T'was a Friday night last November when we were walking down Brick Lane on the search for a delicious curry, when we were stopped by the Police because my boyfriend was carrying a hockey stick, which apparently isn't normal. I had to explain to the Police Officer that I didn't usually dress in tracksuit bottoms and a hoody and that I was the perpetrator: the hockey stick was mine, since I had come straight from hockey practice to Old Street.
We found ourselves outside Cafe Raj, since it was one of the only restaurants which were open. A young man came out from inside the restaurant and asked if we would like to come in, as they were open and would be happy to serve us. We both looked slightly unsure, so he offered us 20% off the food bill and a round of free drinks. We accepted, obviously; it was worth the risk! There were two waiters, both polite young men, who served us, one of whom decided that my hockey stick was an attraction and was playing with it. It was very amusing. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, and most importantly, the food was delicious: freshly cooked, aromatic, good quality meat, and took just the right amount of time to arrive at our table. As we ate our meal we talked to the young man who had lured us into the restaurant. He told us that the family (his uncle) also owns Reema Balti House, which is two doors down on the same street. Reema Balti House accepts London Taste Card, which is very tempting for those who have one of these.
Ever since, we either eat in or order takeaway from them, always receiving a discount on our bill.
There was an occasion when both Cafe Raj and Reema Balti House were closed and my boyfriend and I (being the curry addicts that we are) were desperate for a tasty curry. As Cafe Raj was closing when we arrived, one of the waiters recognised us and shouted down to the kitchen It's Victoria, Victoria is here! (which made me feel very important!), but the chef really was off home. The waiter took us to Shampan on the corner, which was also lovely (another review!)."
So I was three sheets to the wind when I came here. And it seemed a brilliant idea to follow the young gentleman on the street corner speaking on two mobile phones simultaneously (and still clutching a third) while offering us 20% off our bill at his 'father's' restaurant, a man who was a famous chef in Bangladesh. I admit, I closed my eyes and pointed at something on the menu as a way of making an ordering decision and it turned out to be a jalfrezi.
But I like spicy. I eat chillies for breakfast that make your dog cry from across the room!
Nevertheless, that jalfrezi almost killed me. I think I must have eaten the entire chilli of doom stuffed with black matter in a single bite. Without any water on the table and only a glass full of (free) battery-acid wine, I was left to suffer in silence, for fear that if I moved to speak I might unleash misery and despair onto the world from my body which had quite evidently turned into the Revelatory Hellmouth in that moment.
And no amount of water can extinguish the flames of the Apocalypse.
In my person opinion, it's hard to go wrong with Indian food, but nonetheless, I had high expectations for my first Indian meal in London. Down a slightly dim Hanbury Street off the bustling Brick Lane, Reema Balti House is not immediately evident to the passerby. My friends and I were lured down the street after bargaining with the restaurant's solicitor who promised us two free bottles of wine and 20% off our meal.
I had the Balti vegetable (a good choice I suppose for a restaurant that has Balti in the name) as well as some poppadoms to munch on while we waited. I've been to Indian restaurants (in the US I grant) where poppadoms were free, but here they were not. Not important, however, as the meal was quite reasonable. Reasonable and delicious. What a good mix; two of the better sauces one can add to food - the delicious sauce and the reasonable sauce . There was cabbage in my vegetable Balti, which I found an odd addition, but it tasted great and I was not disappointed.
Went for a few beers at the Pride of Spitalfields a few weeks ago, prior to a visit to Le Taj. to our dismay both branches have now closed. Ho-hum. What to do? Went in to one place, which won't get the benefit of a mention cos it was far too loud ground floor and downstairs.
Wandering down Hanbury Street, stopped to peruse the menu, we were greeted with a massive smile which we could not resist.The restaurant was quiet and peaceful, decor was tasteful an the food was wonderful. All the food is cooked to order, so there was a sllightly longer wait but well worth it.
Fully licensed and reasonably priced by Brick Lane standards.
Well worth a visit.
The beauty of Brick Lane is negotiating with all the people offering you an endless amount of deals for each restaurant you pass, right?
Reema Balti House is the one place I make an automatic beeline when out for a Brick Lane curry. Having eaten at my fair share (haven't we all?), this place just keeps bringing me back time after time. I've been here on a stag-do (free drinks), a birthday or two (free shots), and on many other occasions, and every single time, the staff, the service and the quality of food have been amazing. Cannot recommend it enough, and I'm building up a mini-army of friends who agree with me.
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