I decided to go for a wander down Brick Lane while in London and pick a place at random. I was in one of those moods where I was tired of doing homework and research before visiting an Indian restaurant and just wanted to try my luck. I was in the area and thought I would just stumble into a random curry house and see what I could find.
Naturally, this is where the blaggers of Brick Lane come in to play and try and drag you into their restaurant, but hey, I was game, it’s all part of the dance.
So many different people represent the Indian houses of Brick Lane, trying to convince me to come in and eat at their establishment. It was all a bit demanding and manic but part of the Brick Lane experience.
Everyone was claiming to be the best, everyone was claiming to be the cheapest, everyone was claiming to have won awards. I felt like the bell of the ball!
I ended up being convinced by a young man who gave me an irresistible deal at a place called “Chillies”, which claims to have won chef of the year. The place was somewhere I was already familiar with so I thought I would give it a shot. The place looked fresh and exciting from the outside, with its bright red neon lighting which added to the excitement of being given a fantastic deal. They offered me an incredible deal which came with pretty much everything for only £20 for two people. They offered me 2 starters, 2 mains, 2 sides, papadums, 2 desserts, 2 drinks and a partridge in a pair tree!.
How could I resist?
Upon entering we were less than blown away by the basic and worn interior. The carpet looked old and the place was very dark and dim. There was a TV in the background with Indian TV and the place was pretty quiet for Brick Lane on a Saturday night.
I went for the usual. Chicken tikka vindaloo, onion bhaji’s, garlic naan, papadums, lamb tikka, rice and some cake. We both went for a glass of red wine.
The food came out quickly on a wheelie tray and was presented reasonably well. Sadly my phone at the time was a pathetic 5 megapixel camera which did NOTHING in this dark hole of a restaurant so I didn’t bother taking any photos.
The food was quite good, though below some of the quality of its rivals such as Aladins and Monsoon. That being said, the price was much cheaper, which is saying something as both rival restaurants were quite cheap as it is! We were eating for a tenner each and that included drinks so it was hard to complain!
The service here was quick and cold. Some might like this fast and effective. It certainly seems to be the case in other Brick Lane establishments, though the one difference for me was that in places like Aladins and Tayyabs where it is CONSTANTLY HEAVING, you understand why they want you in and out. Here, you couldn’t understand why they were in such a rush and had no time for chit chat. The place was not even half full.
I am aware this review was brief and basic. I have been meaning to do this review for over 6 months now and I didn’t feel like any of the photos I took did it any justice in this dark and gloomy restaurant, so the review looks a bit bare. Which put me off doing it even more.
The place is very modern and exciting from the front, but once you enter you feel a little let down. The food is, without a doubt, great value, but with so many better high quality places so close which put Chillies to shame in terms of food quality, I do wonder if its worth paying that extra fiver for better cuisine and a better atmosphere.
I would easily recommend over rivals on Brick Lane over Chillies. Unless you are really really hard up for cash. I can imagine this being a go-to place for people who live close by in the area because of its value and reasonable quality, but if you are coming from across or outside London then you are much better off paying that little (and I mean little) bit more for that extra quality and atmosphere!
Chillies gets a good rating from me, but mainly because it is good food for VERY cheap!