Another meal on Brick lane and another restaurant fail. Sure it’s cheap and cheerful but Aladin fails to deliver on flavour. Like all places on Brick lane, touts try to get you inside offering deals, in our case, unlimited poppadums and a promise of two courses for £10. Once inside you almost need to be wearing sunglasses to cope with the red decor accentuated by red lighting. The restaurant boasts that it has been visited by Prince Charles and there is apparently a video of the visit that they can show you on request.
The menu covers both Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani dishes. To begin, the poppadums with a rather good zesty lime pickle (50p). Unfortunately the “unlimited” poppadums did not ever materialise and we only managed to have about one poppadum each. Onion bahjis were disappointingly greasy and insipid (£2.75). The tandoori chicken was keenly priced at £2.75 and was on the dry side but had a nice kick to its burnished seasoning.
Aladin is apparently famous for its Balti dishes and there is a whole section of the menu devoted to different variations however when we went to order a Balti we were told these were not available on the deal we had been given. I can only hope then that the Balti are better than the chicken jalfrezi (£5.75). The jalfrezi was mouth searingly spicy, as it should be, but apart from the chilli rush it was hard to ascertain much flavour and the whole thing had a claggy taste to it. The lamb madras (£5.25) was almost as hot as the jalfrezi but this time the culprit was the lamb which was tough. Prince Charles may have given his seal of approval but I wonder what he actually thought of the curry.
Details: 132 Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets E16RU (Ph 020 7247 8210) Tube: Liverpool Street/Aldgate East
Damage: Such a bargain even my mother would approve
If you are looking for a curry on Brick lane, why not try nearby Tayabbs? On Brick lane itself the best option is to have a beigle at Brick Lane Beigle Bake.