Babur Restaurant – Brockley

I was so impressed with Babur’s home delivery the other week, that when looking for somewhere to go to for a birthday dinner with my parents this weekend, their restaurant, also in Brockley, seemed like a natural choice.

While the home delivery menu revolves around  the kind of curry dishes we have come to love and expect in the UK, the a la carte menu at the restaurant is far more adventurous, featuring regionally inspired dishes cooked and presented in a modern, ‘restaurant’ style. Home-style, curry house food this is not.

On a Saturday night in January, I struggled to book a table for four before 9.30pm (admittedly I didn’t call them until early Saturday evening, but still…) which I considered to be a good sign. Indeed, when we arrived, the restaurant was busy and bustling with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

In order to really go to town on the main menu, we eschewed starters in favour of poppadoms and a selected of pickles.

Of the unusual selection of home-made dips, my favourite was a garlic chutney, which featured sweet, pungent, whole garlic cloves.

The impressively varied and unpredictable main menu featured dishes such as banana leaf monkfish in coconut milk, ginger and chilli with a nutmeg potato cake, black cod in spiced mustard oil with mustard mash, dum-cooked rabbit in star anise and ginger broth, and Gressingham duck breast with spinach, pineapple and chilli salsa, which made it incredibly hard to settle on just one dish.

After toying with the spiced baby lamb shank with cumin rice, I went for a chicken chettinad, a spicy South Indian dish, served with a rice dosa ‘fool’s cap’, a thin rice pancake folded into a cap shape, with which to scoop up the peppery sauce.

When it arrived, the unusual presentation made for an enticing dish. I wasn’t entirely sure where to start, but seeing other diners pissing around trying to eat it with a knife and fork seemed silly, so I tore it apart and proceeded to use it to grab the moist, tender chunks of spiced chicken.

The thick sauce was as the waiter warned me, spicy, but in an enjoyable way that allowed the aromatic flavours in the dish to mingle in,  rather than a full-on chilli attack. All round, it was a pleasingly spicy, satisfying, but light dish that I would almost definitely order again.

My sister decided to accompany her fragrant, creamy, chicken lababdar with a side dish of crispy fried potatoes. Instead of being the sautéed chunks I expected, the lightly spiced slivers of potato were deep fried to a crisp-like crunchiness and garnished with coriander. They were especially delicious when used to scoop up the rich black lentil dhal that we got for the table.

I was too full for a dessert, but took the opportunity to round off the meal with Babur’s chocolatey twist on my favourite, espresso martini.

The staff were friendly, the atmosphere was pleasant, and even the toilets were nice (my mother has not shut up about the freshly laundered individual towels in the bathrooms since we got back!), and I left Babur already excited about my next visit. Just writing about the menu has me salivating! With the bill totalling just £88 for 4 of us (beers, cocktails, mains and sides) it also seemed really good value for such great food.

(Once again, please excuse the picture quality. I was a bit drunk – this was a birthday dinner after all, and I have a simple point and shoot. Essentially, I’m a bit of a shit photographer too).

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5 Responses to “Babur Restaurant – Brockley”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    I still haven’t been and I’m only down the road in New Cross. It’s on the list!

  2. Kat Hannaford Says:

    I’ve heard about this place from another Brockley resident and after reading your post I MUST go. And must have a curry for lunch today! So much for that diet, ugh. A great read, Laura!

  3. crashwilliams Says:

    Both the restaurant and the take away side of the business (having recently moved in to the area I realised that they occupy two seperate premises) are excellent. I now always order take away from Babur as the food lacks the ‘covered in oil’ which is the norm of most take aways….

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