It’s common knowledge to most Londoners that curry houses on Brick Lane are generally worth giving a wide birth. Annoying touts try and harangue you into choosing their identikit restaurant, tempting you with the prospect of ridiculous offers including corkage free byo and 60% of the bill.
Instead, those with a little insight into East end curry patiently spend their time waiting in line for the phenomenally brilliant and bargainous Pakistani food served up by Tayyabs a short 10 minute walk away (Mrs G and I would have gone there on our first date if we hadn’t decided we were too hungry to queue). Their grilled meats (lamb chops in particular), masala fish and dry meat hold cult status amongst most London food bloggers.
So when I started to hear good things about Mirchi’s Indian/Pakistani restaurant and takeaway on City road I started to count lamb chops in my sleep......
We opted for takeaway as we were feeling particularly antisocial.
Mango and sweet lassis were pleasant but average (£2.00)
The best dish of the meal was a paneer butter massala (£5.50) with a deliciously rich and creamy sauce. Karai chicken (£4.90) was well spiced but stingy on the meat front and the sauce was on the watery side.
|Paneer butter massala (midground), Karai chicken (foreground)|
The nan bread (90p) was more travel pillow than goose feather pillow and the pilau rice was dense with a powerful taste of clarified butter (£2.00).
Surely the dish I was looking forward to the most, the mixed grill (£9.90) would show off Mirchi’s skills with the grill? Sadly not. The lamb chops (and the rest of the meat in fact) were well charred but a little on the dry side and the spicing was just ok. None of the fresh herbs and grilled onions which add an extra dimension to Tayyabs exemplar version were present.
|I did add some more sauce after this photo was taken...honest|
Unfortunately with such a high bench mark set by Tayyabs, Mirchi's wouldn’t have to go far wrong to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong all of the food served by Mirchi’s is highly edible. But that’s about as much praise as I can give. It’s not really enough to make me hurry back.
Mirchi, 89 City Road, Cardiff, CF24 3BN