Zarooj The Grill Restaurant – 69-71 Goodmayes Rd, Ilford IG3 9UB
The Lahori Breakfast Special – 10AM to 1PM
Time has not been on our side for the last 6 months or so, recently moving further east and new born had meant we didn’t have the time to go out like we used to. As a New Year’s resolution, I decided to do less on my weekends but more quality time on the things I did do. Which was the dilemma, eating out this side of town tends to be limited and often not worth the effort. Take aways and kebab shops often didn’t give the the energy to put pen to paper, resulting in writers block or shall I say bloggers block.
On my commute I have been intrigued by the Lahori Nasta and Asian breakfasts being advertised around town. So this morning, we jumped out of bed and decided to give one a go. Zarooj, on Goodmayers Road looks like your average kebab shop, indian / burger do it all joint. Walking in the place looked tired and in need of a little TLC. There is fish tank under the floor that showed glimpses of large gold fishes or something of the sort, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them and wondered when they last had a vitamin D fix.
Aesthetics aside, it was becoming Brunch time and time to order. On the menu flyer was a number of items that grabbed my attention, in particular Magaj (Brain), Payar (feet), Haleem and Nahari. My mind was telling me no!!!! but my body… but my body was telling me yeah!! lol Sorry must be the Valentines vibe.
Ok this place had some real authentic items, I really wasn’t fancying brain or feet for breakfast. My wife, chickened out also and went for the chana puri, the safe bet! with masala chaai. I went for the Haleem and tandoori paratha with an OJ. This breakfast was going to be a true brunch, my rule of no spice before 12 was out the window.
The food arrived, a massive bowl of what looked like thick daal. I had Haleem before in South Africa and my old man also had his very own special recipe, but this didn’t look right. The proof is always in the pudding, I took a dip with my naan, the flavours were subtle, mild, hints of ginger, lentils, turmeric and slowly cooked lamb with the fat tossed in for good measure. Sprinkled on top was fresh ginger strips, spices, coriander and chilli. This dish was good and took away my prejudgement of what Zarooj was going to be like.
I took pieces of naan, ripped and dipped away. The flavours fused and melted together, buttery goodness with spicy after tastes. The portion was a little large and could be finished with one naan if you chose to be generous on your dipping.
Lunch was now off the itinerary, Zarooj made sure of that their authentic wholesome Lahori Nasta. The is a brunch to wake you up and keep you going, the place is not the most amazing looking nor sparkling clean however the quick service and delicious food made up for it.
Few words from my wife, the chana was very nice and wholesome, the side of halwa was perfect.
If your feeling brave, try out the brain and feet, do let us know your thoughts!