Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brick Lane Curry House, 6th St & 2nd Ave

Brick Lane Curry House
306 E 6th St

After a full day of moving into our new apartment on the East Village’s “Curry Row”, Scott and I figured the best way to experience our new neighborhood was to try one of the nearby Indian restaurants. I mentioned in my last post how much I love spicy food, so a restaurant like Brick Lane Curry House, which is famous for its spicy curries, seemed like a great place to start.

Scott didn’t grow up eating nearly as much Indian food as I did, so he’s often kind enough to let me do most of the ordering. My sister Allegra was in town helping us move, so she and I got to re-visit some of our childhood favorites: samosa, lamb biryani, vegetable korma, lamb vindaloo - with extra raita and an order of naan, naturally!

Complimentary “bread basket” (left) with papadum, tomato relish, cilantro-mint sauce, and tamarind sauce. The lamb samosa (center) is served with tomato chutney; it’s a little hard to taste the basil in the basil naan (right), so it’s best to eat pre-vindaloo.

I hadn’t eaten a lamb samosa in almost a decade (I’ve only seen “aloo” - or potato - samosas offered lately), so I was really excited about this. It was REALLY good, and eating it with the cilantro-mint sauce made it amazing. The filling was just spicy enough and the dough was almost sweet, kind of like fried pie dough - as always, my only complaint is that they only come two to a serving!

We were off to a great start - and then it took almost an hour to get the rest of our meal. When it finally arrived, I was feeling more annoyed than hungry, but the food was still delicious.

Vegetable korma (left) and lamb biryani (right)

The vegetable korma is creamy and spicy, with a nice assortment of vegetables, but something is missing that would give it just a little more depth - the result is still pretty good, though. The biryani, on the other hand, is WONDERFUL! It tastes… almost smoky, with tender and flavorful lamb, and rice that’s an enjoyable amount of spicy. I can’t say for certain it was the best biryani I’d ever had, but I’d definitely put it in my top five!

Lamb vindaloo

Then there’s the vindaloo, which my family typically asks for extra spicy. There’s a running joke in my family about my dad going into his favorite Indian restaurant in London and asking for a “proper vindaloo” - no further explanation of preferred spicy-level, he just wanted it as spicy as vindaloo is “properly” meant to be. He got what he asked for - a curry so spicy he could barely get through it!

Brick Lane Curry House is modeled after London’s curry houses on Brick Lane (get it??), so maybe there’s some kind of connection between their vindaloo and the “proper vindaloo” my dad had that one time. It didn’t seem spicy at first, but a few bites into it, and I was really feeling the heat! I’m not a sissy when it comes to spice, but this was really walking the line between pleasure and pain for me.

I think I’d seek out someplace a little less fiery for my next vindaloo fix, but I would absolutely revisit Brick Lane Curry House for the biryani - and just hope for quicker service.


  1. Hi Little Scarlet! Got your direct msg. thru Twitter! I will of course stay tuned on your blog, would LOVE you to return the favor and check out my blogs (foodie blog too!)We all gotta support each other! Love your stuff! Check us out, on twitter too!
    (Wilson Eat Tour on twitter)
    Cheers & happy eating!

  2. mmmm. Looks good! I fixed a mangalorean pork curry for visiting guests a couple of weeks ago and as I like things properly hot I was concerned as to how they'd handle it. they were fine with it as it was served with cooling raitas and other milder dishes.

  3. Sounds like a great place. Love Indian food! Hopefully the service will improve.

  4. I lived in NYC for a few years and never got tired of hitting curry row. What a fun place to live! Is your apartment filled with smells of coriander and turmeric?

  5. I really love Indian food - it is my favorite. Unfortunately I am still a good 8 hours from the City! We used to have an Indian place up here but no more. I'm sad about that!

  6. Looks great! And I see no point in getting vindaloo unless it threatens to traverse the pleasure/pain barrier ;)

  7. I used to live in the East Village and I was just telling someone out here in San Francisco about Curry Row, and they couldn't really believe it. You've brought back great memories. Thanks!

  8. Hi Little scarlet, happy to hear you enjoy Indian food. Lamb stuffed samosa is very common in India. We call it as "Mugalai Samosa"

  9. @Cookin' Canuck: we've got the perfect mix - our apartment smells clean & fresh, and you walk outside toward 2nd Ave, and the air is just full of spices! luckily this means my clothes get to smell like my detergent, and not curry ;)

  10. Is this the place where you finish their spicyist dish they give you a certificate and a beer?

  11. @John D.: You know about "the phaal of fame"?? Haha, yeah this is the place! Phaal is a *very* spicy curry. As our waitress explained to us, phaal was invented as a challenge. It's not exactly meant to taste very good, and is really a test to see how much heat you can handle. Judging from their vindaloo, though, I think it might be too much for me :)
    You should check out phaal's Wikipedia entry, they mention NYC's Brick Lane Curry House!

  12. All those foods look so good!!! If I wasn't trying to do the raw things right now, I would be making plans for a indian stlye dinner tonight!

  13. It's been years since I've eaten on Curry Row - been away too long. Thanks for the inspiration to wander back, Little Scarlet.