Delhi Grill is an Indian Canteen style restaurant (known as a dhaba) spicing up the food scene in Islington. They offer grub outside on a tempting stall as part of the daily market, or indoors in the quirky eatery. It is a feast for the senses, on entering you are hit by an amazingly strong aroma of smoky incense, immediately transporting you far away from London. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere with the bright colours and newspaper collaged walls giving the place a very individual character.
I really appreciated the simplicity of the menu, Delhi Grill offer a small selection of slow-cooked, delicious dishes. The service was friendly but not overly intrusive – I can’t bear it when waiters ask if my food is okay more than once throughout the meal, at Delhi Grill we were left to enjoy and savour the food, which is exactly how it should be.
The menu offers recipes from the Tandoor and from the Pot, with the addition of a few daily specials. We chose the intriguing Mango Mojito to drink, a secret concoction that involved mango, mint, and a spirit of our choice, it was refreshing and a delicious alteration of the classic mojito cocktail.
The food was exceptionally fresh and fragrant, not too oily or salty as Indian food can often be. From the epic array of dishes we tried, a few things stood out as being special. Firstly the naan bread, which as an accompaniment to the main meal rarely seems important, Delhi Grill produced the most appetising, light, fresh crispy and yet soft bread, unlike anything I have ever tried before. The rice and condiments were also top notch.
From the specials board we tried the adventurous goat curry. I’ve tried goat before, but this was more meaty with a rich marinated flavour. We also loved the Chicken Makhani, a mild curry with butter chicken in a yoghurt based sauce, this was very creamy and particularly nice paired with the pilau rice. The lamb Rogan Gosht was less exciting, strong in flavour but not as dynamic and varied in taste as the other curries we tried. My favourite dish was the delhi grill, a sizzling stove arriving with an assortment of juicy grilled meats: chicken tikka, sheekh kebabs and lamb chops, and despite usually preferring chicken I was blown away by the tender lamb chop and the herby rich marinated flavour. Finally we tried Bhindi – okra stir fried with onion and plenty of spice, I was surprised to find I really liked this unusual vegetable, which looks a bit like a cross between an aubergine and a chilli.
Delhi Grill is a lovely, authentic feeling restaurant and I envy the Islington crowd who can pop in whenever, this Indian Canteen is a real asset to the area.