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.
Chicken jalfrezi

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.

Onion baji
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.

Aladdin on Urbanspoon


  1. Do people still eat anywhere on Brick Lane anymore? What with Mirch Masala, Lahore, Tayyabs and Needoo Grill so near by.

  2. I hate even walking past those touts! I wish you’d requested to see the Prince Charles video!

  3. Oh, those dishes look dreadful… I wonder whether there are any decent Indian restaurants on Brick Lane? Maybe something to look into at some point (not rushing at it though!). I love nearby Tayyabs, but it is such a pain to queue there. Lahore Kebab House was good but Tayyabs is better in my opinion.

    I was walking there last Saturday, and one place caught my eye – City Spice or Spicy City in one corner. It is also part of the TasteLondon thingy which I am a member, it gives 50% discount on the a la carte menu, I was thinking of trying that place.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  4. Oh dear… I wouldn’t have a clue which was the best place to eat round there so I might have wandered in by mistake. Shan’t now!

  5. Brick Lane is such a hit and miss, and mostly miss in my experience. A real hodge-podge of badly cooked tourist fare.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  6. Your post (and its reference to Prince Charles) reminds me of a place on Brick Lane that one of my coworkers swore up and down would be amazing – and all I can remember about the place was a giant mural of Princess Di. It was pretty fantastic.

    I agree with LexEat – you should’ve requested to see the video. Maybe next time?

  7. Lizzie – I am on a bit of a personal mission to find if there is anywhere halfway decent actually on Brick Lane. Sadly so far the answer is no.

    LexEat – I know it would have been too funny

    London Foodie – It was one of those times when I thought the photos almost look too bad to put up but I blame the neon quality of the food not the photographer!

    Sarah – See Lizzie’s comment above – there are quite a few good places in the area but none are actually on Brick

    Jet Setting Joyce – I think it is to London Indian food what Lygon street is to Italian in Melbourne

    American in London – I think I have been to the Princess Di place as well! Obviously brick lane is a favourite of the royals…

  8. Thank you for the “heads up”. I will keep this one on the “don’t go to” list.

  9. Sounds very average indeed. I wonder whether Prince Charles was wooed by the promise of unlimited popadoms.

  10. Oh yes, I’ve been there. We always end up at dodgy places on Brick Lane when we are showing tourists around – it is an eye-opener for fresh-off-the-boat South Africans, but the food is almost always mediocre, and the promised “special offers” not half as good as promised. Another commenter mentioned City Spice – we used to get takeaways form them and they are not too bad – their tarka dahl is one of my favourites.

  11. Have I told you about my idea? Eating at every restaurant on Brick Lane? Ordering the same three dishes, but allowing each restaurant to deliver a fourth dish that they view as their speciality. One of these days!

  12. I have been to Aladins a few times and they fail to disappoint! My favs are the Tandoori Butter Chicken and Haryali Chicken Masala. Maybe you should not go for the ‘special offers’ and instead have the food like you would anywhere outside Brick Lane. I think they pay less attention to customers with offers then those without. Go on give them another try without going for any dodgy offers. They are worth it…lol

  13. do not eat on brick lane! PLEASE DO NOT EAT THERE – This is not a curry place, its all a scam, im bengali and i know, they are looking for quick profit and do not care what they serve as they know its tourist and unlikely to come back… go to the smaller places like mentioned in this list – tayaabs, lahore kebab house, if you in brick lane, the only place you can get a REAL curry is on hanbury street, a place call me meraz, the food is cooked fresh every day and they have a semi open kitchen and you can see the food too… very nice curries with a special each day.. worth checking out!

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