BY PALOMA LACY
Stories of huge rent hikes are common and responsible for the closure of a number of great and well established eateries.
East Dulwich stalwart, Jaflong Tandoori, found itself at the sharp end of yet another rent increase a year ago but instead of throwing in towel, moved from its prime Lordship Lane location to just around the corner.
It’s now settled into a rather nice new spot in East Dulwich Road, nestled between two excellent craft beer pubs/bottle shops, which I could thoroughly recommend you visit to whet your whistle and build up an appetite worthy of this excellent Bangladeshi cuisine.
I am of course biased as Jaflong specialises in my favourite area of the Indian sub-continent and diners cannot fail to be impressed by this staggeringly good offering.
Left in the capable hands of proprietor, Mr Ali, my husband and I began with a couple of poppadoms, accompanied by the usual sauces – raita, chilli pickle and onion salad.
The raita – yoghurt dip – was thicker than usual, sitting more easily atop of the poppadum and
less likely to end up on my clothes, which is the normal course of events for me.
Jaflong sauce was also served – a sweet and sour dip made from tamarind, coconut and an array
of eastern spices – sunshine on a spoon.
Chicken tikka and prawn puri as starters for two to share worked well. The latter would have been two large for one person with any hope of doing justice to the main course. The puri, similar to a paratha, was stuffed full of a delicately spiced prawn curry.
The menu is extensive so we looked to be guided in part by Mr Ali as to his best sellers.
His, quite literally, hottest seller, chicken Naga (£8.55), had to be re-tried. Since the first time I tasted this, nearly five years ago, I’d not seen it on another menu.
For the uninitiated, the Naga is the world’s hottest chilli, great for flavour, as long you can take the heat.
However, it should be treated with respect, and woe betide the unfortunate person who bites into one. In short: tread carefully and prepare not to be able to feel your mouth for the foreseeable future should you fail to eat around it. We approached the dish with necessary caution and yes it was hot but full of deep flavour – the best curry I have had in a good while.
A few top tips for additional dishes include, king prawn biriyani (£10.95), made using pieces of
juicy shellfish, served with a complimentary vegetarian curry, and solid vegetable side dishes saag aloo (£3.35) and tarka daahl (£3.10).
I love what Mr Ali and his team is doing and so do their customers, if his position as finalist in the recent JustEat.co.uk Awards is anything to go by. I am reminded that this is the umpteenth time the restaurant has swooped this accolade.
Paloma Lacy was a guest of Jaflong, 42 East Dulwich Road, SE22 9AX.