When you’re on your daily commute, you tend to drive on auto-pilot without taking in the scenery or surroundings.
With traffic becoming a recurrent problem, I’ve been experimenting with different routes. While sitting in traffic, there’s plenty of time to look around - and that’s how I spotted Neela’s Surti Sweets and Savouries.
After discovering it was a new family run Indian vegetarian establishment, Hubby and I paid a visit. While we aren’t vegetarian or vegan, we appreciate tasty vegetarian food and Indian vegetarian food in particular can be packed with amazing flavours.
There was an enticing display of Indian sweets, but our attention immediately went to the savoury treats. They all looked delicious but we weren’t sure what they all were. There was also a menu on the wall – but it would have benefited from descriptions. I know about Asian food but there were many things I didn’t recognise.
However, we chatted to the friendly owner Krishna and asked for his recommendations. We learnt he was from a Surti Gujarati family and a Michelin chef whose aim is to provide quality vegetarian food and Indian street food made with the freshest ingredients.
There’s food suitable for vegans and those on gluten-free diets and Neela’s also offers outside catering and cakes to order.
We ordered a Masala Dosa (£3.95) each and a Ragra Samosa to share (£2.95). We also had a box of different savouries including spinach and potato pakoras and deliciously stuffed savoury balls which came to about a fiver.
All the food was exquisite and full of wonderful flavours. The dosa had a crisp exterior filled with a wonderfully flavoured potato masala and a lovely sauce to pour over. The Ragra Samosa is a popular street food and was out-of-this-world amazing. The samosas were covered in a chaat and crispy morsels. Every bite was heavenly and it was the perfect winter warmer. All the savoury snacks were gorgeous.
The best part about the food was the spice levels were perfect. Too many people mistakenly believe Indian food is all about heat, but if it’s too hot, you can’t taste the sublime flavours and just kill your taste buds. But Neela’s gets it spot on right.
If these are the kind of gems you can discover, maybe being stuck in traffic isn’t so bad after all.