Friday, 11 September 2009
Mirch Masala, 111 – 113 Commercial Road, London, E1 1RD
Whenever we go to Lahore Kabab House (and then invariably miss the turning to get to it), we then go by Mirch Masala and think to ourselves how we’d like to try it out. After doing this about 3 times, we decided to make an actual trip there instead of just imagining it.
While waiting for our friend who was making his way from Clapham, we decided to look through the ENTIRE menu. Not just waft our way through it, no, but look through it in entirety, understanding every word as though revising for an exam. A fun exam.
Having had a look through the entire menu, memorised the spelling of the dishes, completed a quiz on the prices of the dishes, and then decided what to order on behalf of said friend from Clapham, said friend still hadn’t turned up.
When you have nothing to do while waiting for your food, you play with whatever food you have. Can’t do anything with chilli sauce and yoghurt? You’ve been proven wrong.
The table setting here is pretty much wooden table with some red napkins, nothing jazzy, but nice and purpose-befitting. When our friend finally turned up the day after (kidding), we told him what we;d be ordering and what he’d be eating. Thus, the dishes you see below were decided upon entirely by us, which is what happens when you’re late for dinner.
Mixed frill (3 grilled chops, 3 seekh kebabs, 3 pieces chicken tikka, 3 pieces lamb tikka, 4 pieces tandoori chicken wings) £14
With 3 of us dining (2 of them being hungry man-types), the full works had to be ordered. After a quick mathematical assessment of price vs quantity, we decided that this was the best option for starters if we wanted variety, quantity, and lots of meat.
Suffice to say, it didn’t disappoint as it looks like half the farm was served up on the sizzling plate. With a bit of seekh kebab to lend to the texture of pure meat, the blend of spices, the mixture of tastes, and the sheer quantity of the dish made this very enjoyable.
Trust me to always prioritise quantity over quality.
Karahi ginger chicken £7
It’s not often that I see ginger in my curry. Ginger is more often than not a vegetable (?) I associate with steamed Chinese dishes, so when I saw this on the menu, I thought it might be worth trying out.
When the dish arrived with the ginger bits on top, I felt slightly disappointed as just from looking at the dish, it seemed as though it was a typical curry dish, just with extra ginger garnishing on top of it.
Pleasantly enough, the curry actually tasted of ginger, so this is a dish I’ll order again.
Paneer naan £2.50
Due to no other reason than pure greed for food, we decided that 3 portions of rice between the 3 of us wasn’t enough carbs, so we ordered one more portion of naan for good measure, just in case we hadn’t ordered enough already. The cheese used in the bread is not as strong as the usual Cheddar variety, and I could actually taste the milk used in the cheese, with a nice stringy chewy texture in between the layers of bread.
Karahi fish £7
Typically ordered to see how a new restaurant fares on our weird and non-scientific benchmark list, this dish proved to be a winner. I’m not sure what white fish they used, but it was tender without being too flaky, and because of that, it managed to retain all the spices used in the curry. Kinda like a sponge with ovely texture.
This was the first time we’d been to a Mirch Masala (it’s a chain restaurant), and it won’t be the last as the quality of the food and service was really impressive. Reasonable prices, more than decent portions, and a creative (but not big) menu made this meal very enjoyable.
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