Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rani - a Vegetarian Indian restaurant in London

We're back home, having spent a week away. The weather was kind to us, we even enjoyed some sunshine.  And we ate well:)

We stumbled upon this vegetarian Indian Restaurant purely by chance - I'd searched for restaurants on-line before we left, but didn't see this one there for some reason.  However, the website is www.raniuk.com,  and I think the fact that we ate there twice in three days says much for it.  The address is 7 Long Lane, Finchley N3 2PR.

It was clean, and not cramped as so many restaurants can be.  The manager was incredibly helpful, going to the kitchen to check on the suitability of the dishes on the buffet that evening for me, once I'd explained that I was both vegan and wheat intolerant.

The buffet was organised into cold starters

of which there were four, Aloo Dhai Poori, Bjel Poori, cold sliced Idli, and some "Semolina sandwiches", plus some delicious mini poppudoms.

A huge array of chutneys was available, with useful recommendations as to which chutney would best suit a main dish.

then there were four hot starters, the usual Onion Bhajias, Fried Mogo, Potato Bhajias, and some tapioca patties.

then there were a couple of rice dishes, one plain plus a cashew and vegetable pilau, and four curry dishes.  There was a Paneer curry, though not for me, obviously, Chola (black beans, very gingery and warming), Aubergine and Potato, and a carrot and cabbage dish.

There were also slice dosa, and a Gujerati Dal soup.  Puris were available for those who could eat wheat.

I was brought a specially made bread made from millet and cornmeal, which was substantial and tasty.  I was also brought my own small plate of cold starters without dairy.  So well cared for.

As a matter of course the restaurant has codes on the title cards of the foods indicating the content of such things as wheat, nuts, dairy, onions etc, so they really care about their customers' health and well being, which is so good to see:)

I was even allowed into the kitchen to take photos - how many restaurants would permit that?

On our second visit, there was one different cold starter, deep fried aubergines replaced the tapioca patties on the hot starters, and a Banana Methi replaced the cabbage and carrot, and a delicious Lilotri Sak (aubergines and broad beans) was on offer.  When I expressed the fact that I was unable to eat bananas, the manager arranged for a portion of Chana to be delivered to me.  He also brought over to me a portion of Akhaa Murcha, a vegetable stuffed chilli - one of the most delicious foods I've ever eaten!

So, if you're around London and fancy a great meal, I can heartily recommend Rani.  Our meal cost around £22 as we were "early birds", eating before 9.30pm, so qualifying for the discount on the £15 a head buffet.  Wonderful.

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