Barb's London 2001 Highlights

We stayed in London for a few days to de-jetlag and relax. During our stay, we enjoyed some great dining experiences. Here are my highlights.

Belgo, a Belgian style eatery, serves fabulous Belgian style beers and dishes like mussels and fries and pork and leek sausages. From Monday to Friday, between 5 and 6:30 p.m., you can select from 3 entrees and a beverage, and pay the price of the time you ordered. Our kilo of mussels seemed endless, but that was fine with us since they were flavourful, tender and the broth was fresh and delicious.

We had great Northern Indian dishes at Masala Zone (check out this review). Here they feature many typical Gujarati snack/appetizer/street food style dishes as well as curries and noodle dishes. We dined on dishes like sev puri (similar to bombay behl piled on thick potato crisps) and chana dabal roti (mildly spiced chickpeas in a rich gravy with pieces of bread soaked in tamarind). The flavours and food combinations reminded me of our much missed Surat Sweet!

We had a fabulous Gujarati style meal at the home of Roland's friend, Vijay. We started the evening with an assortment of fritters: aubergine (eggplant), cassava, onion, potato and hot chilis, served with tomato and fresh coriander chutney. We also had a refreshing aubergine dip with naan.
We then had a great Indian-Italian fusion appetizer of grilled tandoori chicken placed on a nest of grilled Italian veggies with a coriander raita made by Vijay's brother, Jitu (whose cooking is divine--he should open a restaurant!!). We then had a spicy tomato based prawn dish, saag paneer where the saag (spinach) actually still looked like spinach, (unlike the overcooked versions we usually get in restaurants), salad and fluffy rice pilau. For dessert we had a beautiful fruit platter and a curious dessert made of clotted milk formed into a patty and served in a sweet cardamon flavoured pool of milk. Bharti, Vijay's sister who claims not to be able to cook, made a delicious fresh ginger relish to serve along with the meal.