You may know Baba G from their original trading name – Bhangra Burgers. Rewind nearly a decade and partners (in business and life) Alec Owen and Liz Selway had residencies at the fledgling Camden Brewery, before going onto Pop Brixton and SE1’s new Vinegar Yard.
And now the recent winners on TV’s Million Pound Menu have opened their first bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Camden Market.
The space itself is rather effortlessly cool: exposed brickwork, steel framed tables and low-level industrial lighting, with a counter offering full view of the open kitchen and another overlooking the cobbles beyond (we recommend that spot). A huge mural by an Ibizan artist covers one wall, while the soundtrack pulses without being intrusive.
The menu brings together Baba G’s Indian-inspired classics with a new list of small plates worth exploring. Achaar croquettes – a mix of green chilli pickles and mash deep fried in a golden coating – were light, the underlying bed of slow-cooked spiced raan lamb shoulder a riot of savouriness. Okra fries were rather solid chunks, however, lifted by a sweet, tangy mango, while more effective were the spiralized celeriac bhajis (banish all memories of your local takeaway) spiced with delicate curry leaf and black onion seed. The red onion salsa proved zingy contrast, too.
But for our palates it was all about what they do best: the sturdy-bun burgers. A tikka-marinated chicken thigh option, its skin caramelised, was butter soft, with the right level of spice, but the must? A “crazy” lamb jalfrezi, the juicy patty served pink as requested, armed with a battalion of mint coriander raita, tamarind and chilli pickle. There was even room for flattened onion bhaji in it, too.
Our side of loaded masala fries proved one order too much – although the paneer saag topping was delicious.
To drink? It’s fully licensed, from craft beer to a basic house red (£20), while pre-bottled Long Flint cocktails (the increasingly ubiquitous brand from Tottenham) are fun if you want, say, a vodka ginger seltzer.