Thursday, June 12, 2008

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.


Kathy said...

If you need to douse the heat from the curries, try ordering Palak Paneer. The ones in Uk were better than even those in India. Weird huh? Ditto the Lamb Rogan Josh.

Try Royal China for dim sum, Four Seasons for Cantonese Roast duck, don't miss Edgeware Road or Bayswater area for doner kebabs, Pizza Express (way better than most of the crap here, ask for the chilli oil!) and the chips at any classic chip shop with lots of salt and vinegar.

If you've time for great grub in elbow jostling surrounds, go to Young Cheng at Shaftesbury Avenue, order the black bean fish and aubergine dish.

Don't eat those 99p pizzas or the hot dogs off the streets no matter how hungry you get! Awful! Pret A Manger's a better bet.

If you stop by Selfridges or Harrods, the sushi counters are suprisingly good.

If you go downtown, go to Sofra at St Christopher's Place, it's a side alley just off Bond Street, (check the map, it's difficult to find).

Kathy said...

Actually, the best curries aren't found in Brick Lane. It's where the "angmohs" go to.

For the best curries, you've got to take a mainline train out to Southall from Paddington. You won't see a single "white" face there. Ha.

Try Kingfisher Beer or any other Indian draught with your curry.