Brick Lane Curry House
306 E 6th St
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 979-2900
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: East Village
The spiciest food in NYC isn’t just spicy – it is downright incendiary. Brick Lane Curry House is an inexpensive English style curry house. This means that it has a huge menu with classic British-Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala, aloo gobi, and naan. It also has phaal, which is listed on the menu as: “An excruciatingly hot curry, more pain and sweat than flavor! For our customers who do this on a dare, we will require you to state a verbal disclaimer not holding us liable for any physical or emotional damage after eating this curry. If you do manage to finish your serving, a bottle of beer is on us, as is a certificate of completion and your picture in the (P)hall of fame.”
The restaurant’s decor is classic Indian-American, with sitar music playing, cloth napkins, and servers carrying burnished bowls of curry and biryanis. It is equally good for families, a group of friends, or even a date. Each table is brought a crisp, lentil infused pappadum and a selection of chutneys – sweet tamarind, fragrant cilantro, and fresh tomato and onion. The basket is not incredible, but it is welcome and introduces you to the pungent, tangy flavors that will permeate the rest of the meal>
Lamb Samosas have a flaky exterior that breaks open to reveal minced lamb and juicy peas, with the aromas of cinnamon, cumin, and fennel wafting upwards. The lamb is mild and juicy, and ideal starter. These are some of the best samosas in the city, and I could make a meal of these alone. Onion Kulcha is fluffy, hearty, and stuffed with sweet onions. The there is the Chicken Phaal. It has a smoky and spicy aroma, and the chicken is moist and tender. At first it tastes a bit spicy and deep, like chipotle peppers. I became brave and took another spoonful of sauce. Then, as you eat, the flames will start to flood the cheeks, the lips, and the throat. It is high, ringing, and unrelenting. The sauce is layered with ginger, coriander, and cumin that keeps it from being hot and hot alone. A side order of raita is a necessary side to cool it down.
If you finish this dish, you get a free beer and a certificate proclaiming your success. But that is a very big if.
Review By: Sarah Spigelman