Like most city dwellers, Jon and I receive a lot of unwanted takeaway menus dropped through our post slot. And like most people, we recycle the vast majority without a second glance.
Unusually, though, back in August, I saved the Delhi Grill‘s takeaway menu from the recycling bin because of (1) its limited, focussed menu options; and (2) its statement that they wanted to bring Whitechapel to the ‘hood.
A few days after I saw Delhi Grill’s menu, I was walking through Chapel Market and spotted an outdoor grill set up by Delhi Grill — clearly a cosmic signal that I ought to try out the stand’s offerings of custom-order kati rolls and potato-onion pakoras.
I ordered a lamb kati roll, which was basically sheekh kebab hot off the grill, wrapped in warm, soft roti. It wasn’t as deliciously-dense and flavorful as the ones I’ve had at the Kati Roll Company, but it was pretty darn good. At £3 a roll, it’s a filling lunch, especially if you add an order of pakoras, which you should do. Somehow the pakoras retained their crispiness despite not being fresh from the fryer, and I enjoyed the hint of sweet spiciness from the paprika and chilli mixed in.
Despite our positive experience with Delhi Grill’s Sunday grill stand, it took me months to finally return to Delhi Grill for dinner. Last Saturday, we gave it a go.
Grilled items as starters were generally very good. Sizzling, juicy, well seasoned. The lamb chops could have used more marinade and fat, but I say this as someone who always prefers a wet marinade to a dry rub.
Fried foods were very good, too, though you could accuse all the fried dishes of tasting the same because the chilli-paprika seasoning in the batter seems to stay the same, whether the pakoras are fish or onion.
Chicken biryani was a special of the day, and this was the low point of our evening. The biryani had wonderfully-fragrant flavoring and texture, striking a nice balance between being moist and fluffy, but the dish was inexplicably served lukewarm. Considering how hot and straight-from-the-kitchen everything else tasted, we were surprised that the biryani had been allowed to cool off before being served.
Overall, our dinner at Delhi Grill was delicious and cheap (£30 for two, including beers), and I’m thrilled that it opened in the ‘hood. Special shout out to the guy making the rotis right in the dining room. The set-up is saved from gimmick by the simple fact that the rotis are excellent.
- For other reviews of Delhi Grill, you can click on the Urbanspoon link below, but one review that’s not on there and that I’d highly recommend is this one from a month ago by Kavey Eats.
Delhi Grill, 21 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ; 0207 278 8100; closest Tube station: Angel
To read about other restaurants I like in Islington: