The Halal: Imli Street is an Indian street food restaurant which serves all halal meat. From what I could tell there is no pig on the menu. Alcohol is served on the premises.
The Place: Street food is a wonderful concept: reminiscent of exotic holidays, snacking with friends, creating new experiences… It really is no surprise that the craze has hit London hard! No longer novel there are street food stalls, pop-ups, food carts and inspiring restaurants all over the capital now.
Being a lover of Indian street food myself, I simply had to check out Imli Street. You can find it in trendy Soho. Distressed painted walls, exposed brick, and bare metallic steel embellishments create a casual but edgy atmosphere indoors.
The Food: Imli Street has an eclectic menu which takes inspiration from 4 main sources: the coastal regions, food dhabas which are roadside cafés in India, the famous railway cuisine and the ethnic cuisine of many neighbouring countries.
We started our meal with Chandni Chowk samosa chaat which arrived in a pool of yoghurt and green chilli and mint chutney. The samosa contained a pipette filled with tamarind sauce which could be squeezed into the potato filling. This was a really fun and interactive concept I’d not experienced previously with streetfood.
Next up was a naan pie! I’ve never heard of this before so of course I had to try it. The lamb within it was tender and seasoned with rich spices. In my opinion, here wasn’t enough potato mash layering on top of the meat and the two strips of naan were slightly disappointing as I had envisioned a full naan crust on top of the pie.
No Indian meal is ever complete without a biryani. Unfortunately, Imli Street’s chicken Ambur biryani was nothing to write home about. The chicken was dry, overcooked and lacking in flavour.
The aubergine curry was billed to be full of hyderabadi spices but turned out very bland and disappointing.
We finished the meal off with a aromatic masala chai and chanced our luck with spiced doughnut holes with chocolate dipping sauce. In theory this should have been heavenly but the reality was hard, stale pastry – definitely not fresh. I would avoid at all costs!
The Price: At around £30 per person, street food no longer comes cheap, especially in Soho!
The Verdict: I really enjoyed that Imli Street was trying to be original and creative in their menu ideas. Sadly they were let down in the execution. The quality of the food being served and the taste level were both disappointing and for this reason I don’t think I’ll be heading back soon!