Brits Love Brick Lane Curry; Indians Not So Much
Seeing as how half my wife’s family is from Birmingham (England) I have come to learn about the phenomenom that is balti. I always thought it just tasted like a dumbed down version of Indian food invented for the white man’s palate (think: chicken tikka masala), but apparently it’s a Pakistani food that was brought to England and adapted for the white man’s palate. Who knew? I still haven’t been to Brick Lane Curry House (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd), but according to one commenter, if balti is what you are looking for, this place is the way to go. (I guess this should have been obvious to me, with a name like “Brick Lane” but it wasn’t. So shaddup!)
“For what it’s worth, what I like about Brick Lane has nothing to do with how spicy they make their vindaloo (and IMHO they are the only ones that make it the appropriate hotness in town)… They make it british style! In other words, you can plop down and get a delicious Chicken Balti! Who else in town makes a balti?? And before that have some onion baji. Do they sell pilau rice? I dunno. But if you’ve spend any time eating curry in England these guys are the real deal in my worthless opinion. Now I’ll have a guinness.”
Wondering how it stacks up when you put it in front of mixed crowd? This office did the ultimate test, and Lunch’er Joe R filed this report:
“Never eaten from here before. Just had a bad weekend and there were a number of us who needed to be in the office. We ordered $350+ worth of takeout from here….about 12 people. We put it all out so that anyone could take what they wanted. Among the diners, one person who sampled the food was from India. The other person was a consultant from England. Both went through the menu and had told us what to order.”
The verdict from both is after the jump.
“Indian person said food was just okay – passable. British guy (who has been in Manhattan only a few months) says that it is the most authentic that he has found on this side of the pond so far. Both agreed that some of the sauces were a little thin, samosas were too oil soaked (maybe not hot enough grease?). They liked the Jalfrezi, Papadum, chicken tika masala, malay kofta.
Some of the stuff on the menu was stuff that I’ve never heard of or seen on the menu at any other Indian place that I’ve been to. Then again, I’ve never been to England, so they must have their own style of cooking/dishes.”
They certainly do. They certainly do.