Brick Lane really is the heart of London. With the pop up food trucks, the lingering aroma of traditional Indian food, and dusty vintage shops lurking around every corner, Brick Lane is the “Banglatown” of the City of London. Weighed down by shopping bags bursting with vintage goodies, I made my way down Brick Lane in order to seek out something that would cure my hunger pangs. Not only did I pass the many thousands of curry houses, I also found a hidden gem: Jungle Braai.
Braai, meaning roasted meat, is a South African specialty which before today I was not familiar with and so it was understandable for me to get excited just by walking into the restaurant.
After spotting this beauty of a drink on the table next to us, I just had to have one! Oh Mango Blue, how you changed my life. I still have no idea what the blue fizzy soda was – if anyone knows, please message me! – but it simply provided a touch of sophistication to my fruity thirst quencher.
Lamb Ribz Swazi
With the ooey gooey cheese and crispy hot onion rings, this double beef burger was big and messy, but due to having high expectations (FatBurger anyone?), this burger sadly was not for me. I am sure many would disagree, but I certainly have had better (Watch out for future posts to learn which burgers are truly the best).
Just look at the name! Without a doubt, this famous South African beef sausage had to be ordered. When it arrived, the waiter warned me of its spicy nature, but meaning next to nothing to me, I quickly snapped away and tucked in.
What can I say? It was different – definitely requiring a certain palate of taste, but I loved every bite of it. The meat was hot, spicy, flavourful and firm. The hot buttery rolls tamed the kick-in-the-back-of-the-throat kind of spice and the vegetables were sautéed to perfection. This dish definitely makes the Lamb Ribz Swazi challenge its status in the menu, but if you cannot handle a little bit of heat, then do NOT attempt to devour this dish!
All in all, the restaurant was moderately busy for 4pm on a Friday, with a steady stream of people beginning to fill the place up at around 5. With such a casual atmosphere, it seems to be easy to get comfortable with friends and family, especially with the no alcohol rule and a menu that is absent of a pork; these requirements seem hard to find now days. The bill for two totalled up to be around £20.85.
The perfect halal meal for an ethnic evening out, this restaurant is one that does not deserve to be hidden in the jungle of surrounding curry houses. If you do not believe me, then make a visit to the Jungle Braai and use your animal instincts to let me know your thoughts.
Halal status has been verified by the Muslim owner.
Brick Lane: 28 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD
Walthamstow: 115 Wood Street, London, E17 3LL
Brick Lane: 020 7247 0073
Walthamstow: 020 8521 5050
Brick Lane: Aldgate East
Walthamstow: Wood St Overground