I hope the people behind Shad, the Indian restaurant on Tooley Street near Tower Bridge, don’t take offense at being labeled an ethnic dump. I mean it in the best of ways.
Actually, it’s not a dump. Somebody here spent way too much time on the décor to call it a dump. The result of all that effort makes Shad’s ground floor dining room look like the venue of a multi-car pile up, if every car were carrying a powder keg of indelible dye.
This intense interior strangely sets the tone for the rest of the experience. This time, the smash-up is on your plate and on your palate, in the form of colour, heat, texture and flavour. For me, this is one of the best Indian restaurants in London.
I know. London has more Indian joints than I will ever visit in a lifetime. Among them, everyone has a favourite. The curry house for a night out with the lads. The curry house for after that night out. The curry house for visiting relatives. The curry house for adventurous tourists. Etc.
Shad is all of these restaurants, sometimes all at the same time. It’s a mixed 'hood, SE1.
I may never be able to convince you. But the lamb sikandari will. So will the butter chicken. As will the jalfrezi. You will never see a puddle of oil on a plate. You will never be served a broken poppadum.
You will, however, see the hands on your watch spin around quite a bit. The service at Shad is slow in a way that brings to mind glaciers, or the movements of the tree-dwelling sloth. This is problematic, for it is difficult to indulge or forgive slow service. Just don’t go there if you’re in a hurry. In fact, don’t go if you have to arrive anywhere promptly afterward.
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