Shawarma Soldier

Two years ago, I ate the kebab to end all kebabs. My always-hungry friend Z was visiting. I had an appointment to get my hair cut on Church Street, near Marylebone. I told him he could come along, poke around the antique sellers, and get a kebab from Lahore restaurant across the street, which sets up a kebab stall on market days. An hour into my appointment Z turned up with the most gorgeous lamb shish roll. The lamb was succulent, tender, and medium-rare with a hint of char, and complemented by crunchy salad, the homemade roti wrap was warm with that perfect chewy bite to it, and the sauces – one a garlicky yogurt sauce, and one a hot sauce – struck just the right balance of salty, savory, tangy, and spicy. The kebab plunged us into a fevered discussion of why there are no proper kebab shops in Seattle and spawned my quest to try all the delicious kebab rolls in London. Continue reading

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The Delhi Grill

Although I’ve eaten at the Delhi Grill several times (months ago!), the fact that I have not yet reviewed it has been been niggling at the back of my brain like a guilty conscience. I’m not sure what the hold-up has been. Maybe that ‘everyone’ had already written up the Delhi Grill. Certainly the fact that I felt that, in order to be thorough, I needed to come not only for dinner but in the daytime, when the Delhi Grill sells delicious roti wraps at the Chapel Market. A few weeks ago, however, I had a friendly conversation with @delhigrill on Twitter about visiting one of my other must-try London-on-a-budget restaurants Continue reading

Mooli’s!

Although roti is one of my favourite things to eat in the whole world (it’s definitely in the top five and may be in the top three), somehow I didn’t know about Mooli’s until friend J showed me the menu online.

“This is right up my alley,” I thought. A streamlined concept – street food, specifically roti wraps – served six ways, with six proteins, open for lunch. Period. Two days later I was standing before the counter, clutching my fists, wracked with indecision. BEEF, PORK, CHICKPEA OR GOAT? Continue reading

Chor Bizarre: Not so much

As a general rule, I don’t go out to eat in Mayfair unless someone else is buying. This is because it is practically impossible to dine in Mayfair without basically emptying your bank account. But when a Bollywood insider suggests you go to an Indian restaurant, the sensible thing to do is immediately agree, because this particular Bollywood insider usually knows what she’s talking about. On this occasion, however, not so much.

Friend J invited me to Chor Bizarre, a venerable old Indian restaurant on Albemarle Street across from posh five star Brown’s hotel. Chor Bizarre is a successful franchise, with restaurants in Delhi and Noida. In London, it’s frequented by wealthy Indian travelers and suits striking deals. It’s a cute concept: a sly wink at a thieves’ market with tables like jewelry cases filled with found objects. But Chor Bizarre doesn’t deliver, either on concept or on food. Continue reading