As Diwali approaches I submit this neighbourhood tip:
Once upon a time my husband walked into a local pakistani foodstore and asked if he could source 300 Ladoo sweets locally by next week. He was greeted by much backslapping and sniggering with the words: ” Brother Congratulations! you must be getting married then!” There was a time in Dublin when an Irishman couldn’t get 300 Indian pastries over the counter in time for his Bollywood themed wedding – we had them made by a local housewife in Dublin 8 instead.
Well, those days are over. The savvy branding and retail expertise of London’s Indian confectioneries have finally reached our local cafe strip Camden Street. Cue my squeal of girlish delight and husband’s relief when we stumbled upon Ambala with its glass cabinets and retro styled wooden shelving; heaving under an array of rainbow-hued south asian confectioneries and savoury treats. All ready to be picked ‘n mixed into classy gift boxes or consumed in the street front cafe with a glass of Chai. They also serve Dosai on demand with multiple fillings and savory meaty snacks like samosas.
When you get there, brace yourself for an extreme sugar slap and choose from Jalebi; sticky, gold pastry swirls drenched in syrup, Chamcham; succulent sponge, lavishly dipped in syrup or Gulab Jamun; soft doughballs drenched in, guess what? Syrup of course, with many other colourful calorie-friendly options including Ali G‘s favourite: Ras Malai. With Diwali and Halloween both round the corner, its a handy one for the season if celebrating and visiting with Indian friends.