Wednesday 4 February 2009

Clerkenwell Lunch Options - Part 3 - Indian Food.

This is part three of my favourite credit crunching, lunch busting, Clerkenwell budget round-up. The first two reviews covered my fave places to grab lunch in Exmouth Market (Namely, Clark's pie and mash and Moro's street stall selling spicy lamb flatbreads.)

But for this review, let's head East towards Old Street and, and turn into Whitecross Street. Apparently Whitecross Street holds one of the oldest markets in London (17th Century) but in recent years it's started to become a bit of a foodie location.
At lunchtimes it's now bustling with street food stalls selling everything from Thai curries and Italian pasta dishes to Mexican burritos. You name the Country, they probably have a stall selling it's food.

Most of the food stalls are there all week, but on Thursdays and Fridays a larger selection of stalls appear selling bread, cheese etc....
It's like a mini Borough Market, it's definitely worth a visit if your in the area.

But onto my recommendation - I've eaten from loads of the places in the Market but regularly come back to "Karuna"

If you get here anytime after 12, you will see a line of mostly Indian punters queueing down the street to purchase their food, which is always a good sign.
For the absolute bargain price of £3-50 you get a 'small curry' a filled to the brim, takeaway style plastic container filled with rice and the three curries of the day, with a choice of chutney on the side.

All the curry choices are vegetarian, and initially this confused me.
I'm a committed meat eater, normally if it doesn't have a hoof sticking out somewhere - I'm not eating it, especially when it comes to curries. But this has been part of my 'foodie awakening' (along with the normal apres age 30 sudden liking for Olives.)

Their curries, vegetarian or not, are stunning - curried okra, green beans, cauliflower - Its all been in there at some stage and I've eaten the lot and loved it.

You can pay a bit more than £3-50 and get bigger portions - but the small option is definitely enough for Lunch, and at that price you cannot go wrong.

Some local Leigh-on-Sea news,

I ate in SS9 Restaurant in Leigh Road on Sunday. Now, I like it in there for a drink, and I have eaten in there before and it was OK. But, on this occasion - it was dire. I ordered Pork Belly - and the fatty, flaccid, un-crisped and no crackling piece of Oinker I was served up was an absolute disgrace at £13-50!. Contrasted with what Helen at Food Stories and Lizzie at Hollow Legs have been cooking recently, it beggars belief that they could serve up such poor grub in a restaurant.

As Anthony Bourdain mentions in the excellent 'Kitchen Confidential' - some restaurants put their trainees and their punished defaulters in the kitchen on a Sunday - saving their best staff for Friday and Saturday night. Perhaps this was the case.
I'll continue to drink in the bar, but I won't be eating in there again.

My other piece of Local news - I wandered down to Old Leigh in the snow on Tuesday, and incredibly, there's a new Pub which has just seemingly sprung out of nowhere!

The Mayflower Public House- seems to be part of the adjoining chip shop of the same name. I poked my head inside and it looked like it had just newly opened, pretty pleasant - roaring log fire, tastefully decked out - very nice indeed. The Food Menu on the table was the chip shop menu.
So Fish and Chips and a Pint within 10 meters of the sea - very nice indeed. Good Luck to them.


Unknown said...

I love the whitecross street market - have you tried the burritos? Divine (and worth the queue which is always extra long)

Dan said...

Hello Gourmet Chick, I have tried the burritos, and very nice they are too. (Donkey Daddy in Leather Lane Market also does a rather nice Burrito too)

The Old Italian guy does some nice stuff as well, he has big silver serving platters full of various pasta dishes - and again, a right bargain.....with all this in the area, I'm always amazed that Pret does so well.

The Ample Cook said...

Hi Dan,

I've just found your blog and I've really enjoyed it. I live in Rochford and was curious about trying SS9 and have now noted your comments ! If you enjoy good quality meat do try the farm shop where I sell a few things - it's in Canewdon and the free range beef & pork are excellent


Dan said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks for the kind comment about my blog and the heads up regarding the farm shop, I'll try and pop down for a look next time I'm in the area.