NE1 Reviews: Dabbawal
Spice of life
Now that the dust has settled on another record breaking NE1 Restaurant Week, we've finally made space in our diaries (and bellies!) to digest some of the best munis to grace the toon...
As part of our foodie pilgrimage around NE1, we followed the delightful scents all the way to bustling curry metropolis, Dabbawal!
Tucked away on the cobbled streets of High Bridge, Dabbawal is everything you’d expect from an award-winning modern Indian street food restaurant! You'll be blown away by the smell upon entering this eclectic eatery.
A vibrant mix of herbs and tandoori spices meanders through the air, delivering a knockout blow to the senses. Next time you’re popping by, stick your head in for a moment - you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about!
The interior is simple yet effective; oak counter tops, brushed steel lighting and reclaimed chairs add a slice of stylish elegance to the mix - this subtle decor manages to combine the vibe of the sacred North East curry house with a modern Indian eatery.
Giant poppadoms are presented within a matter of seconds, paired with an assortment of three contrasting, but oh-so-delightful dips. A helping of refreshing Cobra makes for a strong start to proceedings.
The story of Dabbawal is an intriguing one; these spice masters have paid homage to India's 'dabbawalas' - bicycle riding delivery men who transport freshly made, home-cooked dishes to thousands of office workers across Mumbai every lunch time!
In our case, it's lunchtime in NE1 and four crisp Bombay bombs quickly arrive at the table from the Toon’s very own 'dabbawalas'. Think lip-smacking puris stuffed with spiced mashed potato and finished with a crunchy serving of sev.
You'll find no conveyor belt system of round-the-clock food left to sit under a heat lamp here! Dabbawal takes great pride in serving fresh food, made from scratch.
Next up, a real show-stopper! It comes in the form of the murgh malai tikka - thick, succulent chicken fillets pan-roasted in garlic, ginger and basted with a delightful cream cheese marinade.
Attention quickly turns to the mixed veggie grill. Another favourite from Dabbawal’s ‘tandoor’ section, this sizzling hot plate is brimming with spicy grilled vegetables and a generous helping of Indian cottage cheese. A glorious dish packed full of imaginative flavour and wow colours. Paired with a portion of crunchy masala chips, it’s a match made in heaven!
The chilly winter weather is soon forgotten about and the temperature rises with the Punjabi chilli chicken tikka - not even substantial lashings of Cobra can cool the inferno of the chilli, cumin, garlic and ginger marinade.
With food that warms the soul, cool interiors, service with a great big smile, and top-notch value for money, it’s no surprise to see that Dabbawal has established itself as one of the-go-to Indian restaurants in NE1 - and indeed the North East! Check them out next time you’re in the Toon. You won't regret it!