Last night involved a 2 part mission:
1. To entice The Peanut Gallery beyond Zone 2 of the London Tube map.
2. To find a curry worth writing home about.
Today, I'm one happy camper.
Some time ago, over a glass or two of wine with the fabulous Food for Think, I lamented my complete inability to find a delicious curry truly worthy of London's repute for such fare. Ms Food for Think promptly issued, and I eagerly accepted, an invitation for TPG and I to join her and boyfriend Mr J at Karahi King in North Wembley.
North Wembley is in Zone 4. No, I am not joking. Somehow, possibly due to the guarantee of good company, the promise of plentiful food and my inadvertent omission to mention zoning, I managed to lure TPG there anyway with barely a whimper. He did pack 2 magazines for the journey.
Karahi King is plastic plate, paper napkin, no frills dining in an almost canteen/cafe style setting. Naturally, this is the perfect backdrop for wonderful, pleasure filled plates of joy to be scooped, shared and chatted over in glorious Friday night abandon.
There's an open kitchen with karahi pans ready and raring to mix you up an exotic storm of spicy North Indian goodness. Mr J, who has travelled around India and seems to know his stuff, took care of the ordering. I recommend you take him with you if you visit - he's right on target every time. Our starters were scrumptious - juicy Seekh Kebabs (lamb mince) were perfectly grilled with a hit of aromatic spice, while the gorgeous Paneer Tikka (cubes of cottage cheese), grilled with onion, tomatoes and capsicum, went some way to revealing the mystery of what might get a vegetarian out of bed in the morning. Each dish was broken up over beer bottles and wine glasses, and scooped into some fine naan to aid delivery.
Our curries followed. Each had its own distinct flavour and texture, and was in a whole other league from the "pieces of meat floating in non-descript sauce" variety that I have come to presume. (Although we recently had some decent ones with friends at Gaylords, Fitzrovia. Oh, please - so immature). We feasted on the Karahi Chicken (tender chicken breast cooked in tomato, onion and coriander, with a hint of ginger), Keema Karahi (minced lamb and potatoes in a spicy mix of tomato, chilli, garlic and coriander leaves), a smoky Saag Paneer (spinach and cheese), and soupy looking dahl with temperate spices. We soaked them up with rice and large garlic naans.
(Top: Karahi Chicken; Below: Dahl;
Top of page: Keema Karahi)
TPG and Ms Food For Think lingered over some creamy, pyramid shaped mango kulfi (ice cream to you and me).
(Most indecipherable total in the world -
until you see it's written on the back)
There's a huge array of both meaty and vegetarian dishes. It's delicious, cheap (around £15 per head if you're really feasting - including beers and service) and it's even BYO (extra tick). And despite my carryings on with the bit about Zone 4, it's actually an easy shoot straight up the Bakerloo line. Oh, and you must stop by at the formerly Irish, now of mystery variety, pub across the road on your way home. Ah, the thrill of new discoveries. I'm back on the curry wagon.
Karahi King, 213 East Lane, North Wembley, London, HA0 3NG (Tel: 020 8904 2760)