Monday, 27 October 2014

Est.india, Southwark, London

The team was going around the corner from our office last week, to the Globe to see Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra. This of course necessitated a pre-theatre dinner, after which we were going to be sat on hard wooden benches in the open top site. It was whilst researching somewhere new to go (having exhausted many of the local eateries), that I stumbled upon this tiny little local gem tucked away on Union street. I’m a huge fan of dosas and you can’t find them at every Indian restaurant, but Est.India was clearly like no other Indian restaurant.

We made an early evening booking and arrived with our local workers buzz card in hand, which gave us 25% off the already reasonable prices. We were seated promptly at the modern wooden interior. There were five of us eating, but we were waiting for a colleague. Having looked at the menu all afternoon in the office deciding what we were going to have, we were chomping at the bit to exit the starting gate – so poppadums’ it was. These were wonderfully crisp (and not greasy) and came with a tomato, fresh mango and yoghurt chutney. We crunched, nibbled and chewed on these whilst awaiting the arrival of our colleague.

The street food feast began at this point; with three of my colleagues all keen to try the Desi burger and masala fries. I opted for the vegetarian dosa, whilst another colleague chose chicken. I had worried that these might get mixed up on the way out, but no fear, we received the right ones.

The dosas were exceptionally light, with really crisp, thin pancakes which were almost translucent. These came with the traditional coconut chutney and sambal and mine was filled wonderful Indian spiced potatoes and chickpeas. It was deceptively filling for both of us dosa eaters.

The Desi burger went down equally as well, with all those having ordered it being enamoured. We felt very well nourished for the show ahead and left (having paid our discounted bill) content with visions of coming again to sample of their wonderful street food offerings. In fact there was talk of lunches as they do lunchtime tiffin boxes and naan rolls, as well as takeaways being delivered to the office. I bet they’re heaving at lunchtime and we already have a date in the diary to visit Est.India again. What a fabulous addition to the local culinary landscape.

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