Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dadima, Wembley; Local Eats

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dadima, Wembley; Local Eats

Article excerpt


There's something very charming about the small Gujarati cafes that quietly go about their business feeding lots of people: their food is wholesome, prices are spectacularly low, and the atmosphere invariably cheery.

Dadima is a relative newcomer to the stretch of Ealing Road that snakes through Alperton on its way up to Wembley. The resto joins a real old-timer, Maru's Bhajia House, and another newbie, Chowpatty - it's as if they have clustered together for moral support. That suits the customers because, if one is full, there is always an alternative to hand.

Inside, Dadima is clean and businesslike - the chairs are modernist to the point where they are not perhaps as comfortable as might be wished, but this is a splendidly no-nonsense place.

The starters and snacks are very good. Panni puri are small, delicate and savoury, with flavours well-balanced. Simply load a teaspoon of the sharp sauce into each small flying saucer and devour them whole.

Sweet and sharp, chewy, crunchy and indulgent all at the same time. For something a bit spookier, try the khichi. This is a strange dish, with a strange texture - it is basically a very solid rice flour sludge; you dress each mouthful with a little oil and then some finely ground hot red pepper.

It sticks to the roof of your mouth like fudge. Kachori are much more accessible, small balls, crisp outside and with a core of spicy lentil mix.

Very satisfying with a dollop of the sweet-sharp tamarind sauce. The methi bhajia are also good, small ball-shaped patties, green with fresh methi and adeptly fried so that they are very dry.

Onwards towards some main courses, but to go a la carte you must first discount the thalis which look very tempting. There is a certain smug reliability about calling up a thali for a penny under [pounds sterling]5 and getting puris, three vegetables, salad, pappadums, plain rice, dal and raita. …

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