Friday, 25 February 2011

Delhi Grill, Islington, London

The second meal of my day out in London was a visit to Delhi Grill in Islington. This is a fairly new place serving up robust, home style North Indian food. We're talking meats and bread fresh from the tandoor and curries cooked long and slow. It has been getting some very positive reviews in the press and blogosphere.

As I'm generally quite greedy, and as I was accompanied by the biggest man in the world, we ordered a feast.

First up, the tandoor cooked meat. Two of us shared the mixed grill platter; a pair of lamb chops, a pair of seekh kebabs and four pieces of chicken tikka. All were good, but not great. The meat was nice and tender, but rather lacking in that smoky taste and the crispy charred edges (you can just about tell the lack of char from the terrible photo) you usually expect from cooking at a very high heat. This may be the difference between cooking the meat in the tandoor or on a grill. Apparently the Indians prefer the former, the Pakistanis the latter. If this is the case I'm with the Pakistanis on this one, particularly for the lamb.

Curries swiftly followed, with a roti, a naan and a plain rice on the side. The curries were the high point of the meal, all three were excellent.

A chicken karahi was deeply flavoured with plenty of ginger, coriander and pepper in the mix.

Bhindi was more of a stir-fried dish, and all the better for it. When stewed in a curry it always seems to go a bit slimy. This was cooked until just tender with plenty of onions (and possibly tomatoes?).

Best of all was the haandi goat. Very tender goat on the bone (with a decent meat to bone ratio) in a rich, dark sauce, the spices probably roasted. It was bursting with flavour, absolutely delicious.

The breads were also good, particularly the naan which was very crisp and light. The roti was nice, but almost too soft and light,  I prefer them with a bit of chew and char to them.

This was a really good meal, all of the dishes were good but the curries were definitely the high point. For good value Indian grilled meats in central London I still think you might be better off heading to Whitechapel (to the famed triumvirate of Tayyabs, Lahore Kebab House and relatively new upstart Needoo Grill), but for curries in the same price bracket Delhi Grill is an absolute winner.

The two of us paid £20 each for all of the food, a large beer to share, and service (which was friendly and efficient). The decor is also pretty cool, canteen style but nicely done with wood floors and bar, and walls decorated with Indian newspaper cuttings.


21 Chapel Market
London N1

Delhi Grill on Urbanspoon

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