15th September 2012
I lived in Colindale (north London) for 6 years and became very dependent on the availability of good vegetarian Indian food. My favourite places are the Indian sweet marts where you can pick up a whole host of Indian savouries and often pick up curry too.
When we moved this was one of the things I really missed, that and the good Chinese restaurants (and a Starbucks in walking distance). I was also a bus ride away from Golders Green which I frequented often and that was before I discovered Kosher Kingdom.
Well it’s only taken me 2 years or so but I have finally found my closest Asian paradise – Harrow. A 30 min bus ride means I can again enjoy my savoury delights plus the best lemon ‘chicken’ ever.
During my first visit to Natraj I selected 3 of my favourites.
Dhokla is a savoury sponge, it has a sour flavour to it which I believe comes from fermenting the gram flour mixture before steaming. Muthia is another steamed savory made from gram flour, more dense than the dhokla and not quite as tangy in flavour. I am no expert but I am guessing these two must be pretty good fat/calorie wise compared to all the other deep fried items you can get. Like gathia which is deep fried gram flour batter, I am told by Lady V that this ridged version is softer than the stick variety which is much crunchier.
They also do takeaway curry meals which looked good and had a small seating area, plus shelves of prepackaged dry goods, frozen and refridgerated items. There was also a large selection of pay by weight items (bombay mix etc) of which the gathia I got was one.
A little further down the road I noticed Aumkar another Gujurati hotspot which appears to be a similar set up. I didn’t go in, but apparently they do thali’s which I guess is the Indian equivalent of meze or tapas where you get lots of small dishes of different curries – aka heaven on a plate (for me anyway)!
Further still and you will find Royal China. A Chinese that has a vast selection of vegetarian gluten dishes. I don’t very often come across places that do the whole mock thing, Alisan in Wembley is another restaurant that does but it’s too far and expensive for us to go often. This was my second visit to Royal China and the only thing I was interested in was the lemon ‘chicken’. I love it so much I wouldn’t even consider trying something else the moment. Sadly not all the dishes are as good which is why we have never been back to dine in. Plus no Chinese broccoli!!
Their lettuce wraps do get the thumbs up, but I don’t think you can really get this wrong. It’s finely diced vegetables that come with hoi sin sauce which you wrap up in iceberg lettuce leaves very much like cripsy duck pancakes.
The menu on their website does not contain their gluten dishes.
This is as far as I got that day. Continuing further up the magical Station Road you will come across Yummy V a vegetarian Chinese and also a Cafe Nem a Korean restaurant who have a good selection of vegan items.
From here Only Eggless is a 20 min drive in Kenton. You may notice eggless cake shows in areas with a large Asian population because as well as being vegetarian many Gujurati also do not consume eggs. However, OE is my first experience of a vegan friendly shop of this type. I don’t know how up to date their website is but it says they are about to launch their range of Vegan Society approved vegan and gluten free cakes.
Praise the vegan food gods for Harrow, I will be back to explore further soon!