Friday, 27 July 2012

Indian Veg - All You Can Eat Buffet in Islington

Various Vegetable Curries

22 years ago I used to work for the Citizens Advice Bureau in Pentonville Road, between Kings Cross and The Angel. In those days I was a strict and an annoying militant vegetarian. I use to always challenge people who said “I'm a vegetarian, but I eat fish”. Well guess what fish is flesh so you ain't no veggie, actually it still annoys me now. Anyway I digress, trying to be a veggie that long ago was not as easy as today, unless you liked vegetable lasagne or mushroom stroganoff, two dishes I still hate to see on a menu. Unless you went to a proper vegetarian restaurant other places only made “token gesture” dishes like the two I mentioned.

Finding a decent place that served decent veggie food for lunch was even harder, but there was one place in Chapel Market, Islington called Indian Veg. It was all you can eat buffet for £2.95. The food wasn't awe inspiring, just a variety of different veggie curries, aloo gobi, tarka dhal, channa masala, with sides of onion bhajis, vegetable pakoras and smashed up poppadums. It became a lunch local and I learnt very quickly, by the eagerness of my stomach wanting to bust out of my jeans, to take it easy on the carbs less but it was all you could eat and I like a challenge. lol

I was around Chapel Market going to an acting class and couldn't believe it was there and so I had to go and see if what it was like. It has been about 20 years since I last frequented the restaurant and virtually nothing has changed. It still dark and dingy and still has a shabby feel. It has the same old tables, chairs, cutlery and the only thing that I can see that is different is the massive fridge holding soft drinks, the kind you would find in your local corner shop.

Also they have a lot more posters telling you how bad it is to eat meat. They even have a enlarged photocopy of a newspaper article about bowel cancer doubling in men due to the amount of meat. Another called Meat By Numbers, listing weight and measure to produce meat, like it takes 1kg of carbon dioxide to produce one burger in a fast food restaurant. Almost wants you to go veggie and never eat meat again.

The food is not as good as I remember, as you can see by the picture, but maybe I am just romanticising of the good old days, but for £4.95 for all you can eat dinner I'm not complaining. I also forgot my golden rule about carbs.... I waddled out of there after eating to much rice and potatoes, I also had to undo the top button of my jeans open - oppppsss

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