Monday, 30 November 2009

Gufaa review - Cheap Indian food in Angel Islington that packs a punch


Gufaa+review+Angel+Islington+cheap+Indian+food++London+ChowIt must be pretty tough for an Indian restaurant to be located within a stone's throw to Masala Zone in Angel Islington's Upper Street. Londoners seem to have this penchant for Wagamama styled dining - tucking into pseudo fast food on simple tablecloth free tables with equally plain seats.

Even with the lunch special that Gufaa is currently having, people still flock to Masala Zone for reasons unknown to me. For a mere £5.50, Gufaa is offering… wait for it… two large pieces of naan, salad, rice, a meat and a vegetable side dishes. If I'm not mistaken, the equivalent will probably cost closer to £10 at Masala Zone. And you have table cloth to boot.

The waiter was all smiles when we stepped into Gufaa on a wet Sunday afternoon. After some light bantering, he quickly show us to our seats, which didn't take long as the restaurant was empty then.

As I have been there a couple of times already, it didn't take me long to figure out what to order from the lunch special menu. Other than Pilau Rice, I ordered Gosht Pasanda and Channa Massala to go with my naan and salad.

Gufaa+review+Angel+Islington+cheap+Indian+food++London+Chow
Presentation could be better but Gufaa's lunch deal is one one great one

The Gosht Pasanda is essentially a North Indian dish that uses sliced lamb in spices with cream, cashew nuts and ground ginger. The serving came with a generous portion of lamb and creamy gravy went really well with naan.

Channa Massala (chick peas with herbs, with lemon sauce) on the other hand, provided a subtle zingy flavouring and I was lapping it up with mouthfuls of pilau rice.

The salad was, well, salad that was nothing to that other than a few strands of greens and a mandatory slice of tomato. But that did add some welcome crunch to the entire mix.

Though I didn't get a chance to walk pass Gufaa during dinner time but I can see that its afternoon business was a bit slow as the sole waiter sat on a table behind me and started folding fabric napkins. There was one other couple who came in after us and even they were a bit hesitant after realising that there were no one else.

Unlike the Bangladeshi curries served in Brick Lane, the Indian food at Gufaa though spicy, is not hot (as in chilli). Given a choice, I would prefer to savour the taste of spice rather than always having to reach out for a glass of ice cold water. If you're in Angel during lunchtime and would like some Indian food for a change, head towards Gufaa instead of Masala Zone. I assure that you wouldn't be disappointed.

Address: 38 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0PN
Tel: 020 7354 5465
Nearest Tube station: Angel

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £10 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: **
Ambience: ***
Suitable for: a leisure afternoon lunch on a budget
Gufaa on Urbanspoon

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