praise, earning a nomination for best UK Indian restaurant 2014 and a Best Newcomer award.

Head Chef Manoj Karnavar has 18 years working in the kitchens of some of the most prestigious hotels in the world and brings this experience to create a unique menu.

Invited to taste some of his boldest creations from the A La Carte (Sunday Brunch, lunch time and Early Bird menus are also available as well as the more extravagant five course or seven course tasting menus with wine pairings options) we placed ourselves in Manoj’s capable hands and prepared to be treated to what could be the best food in the borough.

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Kerala Poached Egg

Starters included Kerala Poached Egg Masala, a delicately spiced take on the classic benedict, Honey and Cinnamon Glazed Quail, Barley and Beetroot Chat, Scallops Mango Coriander and Salmon and Cod Pakoras.

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Salmon and Cod Pakora

This was washed down with a New Zealand Vidal Reisling – recommended by the house and priced at £21.90. A selection of four very reasonably priced house whites are available alongside the more pricey drops.

Servings are sensible – not so small as to prevent a bit of sharing amongst diners, and expertly presented. Also at about £6 to £7 are remarkable inexpensive considering the expertise and obvious quality of ingredients.

My personal favourite was surprisingly the beetroot chat. Not perhaps the most glamorous, when placed against the quail or scallops, but the combination of flavours was superb. The Kerala egg was another gem, the creaminess of the egg adding depth to the spicy masala while the crisped unleavened bread gave texture.

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Beetroot Chat

Our mains arrived only a short time later, this time served with an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (£16.90).

The standout, both in terms of taste and presentation was the Lamb Handi ka Sula – a smoked loin and braised leg hidden beneath of cloche, only to be revealed in a billow of vapour that drew appreciative murmurs from around the table.

The drama was backed up by flavour, the meat melting in the mouth, that drew praise even from the team’s resident connoisseur.

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Duck Buffado

The Duck Buffado and two chicken dishes, Murgh Adhraki and Chicken Lababdaar continued the high standard. A nice touch is some dishes are served with the sauce provided separately in individual gravy boats preserving the unique visual character of each dish and adding to the drama as the diner takes part in the theatre of the evening. It also means you need never sacrifice lots of delicious sauce at the altar of presentation.

Sea Bass has become something of a staple whether you are enjoying Lebanese, Modern European or Far Eastern cuisines.

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Sea Bass with sauce served separately

Karnavar’s Travancore fillet was quite strongly spiced for white fish, not overly buttered and served with a coconut cassava and I would highly recommend.

Again pricing is remarkably reasonable, with mains available for as little as £9.50, stretching to £17.50 for the showpiece smoked lamb.

It would be fair to say there was little need for more food, but this did not prevent us sampling three dishes from the dessert menu.

The cliché about terrible dessert options in Indian restaurants is, thankfully, a thing of the past, and Karnavar has created a combination of native dishes inspired by European classics.

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Kinnathappan Malabar

The Ada Pradhaman is a chocolate fondant that was consumed with remarkable speed by my colleagues considering earlier claims of being sated.

Manoj also laid on the Bebinca, Goan, slices of layered cake served with vanilla ice cream and fresh pineapple and the Kinnathappan Malabar, separated out into a coconut and mango rice pudding, a slice of mango and a scope of lemon sorbet.

South End’s restaurant quarter is already blessed with some superb modestly priced eateries offering food from around the world and the arrival of Karnavar has not only further raised the bar, it can also only help to enhance the reputation of Croydon as the place to find fine food.

Karnavar, 62 South End, Croydon, CR0 1DP, 0208 686 2436, karnavar.com