Yesterday, I went with four friends to dinner at this divey Indian place on Brick Lane whose claim to fame is decent food (pretty good by Brick Lane standards, anyway) but which I love because it’s decorated with what must be the weirdest murals in London.
Most of the murals look like they’re painted by a Dungeons & Dragons porn afficionado – the scenes are all variations on the theme of scantily-clad women looking orgasmic. In the middle of the room is a large mural of Princess Di, with slightly Indian features, wearing a beatific smile. Clearly, nobody should miss this place, Cafe Bengal, 128 Brick Lane, E1 6RU.
I should have brought my camera, but of course Jon has it with him to take pictures of *real* Indian sights. Here’s a photo of the restaurant that I just found on-line that sort of shows the murals I’m talking about.It took us forever to get served (why is it on Saturday nights, restaurants in London never seem to have more than two servers for a room of 100?), but the food was cheap and good. For example, lamb rogan josht for £7 was tender and simmered in a sauce made with fresh tomatoes. Dishes here are better than they have to be for Brick Lane, which is like an Indian restaurant Disneyworld. You have this sense that nothing on Brick Lane can be authentic given its popularity among roving bands of birthday, bachelor and bachelorette party celebrators. All those touts lining the street trying to convince you to try different restaurants by offering “deals” on alcohol don’t help Brick Lane’s image for cheap, careless food.