Showdown in Holloway: Indian Take-out

In the past week, I have tried two different Indian restaurants for take-out (or take-away) on Holloway Road, to see which one was better.  I already know that I like Standard Tandoori on Holloway Road sort of near Highbury Corner, but since there are at least three other Indian restaurants worth considering, I thought I would give them a go.

The first place I went to was Holloway Indian Take-Away, a place that was on the way between work and home, that looked like it might be promising. I went in and ordered the vegetarian curry with plain rice and garlic naan.  It was ready quickly, though while I was waiting I noticed these plastic signs that looked incredibly tacky on the wall, which didn’t seem to me as a good sign.

The curry and rice were in metal tins with paper lids, and the naan was given to me in a paper baggie.  On the whole, the vegetable curry I had was kind of “meh.”  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either.  The garlic bread was okay, but again, not great.  I won’t comment on the rice except that there was enough for me to use in a homemade meal I made the next day.  The cost for this meal came out to something like £7, if it wasn’t exactly £7.  I wish I could remember precisely.  Americans, double the seven and subtract a couple bucks to get a ballpark idea of how much my meal cost in dollars.

In any case, Holloway Indian Take-Away wasn’t necessarily disappointing, but it was definitely not the best Indian food I’ve had, or even remotely in the running.  So, a few days later, I tried another place I’ve seen and passed by a lot on Holloway Road: Indian Ocean.  It’s right across from the Selby’s and Morrison’s, and I went in on a rainy Saturday night.  Unlike Holloway Indian Take-Away, the place wasn’t empty, and the interiors were quite nice–a little swank, even.  I wondered if I could even get take-out for a moment, but there was no need.  The menu was full of really delicious things, but I went with the channa tamater, garlic naan and plain rice.  The total for that I do remember: £7.40.  While waiting, I was given a glass of water (with a lime in it, no less), and offered other drinks such as tea or whatever, which I declined.  There was even a newspaper.

When I got my food home, it had come in these plastic containers, which was great because I could reuse them for taking my lunches to work and class.  The food itself was definitely better from Indian Ocean than Holloway Indian Take-Away; the curry from Indian Ocean was flavourful and really hit the spot on a rainy London night.  The naan bread was soft and tasty, although I think Standard Tandoori probably has the best garlic naan on the road from what I can tell.

So, for this showdown on Holloway between the these two Indian restaurants, Indian Ocean emerged the clear winner with the fantastic channa tamater.  Since it’s close, it will be a sound option in the future for rain-soaked nights when I don’t have anything to scrounge up in my little kitchen–which is frequently the case.  I can’t wait to try out more things off of their menu.


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