Monday, June 17, 2013

London Sizzler

  Let me start by asking a question.  Have you ever constantly driven by a place and though to yourself, "I really should try that place out."?  Well, such was the case with London Sizzler.  It located in a little shopping center right off of US HW 59 which I drive by everyday on my way home from work.  So last Friday when my wife and I were trying to decide what to do about dinner, I suggested we try something new.  At first we did not directly choose London Sizzler.  I had suggested something out of that general location given that there is a good amount of options there.  After doing a little research online, we decided London Sizzler was the place to go.

   When we got inside my wife and I were promptly greeted, then seated by the hostess.  We were then attended to by a waitress.  When prompted as to what we were drinking, my wife and I had previously decided to try a lassi.  I ordered the more traditional salted lassi as I am found of savory drinks.  My wife went with the "safer" mango lassi.  I also figured that since we would be eating Indian food a yogurt drink would help calm any of the spicier notes of our meal.

   The mango lassi my wife had was very good.  First of all you could tell they used real mangoes to make it.  It tasted fresh and refreshing, especially for a hot Houston summer day.  The yogurt played well with the mango and it gave it a nice consistency overall.  It was midway between a smoothing and a milkshake.  It was sweet, but not overly so.

  The salted lassi was also exquisite.  It was thick and creamy.  In fact, it was a little thicker than my wife's lassi.  It had a nice salty taste to it.  Just enough to make it pleasant.  The saltiness along with the flavor of the yogurt gave it an almost cheesy flavor.  It was the perfect accompaniment to what I ordered, the lamb vindaloo.

   After pouring over the menu for several minutes, I finally decided on the lamb vindaloo.  I had narrowed it down to this or the butter chicken. What made the vindaloo win out after all is that my wife pointed out that I like spicy food, but don't really get to eat them at home on account of her milder palate.  The vindaloo came accompanied by a bowl of Basmati rice, which is good because the vindaloo was indeed spicy.  While not quite "kick you in the groin" spicy, it was still enough to make me sweat.  The rice as well as the lassi really helped my handle the heat.  The vindaloo had a nice robust flavor and the lamb was very tender.  Every once in a while I would encounter a cardamom pod, indicating freshly made food.

   My wife, given that she is not into the spicy food, had the tandori chicken.  While tandoori chicken is usually spicier in India, here it is toned down.  My wife order the half chicken which was served sizzling hot on a cast iron platter.  The chicken itself was nicely cooked.  It was juicy and tender.  I had the nice tangy flavor you would expect from being marinated in yogurt and spices.  My wife's only complaint was that it was difficult to eat since it was served bone in.  You don't really want to gnaw on the bone in a public restaurant.

  To accompany our meal, we also order some garlic naan.  London Sizzler has a nice variety of naan and other breads.  It was a little overwhelming, so we stuck to something we knew.  The naan itself was delicious.  It was served warm so it was still soft.  It had just the right amount of garlic so that you knew what it was, but not be overcome by it.  The naan also had a slightly crunchy underside so it was crisp while still being pliable.

   Complimentary to our table was a little condiment tray.  On it was included fresh lemon wedges, sliced onions, a red sweet chile sauce, and a spicy green cilantro sauce.  Now, not being an expert on Indian cuisine, I am not sure what these condiments were meant for or what the two sauces are called.  Perhaps someone who is more familiar would like to enlighten me.  Non the less, the two sauces were very good.  I tasted them both with a bit of naan.  I preferred  the red sweet chili sauce and thought my wife would too, but she said she liked the green sauce better since it complimented her chicken more. Go figure.

   Now this is a place I would recommend to anyone, unless you are not a fan of Indian food.  As far as I can tell this is more Indian fare via UK, so it might be a bit different than a restaurant focused a particular region of India's cuisine.  In any case, I think this place might make it onto our rotation of favorite eateries.

London Sizzler Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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