Vindaloo from Aladin, Brick Lane, London
After enduring a painfully traffic-clogged ride in from Luton airport this morning, the very first thing I wanted to do was to fill my empty stomach with the wonders of that adored English dish: vindaloo. So I made my way down to Brick Lane and picked these guys toward the end (132 Brick Lane, 020-7247-8210). I dunno if the photo of Prince Charles in the window made it a tourist trap or not, but I took comfort in the fact that I was really after the scorching hot Anglified version after all.
Anyway, this fiery stuff hit the spot. The heat didn't necessarily strike right away, but it did build itself up to the point where it made my belly warm and small beads of sweat started to form on my forehead. I was quite surprised to catch myself panting mildly too. It might have been a bit odd to start a day with this spicy red concoction rather than ending it after some drinks, but the two plates of white rice that I needed to facilitate its ingestion did satiate the hunger pangs that were killing me all morning.
Those two plates of rice unfortunately also prevented me from trying something else that every shop on this street was offering: a Balti, whose main selling point was the iron pot that the curry sat in. Now that I look at it, I should have tried a Phaal too, another local invention that is supposed to be even spicier than vindaloo. Really? My stomach would love to give it a shot.