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Restaurants & Bars

The Biryani Crawl, Part One [London]

JFores | Dec 27, 201112:24 PM     3

Hello all,

I felt that I might as well spend my remaining time in East Ham taking advantage of restaurants that aren't Thattukada. After 3 weeks straight of Thattukada meal plans, I would have to say that the restaurant is as good as ever (not to mention more fun as it's basically the neighborhood Keralan bar after 9pm now) but that the highlight dishes have changed. My recent favorites have been the beef curry, the fish 65 (thanks Gordito), netholi fry (as always) and the brain fry. The beef fry is the only dish that has changed a huge amount. It used to be much spicier, have a thickness to its sauce and it was loaded with slices of lightly fried coconut. Now not so much. A lot of the variation in quality (and I noticed some as I was eating there for 7 days straight and then 14 days straight) seems to be down to kitchen crew. They still have their own main chef, but he does fewer days (and can be found drinking whiskey after 9pm on the others.)

Onto the biryani. Stop one on my personal biryani crawl was Hyderabad Flavours. Not the easiest place to find; Hyderbad Flavours is located at 135A High Street North. The entrance is on the side (aka not really on High St N) and the restaurant itself is upstairs.

At first site the menu strikes me as being rather high street Indian. They've loaded about 99% of the space with bog standard fake dishes and I'm a bit confused as to why seeing as this place does not look like it gets many white customers (it's upstairs and virtually unmarked besides its bright flashing lights.)

The menu is also surprisingly devoid of a lot of standby Hyderabadi dishes like baghray baigan. It does, however, have biryani. It's pretty good as well. I ordered a lamb biryani (5.50) which was price for quantity the largest portion I've yet seen on High St North (basically the size of Hyderabadi Spice's 2 person biryani.) The overall spicing and the extremely moist rice were the two best parts of the dish. They used far more star anise than I've seen anywhere else in East Ham, but it worked. The only slight let down was the lamb itself. Some parts were very tender while others were not.

In chatting with the waitress I found that I can request other Hyderabadi dishes when the manager is in, but that the menu is otherwise set in stone. Sadly no Thattukada hidden menu circa 2009.

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