Thursday, 12 May, 2011

Shri Rathiga....

My husband tells me that Rathiga is Radha's Tamilian version. Do not know if Rathiga/Radha was a good cook, but this quaint restaurant, just off the Ilford town centre is super awesome and delivers good food every time we go there.

We found this by chance, we had gone to the Cineworld in Ilford to see 'No One Killed Jessica' and got hungry. Most of the places looked unappetizing, walked along the High Road, directed by my husband's android phone to this place called Shri Rathiga, where the web announced authentic South India cuisine is served. By the time we landed there, they had closed for lunch. But a nice waiter kindly let us in and said he could serve us just doass and idlis. We were famished and I was in a dosa craving phase, so we settled down. The food that came swept us off our feet and cost us less than a tenner!(They had a lunch special going on at that time) Ever since we have become regulars, never mind the almost one hour bus journey. We happily settle ourselves on the upper deck of the London double decker buses in anticipation of good food and pass the hour gazing out of the window (which I hog by my birth right) and chatting (spending quality husband and wife time).

A few weeks back during our lunch there, I ordered Chicken 65 which is absolutely yummy and  is quickly becoming my staple starter there. It is chicken marinated in spices and deep fried. It has a kick but not too hot and super delicious. I can easily polish off two/three such plates! My husband ordered Guntur Kodi Vepudu-- boneless chicken fried in a special Andhra sauce and served dry. Man this had a super kick. When you put the first fork full into your mouth, it gives you such a kick, that kind of wakes you from a deep slumber and makes you come alive. Once your taste buds have gotten over the heat shock, you become aware of the rest of the spices. This being several notches over my usual heat standard, I told my husband that he could finish it himself. But I just could not stay away from it.

This time we ordered meat dosas-- I ordered mutton dosa and my husband chicken dosa. A sneak peak into mine. The meat was soft and succulent and was not too hot, but super flavorful. But truth to be told I prefer my dosa vegetarian. I was missing the aloo ka sabji. I think in future I will stick to their ghee roasted paper masala dosa. Apart from the masal inside, the dosas are light and crispy, just like they should be.

Ah the chutneys. No review of Shri Rathiga can be complete without the chutneys they serve. The first time when we went there, they put this tri colour chutney pot right in front of our nose and went away to prepare the dosa. Like I mentioned I was famished and the chutneys were so yummy that I almost finished them before the dosas made an appearance! My husband kept teasing me that they will not let us eat here next time cos we finish off all their chutneys. The four times we have eaten there, the chutneys are always fresh and oh so tasty.
And their sambar-- my husband having lived in the South for over 5 years and having eaten in  numerous friends' homes, is very sambar specific. In London's most popular South India chain restaurant he hated the sambar, calling it watered down and some other choice words. But here he loves it, he claims they make it Tamilian style, a little sweet or something. Every time we eat there, I get a lecture on how the different Southern states make sambar in different styles, but now when I need to write about it, do not remember a word of it! Shows where my attention was during those lectures. Me, am not a sambar aficionado, but I do like the taste of a good sambar. 
I think this restaurant can safely be called London's best South Indian food joint and we love going back there. We hope their chef does not run away till the time we are in London!


  1. Wow I wish you guys would have discovered this when I was around, anyway, your post has made me soooo hungry!!!!

  2. Anugem, we had already discovered this, before you came, but like I mentioned it is too far away to have taken you. The lunch with the travel takes almost half a day! But so worth it :-)


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