Mr. Selfish and I enjoy a good curry. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to stop in India on this trip. We decided to search for the ultimate curry in the next best location – London.
1. Lahore Kebab House is a restaurant off of Brick Lane, and no, it is not just a kebab house. My little cousin, Mr. Selfish, and I had samosas for an appetizer and then enjoyed the Bindi Lamb and the Chicken Tikki Masala as our entrees. The spiciness was just right but I typically like my curry to be a little on the spicier side. The naan was also perfectly cooked, and they even let us into the kitchen to show us how the naan was cooked.
Verdict: The best naan I’ve had yet, and the bindi lamb was spiced just right.
2. Rasa is located in Soho and specializes in Southern Indian food. We typically eat Northern Indian food so this was a nice change. Plus, once we were in there, we learned that Anthony Bourdain had eaten at Rasa and highly recommended it as well. We had two delicious dishes – (1) Malabar Erachi Chaaru (tender pieces of lamb cooked with aromatic spices, turmeric, red chillies and onions) and (2) Cheera Parippu Curry (fresh spinach and toor dal cooked in a thick sauce of garlic, tomatoes and green peppers, flavoured with curry leaves). Both were quite tasty and different than the usual Northern Indian fare with which we are accustomed.
Verdict: The Southern Indian food was delicious, and it was delightful to try a different region of food.
3. Moolis is a fast food Indian fusion wrap place. It is located in Soho and is very convenient for a quick bite to eat. Mr. Selfish and I enjoyed the Goat and Keema Lamb wraps. Not only are the wraps tasty, but they are also very well priced!
Verdict: Fast, cheap, and yummy, Moolis is a quick fix.
4. Mr. Selfish and I also visited The Monsoon on Brick Lane. This restaurant was right in the middle of Brick Lane and was attracting many tourists. To sweeten the deal, the man outside promised a 25% discount, which convinced us to try the restaurant. We enjoyed the Lamb Jalfrazi and the Lamb Bindi. Although The Monsoon was better than most other curry restaurants we have tried, it does not compare to the other nearby restaurants.
Verdict: The food was pretty good, but unfortunately, not as good as the nearby curry restaurants.
5. Tayyabs is located off of White Chapel, near Brick Lane. The food is Pakistani, and it is the most amazing curry that Mr. Selfish and I have ever had. There is a lot of hype around this restaurant. Mr. Selfish and I went on a Friday night, and the line to get a table was out of the door. But it was completely worth it. We tried the vegetarian samosas, the lamb chops, the bindi lamb, the Karahi lamb chops, and the lamb gosht. They were all delicious and the spicing was spot on for each dish, but I must say that the lamb chops were the best thing I tasted there.
Verdict: Although the line at Tayyabs is crazy long, it is entirely worth the wait, because the food is absolutely phenomenal!
6. Dishoom is a “Bombay cafe” in Soho. This was the first curry place we visited and, by far, the most disappointing. Mr. Selfish and I ordered the Keema Pau as an appetizer and the Dhaba chicken as an entree. Both were very underspiced and generally lacking in flavor. The fried okra, which was our side dish, came out late after we had finished our entree and was also underwhelming. Dishoom was probably the worst curry restaurant at which I have ever eaten. Luckily, it was all up hill after this place.
Verdict: The food was disappointing and way too bland. The service was also poor.
FINAL TALLY: The winner is Tayyabs, barely beating out Lahore. Both restaurants are near Brick Lane. I would recommend either of these places for anyone looking to get their curry fix.