Restaurant Review: City Spice - London, UK
When it comes to exploring the city of London, there are always endless activities and restaurants to try out. I had heard of the Brick Lane being of the most popular destination for Bangladeshi curry houses in London, I never got a chance to dine there.
As soon as I entered the Brick Lane in London, I knew where we were as I could spot lots of Bangladeshi curry restaurants. As we weren't much aware of the parking in the area, we rather decided to park the car on the first empty spot we found and decided to walk to City Spice, also known as the King of Brick Lane. It was a REALLY chilly night and it felt like I was walking inside a freezer. It was much apparent and is even true that the Bengali community introduced the idea of curry houses in Brick Lane, and today, the choices of restaurants there have increased.
City Spice serves classic Bangladeshi food, and it was my first time trying out this cuisine. Along with curries, they also have their award winning Bangladeshi signatures dishes on the menu. They have decent sized seating, both upstairs and downstairs, and the whole restaurant can accommodate up to 100 people at a time.
My husband and I decided on the starters and mains, and meanwhile, we were served some Poppadums with assorted chutneys and our drinks that included a lemonade (£1.95), pineapple juice (£2.25) and a mango lassi (£2.95). For the starters, we tried the Prawn Puree, Shingara and Aloo Chop. I've had prawn puree and potato shingara before as well so I had an idea how it would be and what I should expect. The shingara (£3.95), was a pastry filled with chicken tikka, vegetable and cheese. From the taste, I knew that it had been freshly prepared and it reminded me of the days when I was studying business administration because it tasted almost similar like the popular cheese rolls sold in my institution's cafe. The prawn puree (£4.95) was actually prawns in a gravy wrapped up in a deep fried puri. The flavours of the prawn filling were coming through but I found it a bit heavy for my appetite, well that's how the puris are supposed to be, but this one was slightly oily.
Aloo chop (£3.75) actually consisted of lamb meat and spicy mashed potato, which had been deep fried in a thick coating. All the starters were served with fresh green salad and a slice of lemon but the little thing that squeezes fresh lemon juice was really a nice touch because I don't like squeezing lemons with my hands and that's why I keep a bottle of already squeezed lemon juice at home.
Next up were the mains, we tried chicken tikka biryani (£9.95) which I really liked. I was told that it was mild in taste, but the taste was perfect for me with a good flavour of spices coming through and if you want it even spicier, they had even added some fresh chilies to munch. I tried one small piece of the sliced chili and it was really spicy so couldn't develop the courage of having another one. The chicken tikka pieces in the dish were generous and for me, the biryani itself was spicy so I didn't need anything else to further enhance the flavour.
Also tried the Sylheti lamb shank (£14.95) with some paratha and a piece of cheese garlic naan (£3.50) and really liked it. The meat was coming off the bone easily, it had been slow roasted in Bengali style and the portion was great! I actually wasn't aware of the portion size so had ordered a lamb jalfrezi as well, but that lamb shank itself is good for 2 to share.
Okay so when we were ordering, I was thinking for a lamb thali but then I though it would be too much, and on recommendation of the staff, I agreed upon lamb jalfrezi (£8.95). I was told that it was spicy and it REALLY was! We both were too full, so we didn't even think of looking at the desserts menu. At City Spice, the staff was friendly and made sure that our needs were met well. It was a Saturday evening when we dined at there, and the restaurant was extremely busy! The food was reasonably priced, and the restaurant is a child-friendly place. You can check out their menu, here.
Halal Meat: Yes
Alcohol Available: Yes
Contact City Spice:
Telephone: 020 7247 1012
Location: 138 Brick Lane, London - E1 6RU
Location: 138 Brick Lane, London - E1 6RU