Delhi Grill – Angel, London, UK

Dehli Grill is cozy, modern restaurant which is hidden away on Chapel Market. It is a lovely little spot which is perfect for a filling, satisfying and inexpensive Indian meal where there is no need for lining up down the road to get a table or reserving a table at least a month prior.

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The salad and sauces that came in the beginning of the meal
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The Pani Poori (one of my favourite Indian dishes)
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The mixed grill
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A paneer curry

The restaurant has a family run vibe where people are upbeat and seem passionate about their food.

We ordered some pani poori and poppadoms to start and for our mains we had a mixed grill, a curry and a rice to share. Between two people this was definitely a good amount.

The food was great, atmosphere was great, service was great and the price was great too. I cannot fault it.

http://www.delhigrill.com/

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Jai Krishna – A Southern Indian Vegetarian in Finsbury Park, London

Emma and I have lived in Finsbury Park for over a year now and since moving in, we have kept saying that we needed to try Jai Krishna, the Southern Indian Vegetarian BYOB Restaurant. I am not the biggest fan of meat curries but I absolutely love vegetarian curries – plus the fact that it is BYOB (and let’s be honest now, who doesn’t love a Bring Your Own Booze establishment?) – just made it sound glorious.

Finally, one year later, on a Friday night we decided to try it.

Across the street is an off-licence that sells all sorts of craft beers, normal beers, ciders and wines from all over the world. So we got a couple of interesting beers and crossed the street into this authentic Southern Indian gem.

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It is a small restaurant with a very chilled out vibe. As we sat and looked through the menu at all the vegetarian delights, I no longer felt like I was in the middle of London but instead felt like I was back in Asia at a local family run restaurant.

We started with the Masala Dosa £4.95 which is a thin, fried pancake filled with spiced potatoes and onions and it came with a coconut sauce and a chutney on the side. It was very flavourful but very filling.
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We ordered a Spinach Dal £3.55, a Chilli Paneer £5.25 which tasted a bit like a sweet and sour mixture with paneer (not really my thing), a Malai Kofta £4.95 which was a curry with kofta made out of paneer (had quite a potato-like texture to it), a Pilau Rice £2.25, and a Garlic Paratha £2.25.

There were lots of burst of great Indian spices and flavours that were absolutely gorgeous. The spinach dal was without a doubt my favourite thing. I could have just had that with some plain rice – but obviously (as when trying any new restaurant find) we had to order a few dishes to try them all out first.

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With everything that we ordered and our bellies full to the brim – it only cost us £14 each. I definitely recommend for an authentic South Indian food experience.

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d719381-Reviews-Jai_Krishna_Indian_Vegetarian-London_England.html

Needoo -The Tradition of the East London Pakistani Grill Houses

Forget about the touristy Curry Houses of Brick Lane that lack flavour and have been Westernised. If you go just down the road to Aldgate east and you walk down the side streets you can smell the smoky grilling of spiced meats wafting out the famous Tayyabs – a Pakistani restaurant known for its incredible grilled lamb chops and its Bring Your Own Booze policy.

A couple blocks down from this East London institution, the ex-head chef from Tayyabs started his own little baby – Needoo. Also a family-run business and also supporting the BYOB policy, they pride themselves in their grilled dishes and curries. Renata and I decided to check this little gem out one Wednesday evening for a mid-week treat.

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As we stepped in, we were seated straight away and out came our own bottle of wine (of course) from Renata’s bag and the waiter brought us a couple of wine glasses, as well as some salad, popadoms and sauces to nibble on as we studied the menu. The sauces were the usual; a mango jam type sauce, a mint yogurt type sauce and a sweet and spicy (but more spicy than sweet) sauce – all for the dipping of the popadoms which came as one plain and one spicy.

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We decided on some grilled dishes and ordered the lamb chops, the tandoori chicken and the paneer.

The grilled dishes come sizzling away on hot platters. The tandoori chicken came as four whole chicken legs – red and orange in colour from all the spices and they were laid across a bed of onions that cooked themselves on the hot plate. The chicken was not dry what-so-ever (no one likes a dry piece of chicken). Instead it was juicy and had a delicious smoky flavour to it.

Paneer is a home-made cheese from fresh cow’s milk and has the texture of hallumi and the flavour of mozzarella. These cubes of cheese were also red and orange in colour from the spices and as you cut through this coloured exterior you were greeted with a fluffy white middle. The spices did not overpower the cheese at all and instead it was a great compliment to the sweet, milky flavour of the inside.

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The lamb, I must admit, was a little bit tough for my liking in terms of texture; however, the flavours were divine. Lamb already has quite a strong flavour as a meat on its own but the spices added to it gave it a spicy kick to it and was very aromatic.

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We also ordered a portion of tandoori naan, pilau rice and a yellow lentil dahl. The dahl had a creamy texture to it but you could still taste the bits of lentils and it had a wonderfully subtle curry flavour and was a great companion to the rest of the very strong flavoured dishes.

The bill came to about £15.00 per person and we definitely over ate.

If you have not tried Pakistani curries and grilled dishes, then I would definitely give Needoo a try!

http://www.needoogrill.co.uk

Dishoom – Shoreditch, London

One Thursday evening a couple weeks ago, straight from work, Julia and I decided on Dishoom in Shoreditch for a catch up date.

Firstly, I must say, I love the way the restaurant is set up – its got a Bali-Island-type feel to it with the canopy space outside, the tropical plants and the wooden decor inside, and I love that it is hidden away on Boundary Street.

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We got there for 7pm and were shown to our seat straight away, even without a booking. We sat on the chef’s table where they were making the wonderful Indian breads and grilled meats.

We decided on some spiced calamari (£5.20), which was very nice. It was nice heavy battered and oily as per a usual calamari, but instead it tasted very light and was well spiced.

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For our mains, we decided we wanted everything on the “Grills” section of the menu; but as there were only two of us, we then decided to just share an order of Roomali Roti (£1.90), Mahi Tikka (£7.90), Paneer Tikka (£6.90) and a Kachumber Salad (£2.70), as opposed to trying to eat everything there.

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The fish was very fresh tasting and was cooked perfectly. The paneer had the perfect amount of squidginess for its texture (yes, you read that correctly – and yes I possibly did make up that word). The roti was very thin but still has some good chewiness to it and the salad was a great addition to everything.

Plus, they give you three little pots of sauces to go with your meal, which are an absolute delight (even if they do serve them to your table on a plate that is too small to fit all three pots).

Overall it was all very well spiced and nothing was greasy or felt too heavy.

It was a great evening of catching up with Julia and we left sans the usual lethargic-food-coma type feel you usually get when you leave a curry house.

http://www.dishoom.com/shoreditch/

And as tomorrow morning is my run (The British 10k), I bid you adieu. Goodnight!

Tayyabs

Tayyabs is a hidden gem just a short walk from Whitechapel station. It is a Punjabi restaurant and is famous for its grills, which you can smell blocks away. You could probably follow the smell to find the restaurant. Delicious.

It is very busy all the time so I would definitely recommend booking before. If you don’t book (and I speak from experience) then you can wait in a long line, which curves all around the restaurant, for up to an hour. There is even a man with a neon yellow jacket with the words “Crowd Control” written on his back. No joke.

Hannah just got back from a 6 week business trip and so Glenn, Nathan and I decided to arrange a get-together for some Tayyabs on her first night back. There were 9 of us altogether, so luckily we booked.

It is BYOB (bring your own booze) so as soon as we got to the table we cracked open our beers and wines and they brought poppadoms for us to munch on while we looked through the menu.

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The grilled lamb is amazing and it is what the restaurant is famous for. It comes out sizzling on a hot plate with the gorgeous aroma filling the air. This photo does not even begin to do justice to the taste of all the spices and all the flavour.

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We also had some curries, which are all incredible. If you don’t know what you want, the waiters are great at helping you choose depending on what kinds of things you like. I love their dhal and any of their saag meat curries.

It is a good place to go in a couple or with a big group of friends. There is always a lively and vibrant atmosphere and always great food and very affordable (we paid £15 each, including a tip, and left with a food coma). The only downside is that your hair and clothes end up smelling like all the spices when you leave so its clothes in the washing machine and a good shower before bed.

It is my favourite curry house in London at the moment.

http://tayyabs.co.uk