October 13, 2011

London: Bangladeshi on Brick Lane

After our Jack the Ripper tour (much less creepy than the one I took on my first trip to the UK in 1996, which happened on a cold, dark, rainy night). This time it was interesting but not scary, and a good 2 hours of serious walking. LaShauna & I were hungry, and we ended up having dinner on nearby Brick Lane, London's famed neighborhood known for having a jam-packed selection of curry houses.

Our tour guide mentioned Sheraz as a good spot for dinner--this restaurant is the site of the former "Ye Olde Frying Pan," which is where Mary Nicholls had her last pint before becoming the first victim to Jack the Ripper. The Ye Old Frying Pan sign is still fixed to the Sheraz building. The photo was too dark, but trust me, it's there!

The current incarnation of Sheraz is anything but foreboding. The guide clinched it for us by adding that we would get a 20 percent off discount for eating there after taking the tour. Deal!

It was pretty late, close to 10pm, so we got a seat immediately. Sheraz is one of the Brick Lane spots that serves alcohol (many don't for religious reasons), so LaShauna & I each ordered a glass of wine (nicely priced at around 4 pounds (6-7 dollars)!

Our server quickly brought us Chapati (£ 1.95~ around 3 USD), a crisp, unleavened bread, paired with a quartet of insanely flavorful, spicy (some hot, some HOT) chutneys, and I could easily have eaten too much of it!

I ordered the Chot Poti (£ 2.50~5 bucks), described as a famous appetizer in Bangladeshi cuisine. The chickpeas are cooked with lentils, cumin, chilli & coriander with tangy tamarind sauce. It wasn't searing hot, but deliciously tangy.

LaShauna had the chicken tikka starter (£ 3.25~7 USD)--I had a bite--tender white meat, spicy sauce, and soothing swirls of a cooling yogurt sauce baked in a clay oven- what's not to love?

For my entrĂ©e: Aam Murgh (£ 7.50~12 USD), which the menu calls a favo(u)rite dish of Bangladesh: chicken cooked with mangoes in a special Bangladeshi sauce of coriander & green chilis. This had sweet,ripe pieces of mango dotted through the spicy red sauce, but it wasn't sicky sweet. I really liked this dish--a great mix of savory & sweet.

LaShauna ordered the Tandoori Chicken (£ 7.50~12 USD) which she said was quite delicious.

While the salty, almost Pringle-like flatbread was great, I also enjoyed the order of Naan bread that came with my mango chicken--perfect for sopping up the rich, tangy sauce.

With the reasonable prices AND our 20% discount (which they honored without a fuss), we were delighted with our meal and our first foray into Bangladeshi food!
Whether you hit the affordable (and spacious, clean, and friendly) Sheraz or another nearby Curry House, don't skip a visit to Brick Lane if you're in London!

13 Brick Lane
London, E1 6PU
United Kingdom
020 7247 5755

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