We love Indian breakfasts. Occasionally we head to Ilford on a Saturday morning to satisfy a craving for a whole host of delights – steamed idli rice cakes, delicate dosa pancakes, puffed-up puris and parathas stuffed with spices, potatoes and onions served with relishes of coconut, mango and chilli, all washed down with a salty lassi. But today we only had to walk as far as the Bakers Arms for some seriously tasty Indian flavours for brunch. After a summer selling their vegan curries and dazzling dhals on the street food markets and festival circuit, Spice Box have taken up residency for one month only at the Hornbeam Cafe.
Until 21 October they’re running a vegan curry house on Thursday to Sunday evenings serving a vegan twist on all the classics – jackfruit jalfrezi, Keralan pumpkin curry, onion bhaji and samosa chaat (which all sound amazing), plus a lazy weekend brunch from 10 till 4pm.
We enjoyed The Full Indian – rice and lentil ‘doffle’ a dosa pancake batter cooked in a waffle iron, topped with fiery-hot jackfruit beans, guacamole, crispy Bombay potatoes and a cooling coconut sambol chutney (£10), and for a sweet treat – doffle with chai-spiced grilled bananas, coconut ice cream, and flaked almonds (£7). It was “lick-the-plate” level of deliciousness. Unfortunately the turmeric latte wasn’t available today, but we had a couple of warming masala chai teas. I’m not vegan, but this is delicious food, get there soon.
Spice Box: Hornbeam Cafe, 456 Hoe Street, London, E17 9AH