For those who crave the British-style curries and tandoori dishes from back home [UK], Brick Lane is the place to go. Drawing inspiration from the UK's famous street and curry capital Brick Lane in London, this restaurant, located in Al Barsha, offers traditional Indian curry classics with an Anglo-twist. Run by Liverpool locals Dobir and Farid Ud Din, it's one of the newest curry houses to open in the city.
Being Asian and coming from the UK myself, I decided to give Brick Lane a go.
The setting was cosy - just a handful of tables, a flat screen TV playing the best of British programmes and customers bustling in and out of the eatery. The open kitchen gave us a view of the chefs at work, all the while filling the small eatery with the pleasant aromas of bubbling spices, which fanned our hunger pangs even more.
For starters I ordered mixed kebabs. It consisted of delightfully crispy and light onion bhajiyas, a minced mutton samosa and seekh (skewers) kebabs, which had a reddish colour - it was tasty but not overpowering. My partner ordered buttered puri, an unusual dish, which on first glance looked like a stuffed folded pancake. The inside was filled with a deliciously rich and creamy sauce and tender prawns, and surpassed our expectations with its subtly spiced, yet sweet taste. Not much heat, but then again one must remember, the dishes cater to British style.
Our main course arrived soon, brought by manager Dobir himself. I decided to try the ‘king' curry and the UK's unofficial national dish - chicken tikka masala. I was not sure whether it would live up to expectations, but once again, I was proven wrong.
The grilled smokey flavour of the chargrilled chicken pieces complemented the distinct rich sauce and was ideal for dunking and scooping up with warm naan bread.
My partner went in for chicken jalfrezi, one of the more hotter dishes, under the assumption that it wouldn't be too spicy for an Anglo-Indian restaurant. How wrong we were. We ignored the 2-star chili rating on the menu. Although tender and packing in all the traditional flavours, it was deceptively spicy. We braved the rest of the dish with helpings of pulao, vowing never to underestimate ‘Hot dishes' ever again.
The restaurant does not have much of a selection in desserts (gulab jamun and kulfi). The kulfi was refreshingly cooling, with hints of almond and pistachio, but it was the gulab jamun that proved to be the real winner.
I left Brick Lane feeling comfortably full, not the usual bloated feeling that most restaurants leave you with. Although more of a takeaway joint, Brick Lane is a relaxing place to dine and offers a range of dishes with clear explanations for those not too familiar. The prices are also reasonable, and as Dobir said, "We use better cuts of meat and less oil", it stays true to its word.