Khan’s of Brixton

ress:  24 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE

Telephone: 020 7326 4460

Booking on the website too:  http://www.khansbrixton.co.uk/

Yet another trip to Khan’s that we thought we would log. There is nearly always space here so as a last minute option it served us well. look at the other reviews for an overall picture. But in short this is a Punjabi and South Indian restaurant whose food is “colour free”.  It allows BYO and has no alcohol on site.

We chose (as we usually do) from the Khan’s specials, highly recommended part of the menu and this time did not over order. We also had poppadums while we waited. I thought I would be able to discern what we chose from the bill but this was like trying to read Sanskrit. So this is a general view of the food. It was spicy but not too much so on dishes that were not supposed to be. As usual you can also spot the subtleness of the flavours.

This is usually a budget meal – £45.30 for three – and we were very full when we left.

Lunch at the Satay Bar

sg15

447 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LP

Telephone: 0844 474 6080

http://www.sataybar.co.uk/

I’m the member of the eatinbrixton team that works and lives in Brixton. For nigh on 25 years I’ve broken up my working day, two or three times a week, by having lunch out in the town centre. Originally the decision was straightforward. The places I liked were the original pizza place pre-Franco Manca, Gyoza, or Ichiban Sushi and, in various guises, there was the Satay Bar.

Now, of course, we are almost overwhelmed with good choices. From the favourites, Gyoza has just closed; Ichiban opens rarely for lunch and, while Franco Manca goes from strength to strength, I now find the calorie count too high except for an occasional treat. But the Satay Bar is still there and, despite the competition, it has now definitely become my favourite lunch spot. The food is seriously good; it’s comfortable with reasonable Wi-Fi to keep up with work. It is also great value for money.

I’m just writing about lunch at the Satay Bar. Evenings when it becomes a serious nightspot are totally different. Not bad, just different – see our report on their cocktails here. There’s a special lunchtime menu with all the south-east Asian favourites – see it here. My top choice is the Laksa, a spicy coconut and noodle based soup, offering a large bowl of tangy broth containing the right amount of heat (two chilli symbol on the menu).sg06

I would happily have the laksa on each visit but I’m pleased to report that the Thai Beef Salad, (again two chillies) is also excellent. Another highly rated dish is the Chicken version of the Sambal Jawa, which is an Indonesian stir fry with coconut, coriander, lemon grass, vegetables, sambal ulek and other spices.sg07

My only disappointment is Big Belly Phad Thai that I found a bit claggy. Maybe I hit a bad day but there are other places in Brixton where Phad Thai addicts can  do better.sg10

So I can strongly recommend the Satay Bar as the top choice for a good value lunch. I tend to drink tap water so the bill comes in at less than £10 for a substantial meal. Another notable distinction is the clientele. At lunchtime, but even more at night, the majority of the other customers have been black. I have often seen comments pointing out how white the diners are in most of the eating places in Brixton Village but the opposite is the case here. There is nothing about the food that explains the sharp difference in clientele – except the fact that they are discerning about good quality food.

Khan’s of Brixton

ress:  24 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE

Telephone: 020 7326 4460

Booking on the website too:  http://www.khansbrixton.co.uk/

Having failed to get to Orange Bay we decided to visit a nearby restaurant, Khan’s. We have already reviewed this restaurant and it hasn’t changed much. Look here for more details (LINK) but read this update. Again when we arrived it was completely empty except for the two waiters. But it did fill up over the next half an hour.

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Elephant

Elephant02Address: Brixton Village Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8PS

Telephone: 07715 439857

email: info@elephantcafe.co.uk

http://elephantcafeonline.blogspot.co.uk/

We discovered that on warm Friday evenings when Brixton Village is stuffed that there are always places to be found furthest away from the main entrance. These are a little warmer than the ones near the breezy entrance but you don’t have to wait for a table. When we came across Elephant it was almost empty with large and small tables available. It is too small to have many inside so they are all in the alleyway.

Elephant serves “authentic Pakistani street food” and has a short list on its menu but even so it is hard to choose. There are lamb or vegetable samosas which you can have with chickpea curry, a vegetable pakora and thalis vegetarian, chicken or lamb) and similarly curries.

Our favourite has been the vegetable thali so that is what we chose again. It comes as a round dish divided into spaces with dhal, rice, vegetable curry, a tomato salad and a cucumber raita. The vegetable curry is soft aubergine, sturdy potato which is not sloppy in an onion sauce. The flavours are fantastic nothing fancy like a coriander seed hitting you between the eyes but all clear and yet subtle. All the grains in the rice fell away from each other but on top it was a little crispy. The dhal was hot with chilli and with a good sprinkling of garlic. This is comfort food but was also really full of flavour – despite the sweated brow mostly caused by the ambient temperature rather than the spice.

They serve water and a variety of soft drinks including lassi and masala chai – they are BYO …but they ask for a £2.00 supplement per person if you do bring your own wine or beer. Now for an expensive bottle of wine that might …just might ..be OK but if you just bought a £1.00 bottle of beer then this is really extortionate and we did point that out.

The bill came to £17.00 without any drinks – we just stuck to the water.

Khan’s of Brixton

Address:  24 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE

Telephone: 020 7326 4460

Booking on the website too:  http://www.khansbrixton.co.uk/

This is an old favourite of many people but at eatinbrixton we have only managed to have a takeaway so  we decided to visit in person on a rainy tuesday evening. When we arrived it was completely empty except for the two waiters and so we got to view the interior of stylish leather covered chairs (very comfortable) and plain cream and mustard yellow relatively unadorned walls. The TV, which presumably is to keep the waiters happy, was muted and we were not drawn to the picture, even though it was Eastenders.

The restaurant did fill up over the course of half an hour with people celebrating birthdays (the waiters happily took the birthday cake) and with people coming for a takeaway and the service was impeccable with everything coming reasonably quickly and without too much fuss and bother, or without feeling rushed.

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Elephant

Elephantaddress: 55 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8PS

Telephone: 07590 389684

website: www.elephantcafe.co.uk

This bills itself as Pakistani street food – halal but not too spicy. I suspect it is an anglicised version but nonetheless tasty. Get there early, as with most restaurants in Brixton Village, as it opens at 6.30pm and by 7.30 its is full but that’s ok. You get put on a stool, told it is only 10 minutes to wait for a table and even if it was a little longer you get to see what everyone else is eating. This is a restaurant which lives in the aisle of the market and has little space inside with the usual mismatched chairs and stools surrounding this small pop up cafe.

The menu is very short. Starters are pakoras, chaat and samosas. The mains are thalis – vetable, chicken or keema which all come with daal, raita, salad and naan. There are, of course, curries but as we waited we noticed that most people were having thalis so they were our choices with pakora and samosa to start. That was probably our mistake – always assuming we can finish what was a relatively large portion with raita and salad before heading into the thalis.

Both the starters were delicately spiced with just enough heat for my own taste. The samosa’s lived up to their reputation with the delicate pastry while the pakora’s were just plain yummy. Again the keema and chicken curries were delicately spiced but really interesting but the best part of the thali was the daal. I have heard he makes his own garam masala and if this is what is in the daal then I want the recipe. It was so good that we asked for a box to take the remains away for the next day’s lunch. They were very obliging and gave us a plastic lunch box to take it away as they don’t actually do takeaway. We wanted to try the chai or a dessert but no room was left to even consider it for research purposes. Elephant also offer a variety of non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks but we chose a simple glass of tap water and mango lassi.

This is a charming restaurant where the service was helpful and jolly. The noise and the busy comings and goings in the alleyway may be reminiscent of Pakistani streets but probably the cold isn’t. Like all restaurants that have tables in the alleys in the market they will suffer in the winter so wear a coat scarf and possibly gloves. We thought we would pay further visits to this unpretentious cafe but perhaps during the day or when spring sets in. This is also a BYO restaurant so don’t forget your beer or wine.

It all came to about £25 for the two of us with two sets of starters, mains and mango lassi’s.