Zomato, the India-based restaurant and nightlife guide, has launched in London, it’s first location in Europe, as it continues the ambitious international expansion that it kicked off in 2012.

Initially invite-only, the site will open its doors to all in the UK’s capital on January 26 with details of more than 14,000 restaurants from around the city. That caters for those looking to dine out, as well as those preferring the option of a food delivery or takeout in their own home.

Zomato says it will differentiate itself from the growing crowd of online food guides — led by Just-Eat, which raised a colossal $64 million last April — by providing scanned menus, photos, mapped coordinates and information for all of the restaurants it features. In addition, it is introducing Dish Search, a new feature that allows users to turn their quest for food on its head and search for the dishes they want to eat. That’s far easier than having to peruse restaurants to find what you fancy.

Zomato London 730x415 India based restaurant guide Zomato plates up in London, its first location in Europe

Founded in 2008, Zomato is India’s largest food and nightlife guide covering more than 42,000 establishments across 12 cities in the country. Last year, the service expanded internationally when it launched in Dubai, having already gone live in Sri Lanka. It isn’t done there yet and there are further plans to expand in the Middle East and Europe, while the company is also eyeing a move into Southeast Asia.

Zomato has been backed by a total of $6.5 million in funding from Info Edge, a provider of online classifieds in India. Last September saw the firm up its stake in Zomato to 48.5 percent with a fresh investment of $2.3 million dollars, as VC Circle reports, in order to help fuel this aggressive international expansion.

The service, which was first called Foodiebay, monetizes using hyper-local advertising. The site claims to have 9 million monthly visitors and there are apps for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices.

Headline image via burgundavia/Flickr