Tale of East

The Tale of India, London E14

West India Dock Road is hardly the most salubrious place for a meal but the Tale of India is great little neighbourhood curry house and judging but the numbers in there the neighbourhood knows it too.

Interestingly there are four Assamese (East Indian) dishes on the menu. Assam is one of the seven Indian states tucked away far to the east and is only joined to the rest of the country by a thin strip of land in West Bengal. Assam itself borders Bhutan and Bangladesh and is pretty close to Myanmar (Burma) and China although Assam often refers to a group of people as well as the place. So now you know. Plus I get to slip a map into the blog.

Assam, tucked away far to the east

Right, history lesson over. The four Assamese dishes on offer (Salaam, Shorisha Batta, Baluchory and Shashli Khana) are all hot, with chick peas, green chillis and spring onion featuring prominently. Salaam (£6.95) is excellent and comes with spinach and lime skin plus a thick sauce of tomato, onion, garlic, ginger, cariander and capsicum. Chicken or lamb, take your pick.

Away from the east, old-school classics like Madras and Dhansak are priced at £6.50-£6.95 and the chef must be very special because he has an extensive list of specialities. The lamb in the Garlic Chilli (£6.95) was melt in the mouth but should be tried if for no other reason than to acknowledge the refreshing humour in the menu, which warns that the garlic is not suitable for vampires. Good stuff.

The Tale of India, 53 West India Dock Road, London, E14 8HN. Tel: 020 7537 2546. Open: Sun–Wed noon–2.30pm and 5.30pm–11.30pm (midnight on Thurs–Sat).

The Tale of India snapshot

Food ① ② ③ ④

Decor ① ② ③

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Atmosphere (late on Sunday night) ① ② ③

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

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