The Plan was always to restrict the Curry intake on this trip to two in five days. That two and a half Curry-Heute Reviews are possible is certainly a Hector Bonus. An excess of Hot Chocolate on a Roof Garden under-looking the Empire State Building had taken the edge off the appetite, still there was no way Hector was postponing the return to East 6th Street, The New York Curry Strip. So how to choose the next venue…
What’s in a Name?
The Brick Lane Curry House (306-308 E 6th St, New York, NY, 10003) takes its name of course from the Streets of London. One had to take note of its existence. So, in we went and were shown to a table by a Young Doris. The Menu was quick to inform us that the walls were covered in Ground Spice, hence the Aroma that permeated the Venue. I did not lick the walls, but was tempted, NOT!
The Menu was certainly minimalist, the prices were more than double what we had paid at the nearby Raj Mahal two days ago. I could find nothing that made me want to eat it. Vindaloo is my normal resort when a Curry House has no Karahi or Desi Dishes. Had I not seen Desi on the wall outside? The Phaal was the last item on the Meat section, a Challenge. So, a Chef can make a Blisteringly Hot Curry, who cannot? I looked at Marg, she had found nothing enticing either, it was she who suggested we leave. We left.
Mein Host at the next Venue told us that the owner of Brick Lane is into Man v Food. I note now that there are at least four outlets in the New York / New Jersey area. Good luck to them.
We were down to our last Dozen Choices of Venue. There was enough on the Menu posted outside the Malai Marke (318 E 6th St, New York, NY, 10003) to entice us in. The Entrance took us through the narrowest Restaurant I have ever set foot in. A Long Bench ran for more than half the room, fine for The Lone Diner, not for a Couple. At the far end were about four Tables for Two, all crammed together, a Mature Couple sat at the end in front of the Glassed-off Kitchen. Mein Host greeted us and took us past the Kitchen to a larger room, much better. Two other tables were occupied.
Sparkling water had been offered before I managed to remove the Winter Coat. Complementary Poppadoms and Dips were brought immediately.
Voss, it’s from Norge
Marg recognised the Bottle too. This Norwegian Sparkling Water holds the record as being the most expensive on The Planet. We paid an obscene amount for it at The Jewel in The Crown (Aberdeen, Scotland) some years ago. Never again. At a mere $5.50 this was a Bargain!
The Lamb Bhuna Mirchwala was described as Dry. Mein Host confirmed this would be the case. Chapattis did not feature on the Menu, I did not feel like a Roti. Once again all Breads were around the same price – $4 ish. A Garlic Nan would be the Accompaniment. Marg had been considering Chicken Korma, then switched in to a more Grown Up Mode. I fancy the Lamb Chops – she announced. Burra Kabab was how it appeared on the Menu, at $20 quite a Commitment. I had drank half of Marg’s Hot Chocolate. She was only feeling one third – Blah. Wondering how this would served I asked what it came with. Mein Host said he would include Rice. I was left to wonder how Rice would enhance Lamb Chops.
The Poppadoms were the type more frequently encountered on The Continent – with Cumin Seeds – We like these. They were merely nibbled. I decided to visit the Restroom. There was a choice of Doors, one with a Wine Glass, the other with a Bier Glass. No Sparkling Water then? I had noted that each of the three occupied tables had ordered Wine. With Curry? The Fawcett in the Bier Glass Room was remarkable. The Tap, enough of this Foreign Speak, gushed water along an open Channel, reminiscent of the sheer waste of Water in SW USA. Given the Ambient Temperature, there were no Evaporation Losses here.
I could hear Marg’s Lamb Chops before I saw them. The Young Waiter was insistent that Marg would not touch the platter. Five Thick Lamb Chops, some Double-boned lay on a Minimal Bed of Onion Slivers. This is how Marg likes her Onions – Burnt. She got tore in.
The Bhuna was indeed Dry, visually it had me onside. I spooned some Boiled Rice, why I’m not sure. Perhaps it was the Garlic Nan. The Nan appeared to be covered in Coconut, but this turned out to be finely Chopped Garlic, lots of it. Impressive.
The Bhuna took me back to Chez Hector, with one Difference, this is almost exactly how I have been cooking my Curry in the last year. The Flavours were identical. This means I cannot state that this was an Outstanding Curry, merely a Very Satisfying one. This is the sentiment I had to convey to Mein Host when he made the Customary Check on our progress. The Difference? – The Kick! This Curry was not for the Faint of Heart. If I served a Curry with this Spice Level at home there would be Complaints. Marg would not have eaten this. I took it very much in my stride. So I ended up with a Vindaloo equivalent after all.
Meanwhile across The Table
Marg was having the time of her life. I declined the offer of a Chop but did get to taste a bit of one – Impressive. Marinated in Yoghurt and Spices these had been Cooked to Perfection. That was Wonderful – was Marg’s remark initially. I can’t go on about this enough. I think she enjoyed it. Marg has resolved to have Lamb Chops at every Opperchancity from now on. So much for Chicken Korma then.
$50.63. Significantly more expensive than the neighbouring Raj Mahal.
The Calling Card was presented. There was an expression of interest. There are two Computer Terminals at the Door for the Public, so they could be reading this positive review soon. Time was taken to discuss our origins and our normal Curry Choices. We shook hands on departure, a very fine meal.