In these cold dark days (London is like that in winter), sometimes I feel a need of some warmth.
Which is how I ended up at Tamil Crown, a place offering South Eastern fire. Located in an old pub, its credentials in the spicy department were unsubtle. Heavily advertised as having Roti King pedigree, I had high hopes. So long as we can forget Gopals…
Table ornament. The reminders of the fire that the food would stoke in your stomach. An interesting alternative to the usual bunch of flowers. Perhaps a warning.
Placing. Interesting that they were going with metal plates. Perhaps something more unusual and maybe easier to wash.
Okra fries. When these first appeared, I was puzzled as they seemed a bit too skinny and shriveled instead of the fat juicy okra that I was expecting. It seems like being deep-fried has some side effects but this did make them crunchy and addictive. I enjoyed the batter and the spice but these could have really been any generic deep-fried vegetable and I wouldn’t have been able to taste the difference.
Onion bhaji. This other deep-fried dish showed more promise as I could taste the great onion hidden inside amongst the crisp and filling batter. To top it off it was set off well with a minty sauce.
Beef masala uttapam and spicy coconut chutney. An interesting pizza-like dish with coconut. It was much better than other pizzas I’ve had. The base was springy with deep ground bean taste set off with savory beef mince.
Coconut prawn moilee. Creamy, spicy, and complex, this dish was delicious. The problem was that it was rather small. I know restaurants are currently subject to shrinkflation but this is taking it a bit too far.
Thanjavur chicken curry. A deeper flavour than the prawn moilee, it likewise played a symphony on my tongue with the complex interplay of spices. Creamy curry with moist chicken pieces, it was great if also lacking in size.
Robata lamb chops. Grilled heavily seasoned lamb chops, meaty and satisfying. However a little of pretty penny as each piece was almost GBP9.
Buttery, flaky roti. To go along with the dishes was some roti, the better soak up the sauces. Light, fluffy and with delicious char this was excellent, this proved that a least someone in the kitchen is truly from Roti King.
Shrikhand. An interesting (if forgettable) dessert. Creamy yogurt with nuts and cardamon, it was strong tasting but not something I would hurry back for.
At the end, it was satisfying that although my tongue was burning at times, when it came to the bill the fire hadn’t spread to that. I guess I should be satisfied with that as in cold London, there are some bright spots to life if you look hard enough.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Lunch (2 course equivalent) was GBP30 excluding drinks and service.
6 Elia St,
London N1 8DE