Monday, 2 January 2012

Review - Clippers

Isn't Brick Lane a nice place? Yes, it is. I remember once saying that it was my 'spiritual home' because it was host to all the Bengalis and dickheads. This was a) one of the more twattish things I've said and b) inaccurate. I'm never going to be cool enough to a hipster. Also most of the Bengalis are actually Sylhetis which is in Bangladesh but it's culturally very different. As in, people would say they're Sylheti rather than Bengali. But only to people who know the difference. But still, I like sparkly things and bright lights so I was always going to like a place that has lights up every day of the year. I also like curry and drinking. And I feel a little bit impressed with myself to see that I can still read the Bengali road signs. But then if ever I have a conversation in Bengali with any of the restaurant patrons, I curse just how much Bengali I've forgotten. You can still tell I'm a native speaker but I've begun making silly mistakes. 'Amah-keh cha bah-now' instead of 'Amar-jon-noh cha ban-now.' Mixing up my cases, see. Why would I start speaking to the patrons in Bengali? To try and get a discount. Of course, it never works. But then I get the opportunity to speak Bengali so rarely (my own fault for not calling/visiting my fam enough) that I like to practise when I can. We still managed to get a discount from Clippers (104 Brick Lane) though. Not because of my (lack of) Bengali skillz but just because that's how they enticed us in. £10 for a starter, main, rice and naan. Except it transpired that it was  rice OR naan. Even though I'm pretty sure it was rice AND naan but whatever. My friend still managed to beat the system by ordering a biryani and naan. I'm very pleased for her because she often spills things and breaks things and ends up in an unlucky state so beating the system twice in one day is a big deal. The other time was managing to save more on a Boots meal deal than she spent. This is what Charlie Sheen imagined when he invented bi-winning.

To start we had mushrooms in garlic, onion bhajis and prawn puree. I forgot to taste the mushrooms but my friend said they were good. 
I know puree to be flat deep fried stuffed pancake type things. This was actually prawns in a small roti. Also, my mother's prawns are better. This was a little too heavy-handed with the coriander and a little bland. More spice and a little more salt needed. Once the lemon was sprinkled over it, it tasted less bland.  
Onion bhajis inspired a similar 'my mother could do better' reaction. They weren't sweet enough, an indication that the onions hadn't been fried for long enough. Also the batter was again a bit bland and had burnt a little on the edges.
As mains, we ended up with vegetable rogan josh, korai lamb, lamb biryani and lamb bhuna.
The rogan josh was ordered to be a little bit spicier than usual. Unfortunately, it was made a little too spicy. My friend got her second chilli hiccough from eating it. It's the first time I've ever seen someone have a chilli hiccough in real life! The only other time I've heard of it is when Gregg got one on Masterchef. Ahhh, Greg. The tomato sauce was juicy and well seasoned and the vegetables seemed like they had been well cooked.
My korai lamb was ordered to be a bit spicier than usual. It was just on the verge of being too spicy but really good. The lamb was just cooked so still soft and full of flavour. The peppers were fresh and the sauce a good consistency. It was good but it didn't set my world alight. I don't know what it was lacking but I could tell it wasn't amazing. The lamb biryani garnered a similar reaction. I didn't get to taste the bhuna because my friend's boyfriend demolished it in all of 5 minutes.
This place was unspectacular. We enjoyed our meals and cleaned our plates but I won't remember it in years to come. I would go there again but I wouldn't rave about it.

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