I should have known better. Everyone knows that Brick Lane is the Disneyland of Indian restaurants in London. More for tourists now than serious food lovers it is the sort of place you try to avoid. However the problem is that despite your protests, if you live in London you are going to end up eating Indian on Brick Lane at some stage as the thing about eating out is that it is very often a social sport and so you are not always going to get to choose where your friends wish to eat (despite your best efforts in that regard).

So with a heavy heart I trudged towards Brick Lane and the glowing interior of Dawaat to meet Sully and Morto for a curry. There were some promising signs. Dawaat was quite full on a chilly Wednesday night and what’s even more remarkable no one tried to offer us free wine or starters to eat there. The decor was relatively ugly with Bollywood movies playing on repeat on a plasma TV in the corner.

We ordered a round of Kingfishers to begin and some poppadoms as in my mind nothing goes better with a curry than an icy cold beer. Now for the curry. The chef’s special of Tawa lamb was served with a creamy tomato based sauce, capsicum and scattered with flaked almonds. It was listless and uninspiring. Undeterred, we made good use of the sauce by mopping it up with Naan bread.

Tandoori chicken was served on a hot plate which had lost its sizzle (pictured). The meat was tasty enough but the Tandoori flavour was not strong and the raw onions it was served on top of only served to confuse us. Sag Aloo comprised soggy and dull spinach. The vegetarian food should be the highlight of an Indian restaurant, but not at Dawaat.

The dessert menu was uninspired and so we asked for the bill. This is where the surprise came, for a mediocre meal and a few beers we were out of pocket £40 each. Mains had been reasonably priced at around £8 each but the high pricing of the side dishes, rice and alcohol allowed Dawaat to lure you in and then sting you. All my suspicions had been confirmed and there is little reason for me ever to return. I remain a Brick Lane pessimist.

Details: 60-62 Brick Lane, Spitalfields E1 6FR (0207 375 3095)
Damage: Pricey
Dawaat on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks like another Chinatown moment!

    Can the same be said for Southall ? I have been meaning to venture out there for a curry.

    The only reason to return to Brick Lane is the damn fine fresh salt beef Bagel at the other end of the street….and it wont leave you £40 lighter.

  2. I tend to agree… I hear there are one or two good places on the street, but by the time I wash up in Brick Lane I can’t rememebr them any more! That said, we did have a fair to middling meal there with friends in September – food was OK, but the service was very accomodating (they also brought the birthday boy a cake with sparklers free of charge at short notice), and as it was a BYO place, the bill was quite reasonable. I’ll have to dig up the name though…

  3. Gregory – Yes I have heard the bagels are excellent – will have to try some next time I am there during the day

    Jeanne – I have heard that Gram Bangla is quite good (from Chowhound) but am yet to try it out. I may be scarred from my most recent experience and probably won’t venture back for a while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *