For the last 40 years, I've been meeting up with my mate Keith every month or two for a beer and a curry. He comes from North Wales and lives in Croydon, so we meet in town, visit a pub or two that serves proper ale (Keith is a Camra member) and then have a curry. Last year, when lockdown was lifted, he was probably the first mate I met up with. We met at Borough Market, had a pint at The Rake and adjourned to Est India in Union St. That was when I knew we'd come through the worst of the pandemic. I thought it would be good to list the best of our curry and beer routes.
1. Borough Market Area 1. I worked in Park St with Keith for a while, so I have a couple of takes on this, I've mentioned the Rake and Est India, which are both wonderful.
2. Borough Market Area 2. Another popular one on the list and if I am meeting with out of towners, I'd meet at The Globe in Borough Market, a real old atmospheric pub. It is nice to have a look around the market. There are plenty of other decent pubs, if you want a quiet one, I'd recommend the Mudlark. I'd adjourn to the Mango in Redcross Way. The Mango is a bit pricy but the food is good.
3. Euston 1. There are a plethora of good pubs and Indian restaurants in and around Euston. If you like Veggie then I'd recommend a trip to Drummond St, however as Keith is an avowed carnivore, that's not on our radar. We usually meet at The Doric Arch, the pub in the Euston Bus Garage. A great selection of Real Ales, a Fullers pub. I love station pubs, they have a unique atmosphere. People don't often hang around too long. From there we'd adjourn to The Woburn Tandoori on Woburn Walk. A proper old school Indian.
4. Euston 2. Another popular run we do is more a Summer treat, we start at The Euston Tap (one of the little buildings at the front of Euston Station). In years gone by, we'd adjourn to the Bree Louise, which was a wonderful real ale pub, but was demolished for Crossrail. We'd then nip up to the Great Nepalese on Eversholt St.
5. Aldgate 1. This is what inspired me to write todays blog. On Tuesday, I met Keith for a beer at The Swan on Alie St and a curry at The Halal, London's oldest Tandoori. The Halal no longer serves beer, but you can get cans at the Sainsburys around the corner or take away from The Swan. It will be the cheeapest curry you will have in London.
6. Aldgate 2. We were having a discussion about our next trip. We are both fans of the Lahore Kebab house on Commercial Road. We have decided to start with a trip to the Krays old haunt, The Blind Beggar near Whitechapel Station. The Lahore Kebab house is one of the best places to go if you like meat. It is great value.
7. Tottenham Court Road. This was where I was working when I first met Keith. At the time the area was buzzing with Indian Restaurants. Our favourite was the Neel Kamal on Percy St. Sadly, nearly all are no longer with us. We've not been down TCR for a beer and a curry for a long time, but we will and when we would have a beer at The Rising Sun, a beautiful pub on the corner of Windmill St and go to the Lal Qila, which is the last man standing of the restaurants we'd frequent back in 1984.
8. Blackfriars 1. There are a few good pubs and Indian Restaurants in Blackfriars. I worked around there in both the mid 1980's for BT and more recently until 2014, so I know it well. There is no way that anyone should not visit the Blackfriar Pub at least once. It is a wonderful building and serves excellent beers. Indian City is a none too bad traditional curry house and well worth a visit.
9. Blackfriars 2. There are many nice pubs in the area, which over the years we've frequented. I'd recommend a walk down Fleet St, taking in Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, The Tipparary and The Old Bell, then a curry at The Bengal Tiger on Carter Lane. A more modern menu.
10. Victoria. We also worked together in Victoria. We try and get down there once in a while, we quite like The Jugged Hare for its great range of beers. Our curry house of choice was The Jomuna, which did the best prawn curry in London. I've just googled it and it is now the Lovage, which means I cannot recommend it, but I hope that we'll get down there sometime soon. It is handy for Keith as he's a Croydon boy and it's convenient for Victoria.
What are your favourite beer and curry night destinations in London? Always interested to find new places.