Posted by: cgratton | February 6, 2009

Not all Fish n’ Chips

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, the growing trend of London gastropubs is slowly helping to break the stereotype that British food is as bad as their teeth.  Stigmatized by the famous, greasy favorite, fish n’ chips, London’s culinary scene has never been able to get the credit it truly deserves.  But that bad name should be banished, as London has the best selection of international fare of any European city. Mirroring the metropolis’s own vibrant quilt of ethnicity, the city is brimming with restaurants sure to impress even the most veteran diners.

When in London do as Londoners do…

And what is London’s favorite dish? Chicken Tikki Masala. Yes, you read correctly. The anglo-Indian fusion meal replaced fish n’ chips as England’s no. 1 dish. Nov. 10 is even National Curry Week in London! In fact, Indian restaurants are among the most popular and most prevalent in London— it boasts over 8,000 curry houses. The hub of Indian fare is located in the East End, and most notably line the colorful and historic Brick Lane, the curry capital of London. From cheap, tiny hole-in-the-walls to fancy, white-linened upscale joints, Brick Lane is truly THE destination for a good curry. But walk down the street on a weekend night and expect to be hassled by employees all vying for your business with “deals” if you eat at their restaurant.

Brits are truly crazy for curry

Brits are truly crazy for curry

If you’re not up for bartering for your meal, Punjab, in Covent Garden, is the oldest North Indian restaurant in the UK (opened for over 60 years!), so right off the bat, you can expect excellence.

Don't let its unassuming exterior fool you...

Don't let its unassuming exterior fool you...

Richly decorated in colorful brocades and silks, the warm, spicy air and sitar music immediately transports you to India. Their extensive menu is reasonably priced and has something for everyone—vegetarians and carnivores alike.

The food speaks for itself

The food speaks for itself

But Londoners are taking Indian food to the next level. Some restaurants, like Imli in Soho, are fusing traditional dishes with modern culinary practices—focusing on simplicity with fresh ingredients and bold layers of flavor. Imli classifies its food as modern Indian tapas, furthering the departure from tradition and making the experience one to share and collectively enjoy, a philosophy they whole-heartedly believe in. This is truly a successfully unique take on Indian cuisine and I highly recommend it to everyone. They even have a stick of incense in their business cards! How cool is that?

Imli's interior may be simple, but the food is anything but ordinary

Imli's interior may be simple, but the food is anything but ordinary

Tapas style meals are great for large groups

Tapas style meals are great for large groups

*Be sure to check out both restaurant’s websites. They each have a recipe section so you can recreate their dishes at home!

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Responses

  1. Good stuff. I talked about your blog a lot in class on Thursday.


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