Boxing clever - A la carte at home from Babur














Brockley Nick here...

When local bloggers get too good, we simply absorb them. That's why we're pleased to welcome the latest addition to the Brockley Central family: Brockley Ben, a leading food blogger in his own right and now our resident restaurant reviewer.

Frankly, food and drink reviews have always been one of Brockley Central's blind spots - we usually run out of ideas after saying that it tasted nice. Jon and Kate have made a few valiant efforts and we've had a couple of great entries from Honor Oak Zoe, but new blood is needed. So here he is, starting with a subject that we can't believe we've never written about, given how much we use it - Babur's takeaway service:

Brockley Central loves a curry as much as the next blog but is not always in the mood to traipse to the far end of Brockley Road to savour Babur's unquestioned quality. This year's typical British summer makes the trek particularly unappetising, but sometimes - more or less twice a week as it happens - only a curry will do. And so the hand reaches for the trusty bundle of take-away menus and the mind once again wonders where the speed-dial instructions are.

Until recently the choice has usually been between Cinnamon, which boasts a few interesting Southern Indian specialities, and Essence of India, which is bog standard UK curry-house fare - and none the worse for that. Babur's own delivery option (apparently linked to the restaurant in name alone) has always felt a bit of a poor relation to the restaurant itself and has quietly fallen off the roster.

Babur, though, could never be accused of resting on its laurels (its regular special menus and loyalty scheme are testament to that) and has recently relaunched it a la carte delivery service. Previous attempts to try this service have been met with mixed results: confusion as calls went to and fro between restaurant and take-away kitchen, no clear idea of which dishes were available and overlong delivery delays.

This time, though, they've done it properly: a cut-down version of the main restaurant menu on a smart flier, a single number to call and a professional, confident tone when you do. They'll even take the plastic if the PDQ machine is available. But best of all you get a fancy box!

Highlights from the first couple of test runs have included venison chapli (spicy patties), multani soole (char-grilled paneer), dum-cooked rabbit and hara cholliya te paneer, a deeply rewarding dish of chickpeas and paneer in a Punjabi marsala that's billed as a side-dish but is a meal in itself.

Prices seem to be about 8o to 90 percent of the restaurant menu (starters £4.50 to £5.95, mains £9.50 to £13.50). Delivery is free and there's a minimum order of £20. And there's a 10 percent discount if you go and pick up your fancy box yourself.

Highly recommended.

31 comments:

Westsider said...

To my shame, I have never tried Babur. You've convinced me.

The Cat Man said...

Ah yes, I saw this menu the other day - it looks amazing!

People should take care not to confuse with Barburs standard takeaway menu - its the 'a la carte' menu you need! (the other one is standard take away stuff)

qbf said...

Tried their take-away once and was disappointed, but may give them another go based on this.

Brockley Kate said...

No welcomes for Brockley Ben, eh? You lot are slacking :P
Let me be the first - welcome to the blog, Ben! :)

Anonymous said...

the brockley foxes should have been invited, even though they would wisely have turned it down . . .

Brockley Ben said...

Thanks Kate! Looking forward to making a more formal (ish) exploration of the dining options in and around SE4.

Open to any and all suggestions. Twitter types can find me at @benbush. Otherwise perhaps through the regular Brockley Central suggestion board (which seems a bit short of recent suggestions - slacking indeed).

@Catman and @qbf You're right. The regular delivery from Babur is standard stuff and certainly no better than the others I mentioned. The a la carte stuff is the real restaurant deal though.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm still waiting for the foxs review of that baby they snacked on a few months back.

Monkeyboy said...

Really? I always thought the takeaway was better than average. Not a patch on the restaurant though. Ever had the chicken biryani? Simple, subtle and nothing like the version you get in "British" Indians.

Brockley Kate said...

Le Querce, do Le Querce!!!!!! :D

(Good luck with La Lanterna Redux, whenever it re-opens ...)

Brockley Ben said...

Don't think so, MB, but it's on the a la carte delivery menu so maybe next time.

As for their regular take-away I just remember a couple of disappointing efforts (particularly the veg) and found more reliable stuff elsewhere. Particularly Cinnamon.

Hackney Foxes said...

Apropos baby snack:

Arms tasty, nose snotty. Customer service diabolical.

mg said...

Yes, v remiss, welcome Ben. My excuse is I was distracted by Ben's blog - great stuff, I now plan to visit Rules bar asap.

Brockley Ben said...

@mg that's a fine excuse. You're forgiven. I'm off to Rules on Tuesday for cocktails and grouse. Will be nose-bleedingly expensive but I can't wait!

mg said...

@ben Thanks to you and hollowlegs I will soon be both bankrupt and enormous. So many good places to try.

Monkeyboy said...

Ok, I'll have to try cinnamon again. I've got an oily mess thevlast time I tried. Mind you even a poor Indian beats almost any other fast food fix.

So are you going to join in the homophobic-rant-gate or are sticking the food brief! Some tasty sausages should calm things OR IS THAT A BIT GAY!!!

Brockley Ben said...

I would wade in but I'm struggling to keep up. And I need to fix myself a gin. Too many demands on my time...

Monkeyboy said...

Ordered a cinnamon takeaway, for research purposes.

Brockley Ben said...

Mixed martini. Purely medicinal. Every possibility I'll be putting in a call to Cinnamon before long too.

Brockley Kate said...

Bit unfair to Ben on his first outing to try and drag him into local political rows, MB! :P
Treat him nice, or he won't come back ...

Monkeyboy said...

He's dissing Babur takeaway! I put their kids through university, nann by nann. I'm like family. He's already in, DEEP!

Duck said...

@ monkeyboy - you will be dissapointed with Cinnamon! Had a takeaway from ther last fri - absolutely disgusting.

Have enjoyed cinnamon over the last 3 years and whilst not authentic indian - very tasty and extremely generous quantity of meat per dish. Ordered a lamb madras from there on fri and i kid you not - 5 tiny pieces of lamb in what can only be described as tasteless slop.

Complained - they sent another one which to be honest was worse than the first. So bad it went in the bin in fact.

I REALLY hope this was a one off - do let me know what you think when you have had your meal!!

Monkeyboy said...

OK, just shovelled a cinnamon takeaway down my neck. Babur takeaway still wins. You can sign up the little 'un to uni, your funding is safe.

Brockley Ben said...

@Duck interesting. You think Cinnamon's gone off the boil recently? In the spirit of eternal endeavour - and nothing at all to do with this second martini - I'm about to order one myself.

@MB I've certainly paid my share into the Babur college fund too. What did you have tonight?

Mb said...

A lamb farcha... Never heard of it before. It wasn't great, not bad, but not great.

Duck said...

Ben - as i said, I hope it was a one off.

I am pretty hard to please when it comes to a curry (from one of the curry capitals in the UK originally!) but Cinnamon was always somewhere that I knew I would get a good quality meal. I have never judged it against what I call an authentic indian as that would not be fair. It was good in it's own right and I frequently used to reccommend it to people.

On another note - (and back to the OP!)I absolutely love Babur (restaurant)Everything about it is fantastic - the food is sublime, the service top class.......we are VERY lucky to have it on our doorstep!

Monkeyboy said...

...so anyway, on a completly different note. Several random people have been asking about Brockley with interest and have said they may pop over a bit more often now we have a reqular train/tube/metro/not-quiet-train thing.

Brockley Kate said...

Random people come up to you in the street to tell you they're going to come to Brockley? Wow, either you're the Brockley Tourist Board, or you're famous - right?!

patrick1971 said...

@BrockleyBen, welcome. I'd be interested to see reviews of some of the options in Honor Oak Park.

Try: only been for a Sunday brekker which was good. Looks like it could be a nice evening venue.

The Old Bank: looks very nice and posh but does it deliver on the promise?

The new cafe whose name escapes me (even though I walked past it just last night) has also started opening on Friday & Saturday evenings for dining.

Out of the three I think I'd most like to see an Old Bank review.

Brockley Ben said...

@Patrick1971 Thanks! Will add those to the list. And yes, there is a list...

david said...

So, tried the flash Babur home delivery last night inspired by the review and comment and ...

Seriously underwhelmed. The food that arrived could only just be described as "warm". We had been expecting/hoping for something pretty special in terms of tastes but got what I would describe as bog standard Indian - the highlight was the sauce that went with the venison chaplis (not the chaplis themselevs mind, justthe sauce). Everything else was middle of teh road and while "nice" certainly not nice enough to pay a premium for. For a home delivery for 2 people at £45 I'd expect somthing pretty good but what I got was something that if I'd paid the "usual" £20 - £25 for with our usual Indian delivery I'd have been happy with but not realy thought it was anything at all special - certainly not enough to make a point of ordering any of the dishes again ...

Brockley Ben said...

@david. Thanks for the feedback. Seriously doubt there was much the food was going to do to change your mind after it failed the first test - to be hot. If you're going to sell restaurant standard food as take-away/delivery you absolutely need to get that right. They clearly let themselves down on this occasion.

Incidentally, after all my martini-fuelled talk about sampling a Cinnamon delivery on Friday we ended up strolling up the hill to eat on site in the end. Not an experiment I'll be repeating. I may post about it in more detail (there's not much to add) but I don't think I'll be doing Brockley's dining scene any favours if I *only* post about curry!

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