My daily dilemma as soon as I step through my office door is this: what to have for lunch? I work in the slap bang centre of London surrounded by loads of restaurants, cafés, pubs and delis. Chinatown is just down the road. But everyday my mind goes blank and I end up shoveling down the same old boring thing: onigiri, sushi, instant noodles, soup and occasionally eat out. I used to eat a sandwich from Paul once a week but I've gone off sandwiches. Maybe because it's approaching winter and I'm craving some heat. But lucky Londoners have finally got what the Indians have had all along. Roti stalls! No more sandwiches for me, no sirree.
There seems to be two competing roti stalls in the Soho area and I've only eaten at The Kati Roll Company because it's closest to me. Yeah, I'm a lazy ass. If I start exercising and get a little fitter, I might actually make it to its rival, Mooli's, an extra eight minutes away which seems to have more of an internet presence amongst London eaters. Unlike Mooli's which I plan to check out at some point because they do goat, The Kati Roll Company originated in the States (NY) and only opened here this year. Have any of you in NY been there? If not, WHY NOT? I love Indian street food and I'm sure you do too.
What's amazing is that I get to The Kati Roll Company blaring with Indian pop music and decorated with kitsch Bollywood posters and it's filled with Indians. All waiting patiently to get served. Warms the heart. As I've thought all along, sandwiches are a little boring for the Asian palate and we need a little spicy kick to it.
Kati roll is basically an Asian wrap, a freshly made roti/paratha filled with your choice of spicy marinated paneer (type of home-made cheese), egg, potato, minced lamb patty, chicken or beef. What? I can hear you cry. Did you say beef? I did a double take myself because I've NEVER seen beef on the menu of ANY Indian food joint in London. But yes, it's there (and I suppose they eat beef in non-Hindu areas), and it's what I always order because it's THAT GOOD. As well as the filling of your choice, the roti is also filled with pickled onions and fresh green chilli and coriander chutney and has a real kick to it. Just how I like it. I mean, can you honestly resist such a nicely charred bit of roti?