September 2014: Needoo - It may Needoo new interior designer
Described by Vice as basically a mini version of Tayyabs we took a visit to this Whitechapel establishment hoping for a similarly impressive experience.
Situated round the corner, Needoo offers an alternative to the seemingly pointless queues of Tayyabs (why not just book ahead or go somewhere else?). Like Tayyabs there is a rather unique style to the interior design. Black sparkly marble lines the floors whilst the walls are an orangey red that is juxtaposed against aqua blue uplighting. The whole kitsch ensemble would feel more at home in a Westeros brothel than a curry house, but at least there's lots of room across a number of levels. Not to my taste and unfortunately not out of character with other local establishments, Needoo is a fairly typical East London curry venue so should be rated as such 6/10.
Sides and starters
Pilau ricePeshwari rice
We opened with some popadoms that were clearly microwaved and served with some very viscous and lumpy raita. The mango lassi wasn't very thick or creamy either and the mango chutney was equally thin. The lamb chops in the mixed grill were not the greatest quality and quantities were not as abundant elsewhere. The marinade was slightly redeeming, with a strong tangy flavour and good kick to the chops and kebabs respectively. The peshwari naan was ok, but the coconut filling was a interesting orangey colour and it was very buttery. 6/10.
Karahi Lamb Gosht
Karahi Tarka Daal
Bhindi Bhagi (Okra)
Daal Baingun (Augbergine)
Not expecting great things following the starters, the curry was a surprisingly good. We opted for a number of vegetarian dishes that were delicious and reinforced my faith in okra and aubergine curries. The lamb was equally excellent and almost shredded in texture, sitting in a lovely rich sauce. 8/10.
The staff here were very friendly if not a little frantic. It seems the service here has one, top gear only and seemed intent to hurry everything along despite it being a Tuesday and the place being relatively empty. In line with this, there was barely any wait which, reminds you that most dishes are just reheated. Whilst we don't kid ourselves about this fact usually, at least a bit of waiting gives the allusion of fresh preparation if not at least a chance to enjoy our meal at a leisurely pace. Nice guys, but could take a chill pill. Thanks for the endless water refills though. 6/10
Value For Money
Whilst not expensive, hailing from more Southernly climes in Tooting, the dishes here were that £1 or £2 more that tips the balance once again in favour of our heartland. Also, whilst the mains were good, there wasn't consistency throughout the meal and portion sizes weren't the largest. 6/10.
All in all, with several other local options, if you need a curry in Whitechapel you might Needoo go somewhere else. Or better still pop down to Tooting ;)
Address: 87 New Road, Whitechapel, London E1 1HH
Alcohol Policy: BYOB
Summary: Garishly decorated Whitechapel curry house offering a pretty average alternative to Tayyabs