Thattukada - my visit
With a newly-minted evening pass from my wife I decided it was high time to stop off at East Ham and go to Thattukada, the Keralan restaurant that was discovered by JFores and seems to be setting the curry world alight.
I met two friends at the Overdraft pub which isn't the best pub on earth, but OK as a place to meet up, before heading further up the road to the restaurant itself. It's small and café-like; not the sort of place to do after 8's and an Irish Coffee, or where you would want to spend all evening, but that's not the point.
We ordered Kingfisher lagers and proceeded with starters, mutton roll, samosas and ullivada, which is basically that old staple the onion bhaji, but spicier, and containing curry leaves - much tastier. We also had thattu dosas, which were very similar to Scotch pancakes. Main course was a large whole fish with a fiery curry sauce between us; appams (a sort of rice bread) came in useful to mop up the sauce. Salad and a vegetable dishes were also OK, but the fish was great. In fact the menu is strongly seafood oriented. They don't t do puds, but a mango lassi finished the meal off nicely.
The food is good and the real thing, and I'm looking forward to sampling the menu more thoroughly soon. It is good that cooking from the sub-continent in Britain has diversified from the standard BritCurry format, which could often be very good (eg the Sita in Whitechapel, of which I have fond memories), but stifled variety.
Glad you liked it. I dunno, I think the decor is nice enough. It's a lot more welcoming than some alternatives (I think the atmosphere it gives off is far more welcoming than Gram Bangla if you aren't acquainted with the imam crowd in advance. The whole group salaams me as I come in now, but I could imagine it'd be really intimidating for some.)