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Feb 19, 2008 07:49 AM

Excellent meat destinations

Paid a visit to Green Street in East Ham to Barbarachi the former Sarkonis Bangla Deshi restaurant and enjoyed the fish there much more than my experience in at Sabuj Bangla in Brick Lane. This large restaurant seating perhaps a 100 diners was very busy and my friend and I were the only non-Asians present. As they do not always have kheski on the menu, the owner advised us to call before making a journey for it. With a couple of excellent lhassis the bill came to £18.

After Barbarachi we decided to take a stroll along Green Street. Not the most elegant street in London, but it certainly has an extremely high density of Asian food establishments.

Across the road from Barbarachi is 'The Thrill of The Grill' which also seemed to be doing an excellent trade. Even though I was quite full, I decided that I would have to try their lamb chops. They were mouthwateringly delicious, perhaps as good as the chops at Tayyabs.

Further along the road is the excellent vegetarian restaurant Chennai Dosa and the Mobeen another really good bangladeshi place that I have enjoyed several times.

The centre of gravity for Indian meals, as far as I am concerned seems to be moving east.

Today, whilst having a hair cut and shave in my favourite Turkish barber in Hoxton Street, I asked him to recommend a good Oshkabasi restaurant. He came up with Testi at 38 Stoke Newington High Street, just opposite the Police station. This is only a mile away from his salon. Their refrigerated cabinet will gladden the eye of any meat lover and is probably the best display I have seen in London. The lambs testicles looked very inviting and 20 minutes later I was tucking into them as well as some liver and kidneys. So tender and full of flavour. Served up with really good bread dampened with the meat juices, a plate of bulghar, a superb onion salad and a mixed salad. Probably the best I have had and at £8 the value is undeniable. Something that also sets Testi apart from the surrounding similar restaurants is its rustic Turkish decor. I know that I will be returning there often.

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  1. Awesome! Excellent reccs and I might check out Barbarachi tonight. What are their hours? I'd be free and in Bethnal Green from 8am which means a fast ride on the Central Line to East Ham. This is excellent news. Hell, maybe I'll do Testi tonight. Great stuff.

    Sorry but do you have the exact address and/or number of Barbarachi? It's not coming up in google searches and I kind of need it before I head out at 6pm.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      Did I mention that this is the single best post I've seen on the UK forum in a while and that I love you?

      1. re: JFores

        Ugh, hope I am not too late. I misspelled it. Its Barburchi and its 149-153 Green St 020 8472 8887 and the owner is Mohiv Uddin.

        You love me? I bet that's what you tell everyone!

      2. hey thanks for the testi tip - will try and report back.

        1 Reply
        1. re: howler

          I loved it that spell testicles on their menu as 'thesticles'!

        2. Hit up Baburchi today as I was in the area. Unfortunately we went on a Monday, something which I didn't even think of until I realized that buffet was just about all that was being done. They were out of virtually everything and the kitchen was pretty much cranking buffet items out like an Indian wedding caterer. The food was only a step above bog standard curry house chow, but I enjoyed my 6 quid meal. To say I got my money's worth is an understatement as I had literally 4 entire plates of food including nearly an entire one of fuschka... and then one of fish... then one of lamb.... etc... All with rice. God I'm full. Basically I was disappointed, but as I started talking to the waiter (who saw me lament the lack of kheski, ilish and uh... any fish except baol which was in a standard bhuna sauce on the buffet. Grumble. He was really nice and basically told me that I need to do the buffet as nothing as in, everything I would otherwise want is there, and that doing it another way is only a waste of money. 6 quid buffet? Fine. Ok the waiter. He's Sylheti, the owner is Syhleti, the cooks are Gujarati, Sylheti, Dhaka Bengali, and Sri Lankan. I become quite friendly with him and he also told me to call in advance next time for basically anything I want; kheski, ilish or Sylheti items. He said that Sylheti items aren't on the menu, but if I just tell him next time I can have any Sylheti specialty. He also started talking to me about apartments and I might be checking out a place he's renting on Green St..... He asked me if I was Bangladeshi. I got a kick out of that.

          Definitely need to get back when it's not "clean out everything we have left to half the imams in East London, a bunch of sunset mosque goers, a few local families, two couples and a few solitary Bengalis who just got out of work late" day.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JFores

            So with 4 platefuls, I take it you didn't get over the road to the 'Thrill Of The Grill' or maybe you did?

            1. re: loobcom

              I really wanted to, but I thought I was going to die when I finished. We actually had to sit around for a while after so I could learn to walk again.

          2. Hello,

            So after a day at Green St Market (WHICH IS AWESOME and quite close in quality/etc to Brixton, though pretty small by comparison) we strolled up (with 10 pounds of rice grumble) to Barburchi which pulled the same buffet shit as it did last time much to our intense disappointment (grumble.) Seeing as my past waiter was nowhere to be found, we strolled across Thrill of the Grill. We were not disappointed. We ordered 3 naans, a plate of four seekh kebabs, and a plate of 4 lamb chops. All of this was a few cents over 10 quid. It was awesome. The seekh kebabs were flavorful, meaty, and some of the best I've ever had. The naans were nice and fluffy and the lamb chops were EXCELLENT. Definitely rivaling Tayyabs. This all came to us sizzling with grease still popping right from the grill. Really excellent meal. Definitely trying more. Sadly, they don't seem to do offal.

            8 Replies
            1. re: JFores

              Hey - do you have an address for Thrill of the Grill? can't find it on the internet.


              1. re: Will125

                Across the street from the above address for Baburchi's. Baburchi's still comes up as Sarkonis when you google search it.

                1. re: Will125

                  It is literally across from Barburchi.

                2. re: JFores

                  JF, glad to see that you've discovered Green St, it does have good grocery options that's for sure and a range of other interesting shopping possibilities (I once got a metre of lovely Italian wool from a shop way down towards Romford Road for a fiver which I used as upholstery for my dining table chairs, saved myself a stack compared with what I would have paid in a West End cloth shop!). I never did try out many of the eateries and it's been a while since I was last there but I definitely remember a pani puri street vendor - if he's still there and especially if you've never tried pani puri, a quintessential Indian street snack, then go seek him out next time you're there. If you turn left out of the tube and walk down the main drag, I don't think you can miss him.

                  Did you notice how upscale Green St is in some ways? There's plenty of cash sloshing around there and many an Asian has headed over there to drop some serious wedge on fancy wedding stuff in the various jewellers and haberdashers along the main drag.

                  Look forward to your further reports from there.

                  1. re: oonth

                    It reminds me a lot of Jackson Heights and I've already found an apartment there for next year. The market there is excellent. I've been getting my usual Bangladeshi fish and I recently went to Baburchi again. This time they did have keski. Sabuj Bangla did keski significantly better, but I'll keep trying it. The waiters there adore me to an unnatural extent. I keep ordering in mixed Bangla English and they're absolutely amazed. It's the funniest. The apartment I'm checking out was actually recced by one of the waiters. I've seen pani puri vendors. The two above places are quite good. I haven't found a good place for mishti though. I really like the market. OH, and I found a Sylheti store that sells ghost chillis! I've been using them A LOT. I liked Green St so much at first site that I immediately searched out apartments. It reminds me of Bengali JH sooo much.

                    1. re: JFores

                      Good stuff, me thinks you may yet be a London convert by the end of your student days here :-) I'm sure you get a good rent out there as well, more money to spend on food that way and great options on your doorstep. Now if only Green St extended a further mile or two and was lined with taco carts further down.......

                      I plan to try out some of these Bengali places you're talking about especially Sabuj Bangla. I just got back from my Kerala trip and ate really well over there especially the various fish curries and fish biryanis. I get the sense there may be some resonance with Bengali cuisine in that much of the fish is freshwater. One prize fish in Kerala is a lakefish called karimeen (in Malayalam, pearl spot is the English name), lots of little bones but firm, flavourful flesh, there's an art form to eating fish like that! I also found out that my parents have Bengali friends up north, I need to wangle an invitation for dinner when I'm next up that way :-)

                      And next trip to India, I am definitely doing a little side trip to Calcutta.

                      1. re: oonth

                        Sabuj Bangla seems to have been mysteriously closed for a while now. It could be their hours or it could be a closure. Give them a call as I've been meaning to. The keski and shutki at Sabuj Bangla are the only two items I recc there. Definitely get a dinner out of that! I actually know very little about West Bengali food, but non-veg varieties can't differ that drastically. Lots of freshwater fish of every variety done in every way. Oh, and looooots of mustard oil (in the face of Western health reports and all that.)

                        1. re: JFores

                          Thanks I will follow up with them, have fun on your NYC visit.

                3. What was available on the menu when you went to Baburchi? The place has nearly struck out with me.