Hype men yell out they are certainly the BEST curry on Brick Lane in London. No no, not that other guy, us. Definitely. We have the awards to prove. Alright so does he, but WE are offering a deal. Come on in. Right now. Table is waiting. Now?
Walking down Brick Lane in London in hopes of a tasty curry can be a daunting task. There are some wonderful curry houses, and some not so good ones. Without a plan, you’ll end up being convinced by the loudest shop owner to give them a try no matter if they are decent or not.
I have found the Best Curry in London
Lucky for you I’ve taken away the guesswork. It’s best to go to this area with a reservation in mind, then you can avoid all the haggling and persuasion. City Spice in the ideal introduction to mastering Brick Lane cuisine and savoring the flavors of India and Bangladesh.
City Spice is on the corner of Brick Lane and Woodseer Street. A cozy interior welcomes diners on the main floor and in the basement, perfect for escaping the rainy night outside. While I’ll get into the food in a minute, I want to first highlight the incredible service offered at this spicy establishment. London isn’t always known for great waitstaff, but we were never wanting for anything and everything was super attentive. I appreciated the friendly atmosphere and even a welcome handshake from the owner. Servers were informed about every aspect of the menu and were happy to pack up the extras left from our heaping portions.
It’s rare to see such extensive offerings at any old Indian restaurant in London. You can tell City Spice is special as they have taken time to explain each dish on their menu and its components so you can veer off your normal order and try some local specialties. To begin, have some small bites with a twist, like the sag paneer spring rolls or the massive breaded king prawn. Both were great with the giant poppadums brought to the table alongside five delicious toppings from spicy to sweet.
The showstopper by far was City Spice Delight. They prepare an entire chicken roasted in a tandoori grill, then smother it in spinach and paneer cheese. Classics such as tikka masala and korma are also available, which accompanied the tandoori chicken perfectly, alongside coconut rice. Speaking of coconut, get the kitschy but fun coconut sorbet at the conclusion, served in a coconut shell with a cherry on top.
City Spice was the best experience I’ve had on Brick Lane for service and cuisine, hands down. It’s well worth making this lovely place your go-to when living in London or visiting in search of great Indian food.
Onward to Chocolate on Brick Lane
It was a pleasant night out, so we decided to walk along the road a bit and peek into some of the shops after our meal at City Spice. Brick Lane is so much more relaxed right after the dinner rush – no one is haggling you to come into their restaurants when the time has passed and everyone’s full. It made for a really nice atmosphere to admire the storefronts, street art and merry making on the street.
By chance, there was one brightly lit place along the walk that beckoned for a closer look. All I could see from the road was piles of chocolate truffles and hear reggae music softy wafting through the air. Obviously, I’m in.
The Dark Sugars Cocoa House is a spot all its own on Brick Lane. Owner Fatou Mendy can trace her passions back to family coca farms in Ghana and West Africa, where she studied the local trade. Paired with formal patisserie and chocolatier training, it’s a winning and fresh combo that has found a home on Brick Lane after ten years former in Borough Market.
Chocolates are displayed in open air on dark slates, inside giant clam shells and piled into natural wooden bowls. It’s all more of an art installation than sweet shop. Not to miss are the chocolate pearls, stuffed with mandarin or Irish cream ganache, to name a few. There’s vegan options as well, and a little coffee shop to wash it all down with strong espresso. Have a look too at the paintings depicting cocoa growers, the owner and celebrations of black culture surrounding decadent chocolate making.
I planned to scarf down all the sweets before I made it home, but I’m glad I took a few home to ration then out as treats for the week. Dark Sugars is a minute walk from City Spice and was a delightful surprise on the stroll home.
What have you discovered in London that was unplanned? How about a hidden gem in your hometown?