Delhi Grill in Islington [London]
This got mentioned (by me) on another thread but someone pointed out it perhaps deserves one of its own.
Obviously Lahore Kebab House and Tayyabs get a lot of the plaudits for good curry in London and I'm a huge fan of both.
The Delhi Grill is Indian (the others two are Pakistani) but they actually have quite similar menus with seekh kebabs, lamb chops, chicken tikka and tandoori and samosas to start and classic Chicken Karahi, Rogan Gosht, Chana and Dhal as mains. They also offer a fish pakora which was excellent and is usually up as a special.
As a huge fan of that sort of food I've been totally blown away by the Delhi Grill - the food really is top class and bears comparison with the two famous east end restaurants. As I know a lot of chowhounders are staying in hotels in the west end, Angel tube is quite a lot more convenient than Whitechapel to get to and from.
They also sell sandwiches outside during the day and the Evening Standard put those in the top 10 in London last week.
Until recently you didn't have to book but we went back on Saturday and they were turning people away so it's probably advisable to do so at the weekends now.
ive been wanting to make it here! i saw a post on bellaphon's blog + it looks great, also i live in hackney so this isnt v far away
just had lunch at delhi grill today.
based on todays random sample, i'd rate it between good and great.
two of us had: chicken tikkas, seekh kebabs, mutter paneer, bhindi, dal, rogan josh, rotis.
bland seek kebabs, the only real downer. meltingly tender chicken tikkas, cooked in the tandoor as in india (why do the pakistanis grill them over charcoal and dry them out?). but the tikkas were missing a shade or two of spicing, i couldn't put my finger on it.
mutter paneer - standout dish - cows milk paneer according to the waiter, but i would have sworn this was proper buffalo milk paneer. anyway, tasted like home.
excellent pili dal - no fuss, but just as it should be. classically rendered.
bhindi - fresh, vibrant and properly punjabi. a little heavy handed with the oil, but then thats a common complaint of punjabi cooking.
rogan josh - outstanding version of the sauce, but the lamb lets it down. if this were goat, i would have run around the block screaming with happiness.
nice rotis, home made in feel. amost maharastrian chappatis, but not complex enough. nonetheless, a welcome change from naan etc.
summary: tayyabs still remains the king of seekh kebabs. but if you want to understand the indian genius with vegetables, delhi grill will take you a good portion of the way there.
Just had a pretty awesome dinner here, based on loosely Howler's recs: lamb chops - tender and spicy; tandoori paneer - nothing like paneer i've had before, almost like mozzarella. rogan josh - amazing, nothing like the usual curry house version, very rich but possibly a little too heavy on the cloves? Chicken karahi - reasonably moist chicken breast pieces (and off the bone, friend's choice), loads of black peppercorns in the sauce. Bhindi was actually spectacular. Rice, roti, beer, less than £20 a head. Fab.
My recent trip was maddingly inconsistent.
Lamb chops were poorly seasoned, I mean my non-adventurous, doesn't like spicy food Mom would have found them bland. No char either.
Bhindi was excellent. Best of what we ordered. Tarka dhal was good too.
Wings, sheekhs, tandoori paneer were all so-so. Nothing that great.
Rogan gosht was very good.
I like the vibe and location, but couldn't go back based on the above. Was it an off night?
I suppose my experiences were based mainly on the rogan gosht, fish pakora, chicken karahi, bhindi and the tarka dhal - all of which you liked or didn't try.
I'd have to disagree on the lamb chops which were as good as Tayyabs in my view.
I would like to say give it another go but personally I tend not to bother once I've had a mediocre experience somewhere as there are too many other places to try.
Otherwise perhaps it was an off night or they simply don't do the options you chose very well.
I didn't mean to sound flippant about expectations but I was blown away by Tayyabs when I first went as I had no idea what to expect compared to Lahore when I was well aware of what was coming. It took a lot of visits for me to realise I preferred the latter.
Was here last night, thought it was very good overall but agree with those saying it's inconsistent. A clear split for me between the grills and the curries.
Lamb chops, seekh kebabs and chicken tikka all seemed a bit bland, and were also lacking in any char or smoky flavour. If this is the difference between cooking them on the grill or in the tandoor, I think I prefer the former. The chicken was very tender though.
Curries were the highlight. Chicken karahi, goat curry and the bhindi were all excellent. Rich, deeply flavoured sauces particularly the goat. Decent meat to bone ratio too. Breads were also good, particularly a very light, crisp nan. I thought the roti was a bit too light though, needed a bit of chew or char to it.