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Balti #4 – Saleem’s, 256 Ladypool Road

May 3, 2010

I know I know, I’m worse than the number 11 bus –  no blog posts for a month, and then two come along at once. Last night I took some family members down to the Balti triangle on the promise of an especially good naan bread, and hopefully a decent curry too. We headed to Saleem’s, which had been recommended for the breads, a laid-back cafe style Balti house half way down the Ladypool road. Apparently it’s been a fixture of the Balti triangle for forty years, it’s got to be in with a shout then. I liked the informal setting, with a well stocked takeaway and sweet counter at the front, and encouragement from the waiter to sit where we liked and pull some tables together to seat our five-strong party. The menu looked a bargain, no frills and not too extensive. On to the meal…

The Balti

Cabbage? In a Balti? Are you serious? Obviously they were, as there was lots of it! It was accompanied, in the spotlessly clean silver serving dish, by carrots, peas, onions, and potatoes – this was soggy sunday roast leftovers in a Balti. To be fair they did put some green pepper in there to make it a bit more exotic, and actually, despite there being very little of it, the sauce tasted pretty good with lots of chilli, ginger, and loads of fresh coriander. The cabbage did dominate though as it was in virtually every mouthful, the overcooked sulfur flavour overpowering the other vegetables, and most importantly the sauce. My table-mates had better experiences though – I looked jealously at a matthak paneer, kindney bean curry and tarka dhal – hmm, damn those rules.

The Naan

I was expecting great things from this naan bread, so I enquired straight off with the waiter whether they used self-raising flour in the breads. Sadly, he confirmed they did. To be fair though, if he hadn’t told me it would have been hard to tell, it didn’t have the chemical smell that I’ve been getting used to. I’m almost tempted to think that they use half and half with plain white flour, and perhaps even, say it quietly,  some yeast in the dough. It was large, perfectly cooked, super soft, and a pleasing sourness from the diary product used in the dough – I think it was yoghurt. It was probably the best naan bread of the lot so far, and I wish I’d done a bit more digging into its origins.

So the food wasn’t amazing, but this place had a charm about it, a laid-back, no-rush, lahore-cafe feel. A place I could see myself returning to for a quick lunchtime bite perhaps. I won’t be ordering a vegetable Balti though…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. nickloman permalink
    May 3, 2010 5:52 pm

    Ah well, I am pleased the naan was good at least. If you are going to have a curry I’d have a meat with chana but that’s just me 🙂

    So where are you going next? It’s a shame you can’t go to Hall Green because that precludes going to Jyoti’s and Lasan Eatery … not that either of them are balti houses.

    I guess you need to go to Al Faisals and Al Frash next!

    • May 3, 2010 8:51 pm

      Yes I think Al Frash might be called for next. I went there about a year ago and had a great silver hake tandoori. I’m also tempted by Hajee’s on Stratford road, if only to try the sheeps brains…

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