Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
179 Streatham High Road, London SW16 020 8769 0126
Cost: about Â£15-20. Unlicensed.
It has to be said that Streatham High Road is one of the dreariest places in all of London. On the surface, Mrs Wongâs fits in with this profile both outside and in. But when food is set in front of you, things begin to change. Dramatically. The cooking is spot on, equal to the best in Chinatown if not slightly better.
As most Chinese restaurants go, this is a (relatively) short menu of just under 100 items. And while there are none of the gorgeously obscure dishes food critics love to write about (myself included) such as fish lips, sea slugs or venison tendons, there are enough messy, unctuous dishes to keep the terrorist diner in all of us feeling gratefully acknowledged. What adventurous eater would not be satisfied with classic crabs in black bean sauce and all their accompanying implements of destruction? Then there is good steamed fish (ginger and spring onion for me). But this is starting in the middle.
Back to the start for meaty, tender, spicy-sharp dry barbecued spare ribs, squid with salt and chilli and crispy or Peking duck â pity itâs only the crispy version available by quarters. Curry beef noodles brought back memories of New Yorkâs Chinatown and fried bean curd with shredded vegetables and pork made me realise that bean curd does not have to be the most boring substance devised by man. The restaurant is unlicensed, but the local offies are as dreary as the rest of the High Street, so go prepared.