Old York Road, indeed, needs to be added to my list of interesting, attractive, non-murdery South London neighbourhoods
I'm not one for South London (still). As far as I'm concerned, it's one large dormitory which slopes into Surrey and Kent, bounded to the north by the Southbank, with occasional lively patches like Brixton and Vauxhall (and of course Eric Lanlard's cookery school). Gradually, however, my ignorance is being replaced with, you know, facts. Amirah's Kitchen on Old York Road is the latest fact.
Old York Road, indeed, needs to be added to my list of interesting, attractive, non-murdery South London neighbourhoods. Reminiscent of Haverstock Hill (without the hill), it is a pleasant car-free street which starts by Wandsworth Town station. There are vintage print shops and independent boutiques and restaurants not on every street corner in the land (though Pizza Express has taken a spot).
Indian street food is the name of the game, so starters are all handy portions, like pakora (an onion, potato and spinach patty) and the delicate aloo ki tikki (cumin-scented potato cake). The lasooni jhinga were frankly enormous king prawns with garlicky overtones.
Main courses were less portable though no less enjoyable. Kadhai jhinga (prawns again, only this time of the tiger variety, with onions, tomatoes, peppers and red chillies) brought heat to an otherwise meh evening weatherwise, while the Punjabi mug makhni (chicken tikka in a tomato and fenugreek sauce) was creamy and mild.
Pictured above: Chana Aloo Chaat (warm salad of chickpeas & potato with mango powder and yoghurt sauce)
The highlight, for a carb-loader like me, was the malabar protha, a South Indian layered bread which seemed to be, in essence, butter and pastry. This is a Good Thing (if not for my arteries).
So, South London: more than the place people who work north of the river head home to.