Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lahore Kebab House, N22

The Lahore Kebab House just off Commercial Road in London E1 has a legendary reputation for good food and service. Plenty of friends, many of whom used to work round the corner from it, have given it glowing recommendations over the years but for some reason I’ve never been, though I’ve always wanted to. So when I read in the local newspaper that they‘d opened a branch just round the corner from our house, I knew I had to pay a visit. It seemed a bit strange that they were branching out, though I’ve since learnt that they’ve already got a branch in Streatham, and that of all places to branch out to they should choose Wood Green Shopping City but I’m certainly glad they did.
Tucked away in the ‘Food Court’ of The Mall, as it’s now called, between Subway and Burger King, it seems a little out of place but hopefully people will soon realise it’s there and start using it lots as it deserves to be as successful as its parent. That said, it was by no means empty and seemed to be doing a steady trade both in the restaurant and at the take away counter and as I left a group of five came in. There’s no red flock wallpaper or any of the other trappings of the classic British curry house but it’s comfortable and clean and the food and service are top notch.
Dinnertime for me normally consists of a sandwich and a packet of crisps but I breakfasted early and lightly today in preparation for something a bit more filling. I’d heard about their lamb chops so I had to have them and then I went for my usual order when eating from a curry house that I’m new to, Chicken Madras, served up with Pilau Rice and a Tandoori Paratha. I would have liked to have washed it down with a Cobra but they don’t have a licence so I ordered an orange juice instead. In addition, when I sat down they served me with a simple salad and a bowl of raitha.
When the lamb chops came, I was a little taken aback by the amount. The menu said: five pieces, but they were larger than I’d anticipated and arrived sizzling on a skillet with onion and fresh coriander. They were well above my expectations, tender, juicy and spicy and despite knowing that I still had a fair amount of food to come I polished them off with relish, leaving behind a pile of gnawed bones.
The waiter asked if I was ready for the main course and checked that I knew that a madras is hot. Yes on both counts but now I started to worry that it would be too hot. I needn’t have worried, it was perfectly spiced, the rice was perfectly cooked and the paratha did what it needed to do. With the exception of the butter brushed on the paratha, the food wasn’t at all greasy, the chicken wasn’t at all rubbery and the whole lot was an absolute delight to eat and all that was left at the end was a few grains of rice and a clean plate. Ok, so now I’m completely stuffed and probably won’t be able to face much in the way of tea but what the hell, it was a lovely dinner and I’ll be going back very soon.
Our favourite local curry house, La Kera on Coburg Road, closed a couple of years ago and is sadly missed but in The Lahore Kebab House, I think we’ve found a suitable replacement at last.

1 comment:

Vicky said...

Nothing bets a good curry house!