Flaming Dragon Curry – JJ Moon, Ruislip Manor

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Junk resorted to having dinner by herself in da hood last week. Blame the Boom for being mentally inflexible and leaving Junk all by her lonesome. In fact, the abandonment turnout to be a blessing in disguise as Junk managed to worm herself into a small pow wow by the pub’s regulars and had a great time! ūüėČ But that’s a story for another day…

image-4166-jjmoonJJ Moon is a Weatherspoon pub and is located directly opposite the Ruislip Manor tube station. Don’t be fooled by the frontage of the pub, it is very spacious inside and it even has a couple of tables in a small patio area right at the back. Come evening time, the front of the pub will be filled with regulars and smokers and can be rather intimidating but fear not, they don’t bite and are in fact a pretty nice bunch.

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Seeing it’s Thursday which is Curry Club in most/all (??) Weatherspoon pubs, I went with the hottest option on the menu. I’m sure you have seen menus whereby the number of chili icon by an item indicates how spicy it is? I never found that scale to be trustworthy and went “poo poo” to myself when I ordered The Flaming Chicken Curry with 5 chili icons. The meal with a pint of cider cost ¬£5.99 and I threw in a couple of Vegetable Samosas for ¬£1.
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After ordering, decided to study the menu in more detail and noticed a phrase in brackets “Y Ddraig Fflamllyd”. Looks like Welsh and it even has a trademark symbol next to it, this is a job for Google! From my searches, it would seem like it’s a product trademarked by a Welsh company producing ready made food for wholesale and retail. I guess Weatherspoon caters this curry from them. Welsh curry eh? Who would have guessed!

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Enough of¬†sleuthing, back to the food. Starting with the mundane, the Vegetable Samosa were pretty awful. The filling was fine, typical mix bag of diced veg and the wrapping was also nice and crispy. The problem was its filled with oil! Guess the chef did not drain the samosa before service. Then again at ¬£1, can’t really complain.

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From the mundane, we move on to the fiery. Wow! Junk is pretty blown away by this smoking chook! This really deserves the 5 chili icon I have to admit, its a rare occasion when Junk is left panting by the spiciness of food and believe you me, this left me slightly winded. Took 2 pints of cider to finish my meal. Well, I would normally have 2 pints or more anyways but this time, I needed it. Apart from the heat, the curry has a nice tangy flavour with bits of bits of red peppers laced throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Boom! I challenge you to a Flaming Chicken Curry showdown! Or are you too chicken (pun very much intended!) to take me on!

JJ Moon
12 Victoria Road
Ruislip Manor
London HA4 0AA
01895 622373

Live from @truckstopLDN

OK people, not going to write much. Just showing all the trucks at Truck Stop and a couple of nosh pics I remembered to take before stuffing my face!

Enjoy!

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The crowd, all well behaved.

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Vanduke, brother truck of Naamyaa Cafe

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Engine, serving hotdogs.

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Yum Buns, we actually had 2 yum buns, a chicken and a pork but Junk forgot to take a picture. £3.50 each or 2 for £6. Highly recommended.

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Baba G, Indian food. I was tempted by the Bhaji Box which at £4 is a good option for sharing.

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Healthy Yummies, they were selling pan fried scallops in the shell. A colleague of mine tried it and she said it was good. Long queues though, be warned!

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Spit and Roast, the Tweet got the Poutin here. For £3.50, you get a big tray of fries topped with cheese curd and rich, full of umami roast chicken gravy. We were not expecting the gravy to be filled with shredded chicken, good thing though! The Tweet wolfed the whole tray down in a couple of minutes. Spudcaterian!

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Cheeky Italian, I think they were serving arancini balls and calzone.

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Gurmetti – Italian pork burgers

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That’s Bleeker St Burger! They won the Young and Foodish burger bash but I didn’t feel like burger today.

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Mama’s Jerk Station – Pretty self explanatory.

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Bell & Brisket – Salt Beef Bagel

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I got this from Mother Clucker. Wanted whole pieces of chook but apparently it takes to long to cook. So settled for cup of cluck. Nice!

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Anna Mae’s – Mac & Cheese. I was truly tempted but the stomach protest

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The bar! The booze!

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Original Fry Up – Typical fry up, All Day Breakfast

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Daisy Green – Frozen Yogurt

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Shawarma Shack – Kebabs

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Fishdog – Coley fish fingers

Anyway, time to get sloshed, over and out!

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Truck Stop
Somewhere in Canary Wharf
Do buy tickets in advance to get tokens for 2 drinks!
@truckstopLDN

 

Lamb Biryani and Hot Wings – Hot Munchies, Southwark

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Received some comments from a regular reader of my blog saying that my posts have gotten less “junky” recently. Looking at my recent entries, he might be right and decided to try harder to return to my usual gluttonous ways. Made an effort to track down some low brow food today and remembered this small little shop under the train track bridge on the way to work.

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Hot Munchies is located in the least expected place, under the bridge that trains travel into London Bridge Station. Unlike those posh restaurants, bars and galleries under the bridge near Waterloo Station, this is a small little shop selling run of the mill kebabs, burgers, fried chicken etc. The shop’s only neighbour is a private cab office. ¬†I would usually give such places a miss but the poster with biryanis and curry rice caught my attention. At around the ¬£4 mark, it’s pretty affordable for this area.

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Of the 2 biryanis and 4 curry rice on offer, I went with the Lamb Biryani at £4.30 and added 5 Hot Wings for £1.70. Alas, no longer in Brick Lane, no more 4 Hot Wings for £1.

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The Hot Wings were pretty ordinary, could be more crispy but at least they were not dry. Do help yourself to the various sauces available at the counter. My concoction of chilli and garlic sauce went very well with the wings.

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For £4.30, I was not expecting much from the biryani and thus I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty tasty. There were quite a few tender lamb pieces which I thought was generous. The rice was spiced with the usual cardamon, black pepper pods and cloves and not too oily. The curry sauce with bits of carrots, peas and onions went very well with the biryani.

In all, I enjoyed my attempt to be more hardcore junk today. Perhaps I should try harder again next week!

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You’d thought they would notice the typo!

Hot Munchies
30 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TU
0207 4070691

Beef Madras Curry Club – The Ledger Building, West India Quay

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Penultimate day! A few of the team decided to have lunch with me today at the pub opposite the office. They were promoting a Gourmet Hot Dog a couple of weeks ago but found none while perusing their menu. Being a Wetherspoons, every Thursday is Curry Club day. So settled for a curry instead.

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The Ledger Building is a pub from the J D Wetherspoons chain and is located towards the end of West India Quay. The building a bit unassuming on the outside but is huge inside. The pub is separated into the main bar area with a dinning area on the side and 2 other dinning rooms on the other side of the main corridor. The decor is rather classy with chandeliers and really high ceilings. If I’d known it was that nice, I would have visited earlier!

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The number of curries available for Curry Club varies across the pubs in the Wetherspoon chain. The Ledger Building is one of those that have a more extensive option. I settled for the Beef Madras as it’s supposedly more spicy than the rest. The main set comes with yellow rice, the curry,¬†poppadoms,¬†a naan bread and a drink with the option to make it a Curry Feast for ¬£1.50 more. Yes, obviously I upsized which got me some Bombay Potatoes, a veg samosa and an onion bhaji. With the Curry Club costing ¬£7.25 and the ¬£1.50 for the extras, the bill should only be ¬£8.75 but I was charged ¬£9.05 instead. The bartender explained that I went for a pint of Pepsi thus the higher price. Duh!

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The curry arrived in no time and I proceeded to tuck in. The Beef Madras was not spicy at all and definitely needs more salt but the pieces of beef was nice and tender and the serving was ample. The rest of the meal was ok, nothing much to wow about. I highly recommend getting the Bombay Potatoes though, it’s the best rendition I’ve had so far with loads of softly¬†saute onions in a tangy tomato based sauce. Good stuff!

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P/s: There is a Gourmet Hot Dog after all! It’s not in the menu but there are posters around the pub. Too bad I ordered before I spotted the posters.

The Ledger Building
4 Hertsmere Road
West India Quay
Docklands
London E14 4AL
0207 536 7770

Chicken Masala Dosa and Vada – Dosa World, Hanbury Street

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Funny how cravings are like, came noon and my taste buds went ding, I want dosa. So it’s off to Dosa World for lunch today.

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I have blogged about Dosa World before and a reader commented that he was surprised I managed to get a Meat Masala Dosa as he thought South Indians are predominantly vegetarians. Found myself standing outside the restaurant staring at the menu to gear myself for a vegetarian meal but the call of protein was too hard to resist. I succumbed and ordered a Chicken Masala Dosa with a side of plain vada. The dosa cost £5.99 while the plain vada was £1.49.

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The Chicken Masala Dosa is served with a mild but¬†flavorful¬†sambar. To be honest, I much prefer the chicken to the meat version I have previously. Somehow, it’s more moist and the plain shredded chicken blends in much better with the rest of the filling.

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As for the vada, the plain version is so much better than the spinach version! Crunchy on the outside but nice and fluffy on the inside. Perfect with the 2 chutneys that came with the order. The nice man who took my ordered explained that the white chutney is made with coconut (that was my guess before) while the red chutney is more spicy and made with tomato. I don’t know which chutney I prefer, I think they taste best when combined.

Brings back memories of when I was a kid growing up in Singapore. The vadas we have usually has a big unshelled prawn on top and always served with fresh whole green chilies. Oh well, the vada from Dosa World will just have to do then.

Dosa World
46 Hanbury Street
London E1 5JL
0207 377 0344

Meatball Curry Rice – De Lites, Shadwell

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Damn Stan! Every Monday, I religiously go to my Canary Wharf office cos of the regular meetings he has set up but for the past month, he keeps rescheduling them to other days which makes my trip redundant. He really took a mickey today by moving the location to my Brick Lane office! Not only was my trip to Canary Wharf wasted, now I have to haul my ass (a small one mind you!) to East London!

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Enough mad woman rants, one saving grace of this diversion is I managed to checkout this small cafe between Shadwell DLR and Shadwell Overground. I have walked past it whenever I travel from one office to another and am intrigued by their special of the day. Some days, it’s biryani, others Lamb Curry and today, it’s Meatball Curry. Was in a rush and so I gave it a try.

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De Lites is one of your typical cafe selling sandwiches, breakfast and pre made lunches. Looking at the toasted paninis that the other diners are having, they look to be well made, generous and even has a side salad. Apart from ordering the Meatball Curry, I also added a lamb samosa. Yes yes, I can’t resist a samosa. The daily special was ¬£4.50 while the samosa was ¬£1.15, total price came to ¬£5.65 which is pretty affordable I think.

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When I unpacked the box, was pretty surprised by the amount of rice I was given, not that I’m complaining. Curry and rice, definitely nice (noddy head). The curry sauce was tasty and rich with cardamon pods and other spices, not too spicy but beware of munching on the cardamom pods. Was expecting the meatballs to be factory made and stuffed with carb fillers but was glad that they looked to be homemade with lean beef and the six I was given with the rice more than filled my tum. The nice lady at the counter even packed a small bag of mixed salad for me which added much needed crunch to my lunch. The samosa on the other hand was nothing great. The samosas from Amar Gaon still triumphs!

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Never occurred to me that you can make a curry out of meatballs, definitely gives me inspiration when I cook at home next. Meatball and boiled egg curry anyone?

De Lites
81 Watney Street
London E1 2QE
0207 790 7100

Dry Catfish Curry – Amar Gaon, Brick Lane

No rest for the wicked I say! Or at least for the greedy. Was tempted to take a break from blogging today so I don’t have to wreck my brain to find something new that I actually feel like eating. After making that monumental decision, went straight to Amar Gaon to get my lunch. Changed my mind as I thought what I ordered today is rather interesting so I’m back to square one.

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I have blogged about Amar Gaon a couple of times before. I have tried a few other similar shops along Brick Lane but somehow, I prefer Amar Gaon. I think it has something to do with the friendly service. I don’t feel threatened ordering things I know next to nothing about.

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I went with a Dry Catfish Curry, well it’s Boal which Wiki tells me is catfish. Also had what looks to be a mix veg curry with green beans and potato chunks. Threw in a meat samosa and with rice, total came to be ¬£8. Slightly more expensive compared to previous times as the fish was bigger and had to be placed in a separate container.

Coming from Asia, we expect our fish to be fresh and thus no fishy taste. One of the reasons why we don’t really like freshwater fish which often have that muddy fishiness. I have since got used to fish having a fishy taste. Not that they are not fresh, it’s just different fish or different modes of preparation. Smoked fish is fishy and so are freshwater or oily ones. But there is only a certain level of fishiness I can take. Unfortunately, the catfish today pretty much hit my limit. Fishy taste combined with the slightly slimy skin, not enjoyable. I think I will avoid fish curry next time.

As for the mixed veg, I was quite surprised to find small shell on shrimp scattered throughout. Also what I thought was potato chunks, turned out to be taro. There also seem to be some form of gourd in the mix as well as I can see stringy, fibrous bits and gourd seeds in the mix. Taste wise, it was alright with the shell on shrimps providing some crunch.

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I was offered a spicy salad with my order today on the house and I never reject free food. The salad is simply made up of sliced tomatoes, onions, coriander and green chilies in a lime dressing. Simple but very refreshing and tasty. The meat samosa as usual is tightly packed with minced meat, onions and peas and heavily spiced with cumin. I think it’s one of the better samosa available in Brick Lane.

Amar Gaon
50 Brick Lane
London E1 6RF
0207 377 6688