Thursday 2 October 2008

Spices - London N1

Living in London with a modicum of disposable income and a fair few free daylight hours leads one to idle in cafes or if not keen on coffee, pubs - the liver is evil and must be punished!

The Eagle is a popular city boozer with a wide selection of international beers on tap, packed to the gilded beams on Tuesday evening, warm, busy and atmospheric. Akin to it's avian namesakes it's hard to believe this place and the like are becoming an endangered species.

Disbelief suspended DJ and I trotted back up to Angel and found Spices, a small curry den round the corner from the tube station. The intimate deep crimson dining room had space for eight tables of four including us.

The food was on the whole very good. Our waiter keen to explain the differences between British curry and Bangla homestyle - claimed 80% authenticity. Having spent the previous few hours with a friend who after 6 months in Bangladesh vowed never to eat curry again I was interested to found out why.

I came away with no answers. Chicken Rezala, a smooth yoghurt based curry packed with spicy flavour of fresh coriander, a twist of mint and sour green chillies impressed. There were good bready roti's and clove infused pilau as well as a plain but not unwelcome Bhindi bhaji. DJ enjoyed his Makhani.

Another bonus is it's BYO although we had tap water and you can have any dish cooked in the Balti fashion to enhance tastes if you wish to spend a little more.

They also serve: beautiful Chicken livers, sandwiched in a light pancake. Fish tikka, paprika tinged smokiness, and rasp of green chilli. Chicken Lobue Bengal, in a fruity sauce, sharp and sweetly acidic with lime, pungently bitter with fenugreek. Lamb Chilli Massala: delicious, bold garlic tomato sauce with a rich caramelized onion base and Pindi Aloo Chana - diced, potatoes and chick peas in dish well tempered with creamy and ground spices, including tumeric and pepper.

Please also note, food arrives when it’s ready, the kitchen will not be rushed.

FOOD: 3.5

Willp2328score: 7/10

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