6 October 2018: Delhi Grill - Delhi alley
It was another outing for the original curry blog crew: myself, Tom and Louise (our frequent guest and penguin-lookalike). It was back to Angel, a spot we've visited before, having been to the prosaically named Angel Curry Centre a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I was too lazy to write the review up for that one, but that's not the case on this occasion.
We were recommended Delhi Grill by a former colleague who rates the chops here, but would we agree? Once Louise bothered to turn up (taking up the role of latecomer usually held by Tom), we curried on to find out. Here's the review...
Deihi Grill can be found on Angel's Chapel Market and perhaps fittingly styles itself as a street food canteen. Corrugated iron and Bollywood posters attempt to give off a market stall, back alley vibe with the whole effect very much one of a casual diner. The furniture and wooden bench seating reflects this as do the bright blue T-shirts of the staff. Their attire also mirrors the cerulean paint on the walls that highlights the overall colour of the inside
Reminded of Soho's Kati Roll Company, Delhi Grill has an aesthetically pleasing interior, but one that perhaps lacks a bit of charm and authenticity.
Starters and sides
Poppadoms with chutney rack
Garlic and chili naan
The menu here is slightly strangely split into Tandoor, Street Snacks, Sides, Dhaba and Homely items. The Street Snacks and Sides could easily be in the same list and the same could be said for the latter two which are essentially curries. However, there is a good, if a little limited, range of dishes to choose from.
We started with poppadoms but had to pay extra for the chutney rack which had a couple of unusual dips to the norm. A sweet beetroot number was the most surprising but felt slightly out of place; another was an odd, almost baby food textured sauce that was a bit bland. Conversely, the mango chutney was clearly home made and a lovely touch.
The Delhi Grill included chicken tikka, seekh kebab and lamb chops. It wasn't the largest mixed grill and initially looked dry, but was actually soft, almost soaked and baked rather than grilled. It had a lovely heat, and the chops were decent with cinnamon flavours. I don't think they quite lived up to the recommendation but were solid, as was the whole plate, with the chicken tikka and seekh kebabs moist and tender.
For breads we had a roti alongside garlic and chili and peshwari naans. The naans came quartered in baskets as is the style these days, but lacked moisture as a result and were more crispy than doughy. They were fine, but far better can be found elsewhere, whilst the roti was just a plain flatbread - very average.
Whilst the mixed grill was decent, relatively these sides and starters were slightly below the standard of most other places. Perhaps harsh, but it's a 6/10.
Railway lamb on the bone
Spicy butter chicken
Punjabi prawn masala
For mains we shared three curries: the railway lamb on the bone, spicy butter chicken and punjabi prawn masala.
The railway curry consisted of slow-cooked lamb and potato with tamarind. I think there was also a touch of bone marrow that added to this rich, tender dish which housed a blend of flavours. Cumin, garam masala and bitter lemon notes all came through in this pick of the three.
The chicken curry was a bit bland for me, with more of a chicken chasseur style than butter chicken. That said, it was still better than the punjabi prawn masala that proved disappointing. It was a slightly watery, tomato based curry that tasted more like ratatouille than curry. To be honest, this type of dish isn't my favourite anyway (I didn't pick it), but it really didn't do anything for me.
Let down by the prawn, it's 6/10 again.
The boys in blue here were friendly and a bit more clued up than the slightly lax servers we're used to. The T-shirts they wore fit the style of the restaurant, but there's nothing like a shirt and tie is there?
It wasn't the fastest service, but with nothing really to complain about it's a steady 7/10 for Service.
Value for money
I have to say I felt the value for money here wasn't great. Paying extra for chutnies was a bit much and for a self-styled, canteen diner, the prices were a pound an item above what you would expect from what feels more like a fast casual than a restaurant. The food was ok, but nothing special and portions weren't the biggest. You can certainly find more expensive places, but 6/10 feels about fair for value.
Delhi Grill is a bit of a strange one. From outside, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a burrito place but for the name. Inside the 'street food' menu was not hugely different or exciting from a traditional Indian curry house. The result is a fairly quirky yet middle of the road restaurant, with fine, but ultimately average curry.
Not sure I'll be making a return, it's 31/50 in total.
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Address: 21 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ
Alcohol Policy: Licensed
Summary: Casual Indian eatery on Angel's Chapel Market with leanings towards Indian street food.