"Bengal Curry House is a safe bet for good, sensibly-priced food"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
People living beyond zone 3 are frequently at pains to point out that it’s not all about central London, and there is indeed life in places like Mill Hill and Greenford. While not everyone agrees on the latter point, it is true that the best ethnic food restaurants are often dotted around suburban neighbourhoods, and not confined to the Soho-Shoreditch-South Ken triangle. Take for example, the Korean restaurants in New Malden, and the Turkish eateries on and around Green Lanes. For the best curries, it’s wise to avoid the famous, tourist-trappist Brick Lane and head further afield, to places like Tooting and Southall, where there are large Asian communities.
This also applies to Walthamstow, famed for being the birthplace of accomplished artistes E17 and Blazin’ Squad, and one of the last reasonably affordable areas within the M25. It’s also criminally underrated, particularly where food is concerned, as the high street boasts Caribbean, Polish, Middle Eastern and Thai supermarkets, not to mention the street market, second only in length to the one in Brixton. There’s an equally diverse choice of restaurants in the area too; you’ll find Portuguese tapas, a pie and mash shop, Tex-Mex, and dozens of Indian restaurants.
One of these is Bengal Curry House, which looks like a takeaway from the outside (which they also offer), but inside it has typically Indian opulence, think deep red walls, carpet and napkins, and bright depictions of landscapes set into arches (in fact everywhere you look there seems to be an arch of some sort).
The menu has all the classics: rogan josh, a Mughal curry by way of Persia and Kashmir, here made with prawns and milder than usual, and chicken tikka biryani, flavoursome basmati rice with pieces of tandoor-grilled chicken and a vegetable curry on the side. Both the tandoori chicken and the lamb tikka are juicy and well-marinated; the only slight disappointment is the garlic naan which should be far more pungent than it is.
A big advantage to eating away from prime rental locations is that restaurants can afford to offer better value. Our bill for four people came to just £66, including poppadoms with chutneys and two bottles of the house red, a remarkably good Rioja.
Sure, there are trendier places to go than a curry house in E17, but this is a safe bet for good, sensibly-priced food. And no one remembers who Blazin’ Squad are anyway.
Leila reviewed Bengal Curry House on Wed 29 May 2013