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
Brick Lane Brasserie â Hungry For Curry? Look No Further
By Theron Mohamed
Stationed along Londonâs famous Brick Lane, this eponymous brasserie serves a delightful range of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.
Brick Lane Brasserie is a lively establishment that attracts a young crowd. The rousing beats and cries of Indian pop music mix with the laughter and chatter of its patrons, creating an upbeat atmosphere.
My companion and I are quickly seated, and we pause to take in our surroundings. Mirrors run the length of the restaurant, creating an illusion of greater space. Vibrant paintings on the wall, coloured in hues of orange and crimson, depict simple scenes of rural and coastal village life. The room is well-lit, courtesy of dozens of tiny lights in the ceiling.
Brick Lane Brasserie is a cosy, intimate restaurant. At first weâre taken aback by the constant flow of waiters streaming past our table, carrying writing pads or ferrying sizzling dishes. However, the friendly staff are careful not to impose, and there are no accidents or spilled drinks.
Salim Mohammad took over the reins of the restaurant last year, a decade after his father opened it in 2001. Growing up, his ambition was always to enter business, and he has now realised that dream. He said:
âBrick Lane Brasserie is a special restaurant; itâs different to the rest. We serve a unique menu, and use unusual Bengali spices in our food. My own brother is the chef, and I have great confidence in him.â
After perusing the menu, we order a couple of mango lassis to begin the proceedings. Light, creamy and refreshing, they provide a teasing taste of whatâs to come.
Our starters consist of the tikka kebab platter, loaded with sheesh kebab, tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and lamb tikka. The meats are succulent and well-seasoned, but a little dry. The accompanying cool yoghurt raita is a lifesaver, the perfect antidote to the searing heat and spicy flavours of the tikka.
For our main courses, we settle on the lamb goa, cooked with almonds and coconut and served in a sweet mango sauce. We also have the vegetable dansak, an assortment of vegetables and lentils in a sweet and sour sauce, and the lamb tandoori, spiced with onions and red peppers. Side dishes include vegetable rice and aloo paratha naan.
The lamb goa is an absolute knockout, a heady mix of flavours. The soft lamb, combined with sweet mango and coconut, is heavenly. The vegetable dansak and lamb tandoori also taste excellent, the latter bringing a pleasurable heat to the table. The paratha, unusually stuffed with coconut and onion, is wholesome and filling. We savour every bite, making sure to do each delicious dish justice. This is a meal that will certainly remain in the memory.
With our dinner concluded, weâre presented with wet paper towels to clean our hands with â a thoughtful final touch. I think this should be made a requirement in Indian restaurants, where meals are liable to get messy.
Overall, Brick Lane Brasserie offers a complete dining experience: mirrors, pictures and music create a stimulating dining environment, competent and helpful staff ensure everything runs smoothly, and exceptional food make eating here an absolute pleasure. Without a doubt, it showcases the best that Brick Lane has to offer.
Brick Lane Brasserie
67 Brick Lane
0203 157 7027