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Indian Food in East London

London generally doesn’t get the best reputation for its food.  Most people choose places like France and Italy as food Meccas in Europe, but I can assure you that there is good food in London.  And it might surprise you, but the Indian food in London is actually really amazing.  If you are visiting London, you should definitely try some Indian food.  Due to the high population of Indian immigrants in London, there is some of the best Indian food in the world in this city.  One of my favorite spots to go for Indian food is Brick Lane, in East London. 
Brick Lane is an area of East London that has a high number of Bangladeshi immigrants, and, as a result, it is home to dozens and dozens of curry houses.  Brick Lane has more than great food – going there is a whole experience.  First, representatives from restaurants that are standing on the sidewalk will tell you about specials offered at their restaurant in order to attract your business.  At this point, you can haggle the price of meals for you and your friends, and because business is so competitive in that area, you will almost always get a good deal.  When I went, I was offered two drinks, an appetizer, a main dish, rice, and bread for only 10 pounds!  The food is so good that I would have paid much more for it, but it was awesome to get a lot of great food for a reasonable price.
This was my first real Indian food experience, and I really enjoyed it.  No matter where you go in Brick Lane, you will find good Indian food..  I had papadum (a thin, cracker-like bread) for my appetizer and chicken curry for my main course.  The curry was like nothing I’ve ever had before – really rich and earthy, with just enough spice, and the chicken was perfectly cooked.  After you add white rice and garlic bread, the meal is complete, and absolutely delicious. 
Curry is the national dish of England right now, so you will find many variations of it throughout London.  For a really interesting experience, I would definitely recommend heading to Brick Lane for some Indian food.  I’ve never had an experience like the one I had in Brick Lane in America, so it is something completely new and exciting.  My advice would be to leave preconceived notions of what Indian food is at the door, and just drink in the atmosphere of Brick Lane.  You won’t be sorry!

Jennifer Sanfilippo is the Fall 2012 CEA MOJO in London

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