Junk is back to her old big portion ways today and decided it’s been awhile since she had a curry. So it’s back to Brick Lane for lunch today. Cafe Grill is directly opposite Amar Gaon and looks like a good potential when I took a sneak peek yesterday.
The restaurant looks like a more upmarket and modern version of Amar Gaon with 2 steam tables holding hot food and a cold one containing shish kebabs ready for the grill and fresh salads. There were quite a few hot dishes available and I was spoiled for choice. With no labels against each dish, I once again resorted to pointing and asking.
Ended up with a lamb curry and a shredded veg dish which I’m told was bitter gourd. I was expecting my choices to be packed together with rice, all in the same box. Got worried when the 2 dishes I wanted were placed in different containers. Told the server I only have £8 in coins available as I couldn’t be bothered to bring my wallet and wanted to waste my coins. He told me my order actually totals at £9.40 but for me, he will do it for what I had. What a nice man! Perhaps he was thinking:”Oh, poor little Chinese girl…”
What I was told was bitter gourd turned out to be shredded potatoes! But I was happy with my choice as the potatoes are cooked to the right tenderness and is mildly spiced with turmeric. The sympathetic spicing brought out the natural sweetness of potatoes. Watch out for the whole dried chillies scattered though, one bite could kill! The lamb curry was less successful I’m afraid as somehow, it’s missing the depth of flavour your would expect from a strong meat curry but at least the lamb was tender. There were gourd like slices amongst the lamb and I had to Google to figure out what gourd it was. I think it’s bottle gourd and it’s the first time I have tried it. The bottle slices taste slightly bitter and somehow has a lemony taste. I don’t mind it.
In all, an ok lunch. I did see a dry fried mackerel dish that looked pretty interesting in the hot steam table. Perhaps I will give that a try next time.
35 Brick Lane
London E1 6PU
0207 247 3838