THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Lockdown 3. Home 24/7. Navel contemplated. Time to cook.
Luckily, I’m quite handy in the kitchen, so I happily prepare my meals and greedily gobble them up. Then comes – sadly - washing up. It wouldn’t be so bad except my dirty pots and pans seem to breed while I’m gobbling. I swear! I couldn’t possibly be so messy. 3 months of this had me longing for a reprieve. Barbers Bazaar Indian takeaway answered my prayer.
Chef Abdul Yaseen is a star. From the founding team of Cinnamon Club, he went on to open Cinnamon Kitchen and Darbaar. It is miraculous that he now has a takeaway in Crouch End, 15 minutes from me in East Crouch End (mistakenly known as South Tottenham). As one would expect from such a renowned chef, the quality is excellent.
Fresh, fluffy popadums (£3.50) came with 3 wonderful dips. Yoghurt, herb and tomato based, reminiscent of an Indian spiced barbecue sauce. Yaseen is known for his barbecue prowess. Barber’s Devil Tandoori Wings (£5.95) are spicy and succulent. I cleaned every bone.
Dal Sev Papdi Chaat (£4.95) is a fabulous starter of masala potatoes, chickpeas, wheat crisp, yogurt, mint and pomegranate seeds. It all blends together perfectly and looks something akin to Eton Mess without the strawberries. I don’t know how potatoes and chickpeas can taste so good. And the portion is very generous.
Handi Masala Chicken Lababdar (£9.95) has just a touch of sweetness that offsets the intricate spicing in the caramelised onion and tomato gravy. Paneer Aur Subz Methi Korma (£7.95) is lightly grilled chunks of cottage cheese and vegetables in a cashew and fenugreek sauce. Light, sweet and delicate. Lamb Saag Bhuna Masala (£10.95) was dish of the day. Beautiful, slow cooked lamb with garlic, chillies and spinach is very well balanced and sings with flavour, spice and heat.
A side of aubergine crush (£4.50) got a bit lost among all the other, bolder flavours. Steamed basmati rice (£3) and garlic and coriander naan (£2.50) are both great quality. Tarka Daal (£4.50) is a style from northern India which adds sautéed onion and spices after cooking the lentils. Ab delish!
For dessert, Gulab Jamun (£4). These are Indian doughnuts made from milk powder, deep fried and soaked in sweet syrup. They have a unique, slightly grainy texture; light rather than airy. Chef Yaseen serves them with a sweet milk custard and chopped pistachios which offers little contrast. All the sweetness cries out for a touch of acid. This did not prohibit me from devouring the lot!
Everything is beautifully packaged and withstood the on time delivery, arriving hot and well presented. Good portions, superb spicing and best of all, no washing up!!!!
I highly recommend Barbers Bazaar but if you live outside the delivery zone, you’ll just have to eat your heart out!