I’ve written about Tooting before and the fantastic range of eating options it has.
Just this weekend the chain Honest Burgers opened a branch near Tooting Broadway tube – it already has restaurants in Brixton Market, Soho, King’s Cross and Camden.
Eating curry on a baking hot night may not be everyone’s cup of tea but when we get cravings for Apollo Banana Leaf‘s (ABL) food we just have to listen to our bodies.
Located quite far down Tooting High Street, this Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant doesn’t exactly have curb appeal.
Our friend had driven to London from Gloucester for the weekend and his face was a picture when we met him outside. Inside, the painting of generic waterfalls and volcanoes and crushed red velvet chairs did little to reassure him. But reassure him we did.
Then we started ordering.
The prawn puree is delicious, we get it every time, it’s just the right amount of spice and creaminess. It could probably work as a main course on its own but who would want to miss out on trying all of the other dishes?!
The masala dosa is also huge but really delicious with soft potato and onion curry and a crunchy wrap.
When we travelled around Sri Lanka six years ago stringhopper was pretty much part of our daily diet, often for breakfast, and it is great to have somewhere so close which can replicate it so authentically.
We ordered the chicken stringhopper which is not the most attractive of dishes but tastes amazing. Stringhoppers are made from steamed rice flour made into a dough with water and a little salt, and forced through a mould similar to those used for pasta to make the strings.
We had it with a saag mutton which contained lovely tender meat and nice creamy spinach. We piled it all up high with some chicken tikka masala and coconut rice too and tucked in.
That’s what I love about curries, you can just mix all of the flavours together on one plate and each mouthful can taste different.
The service is fast in APL, it’s BYO and there are no frills but it doesn’t need any. The food and crowds speak for themselves.
It feels like every dish has been made with care and the staff just want their customers to be happy.
The decor might be an assault on the senses but the food is pure delight.
P.S. Just when I thought I was getting better at taking photos I seem to have had a blip – more substance over style I guess…..