Last week marked my return to London and after 9 months away in Buenos Aires my first meal out was a fittingly British one; a good old fashioned curry. This is probably the hardest thing to find in Buenos Aires and even though it doesn’t rank as my favourite food in the whole world I had missed a bit of spice.
The choice of curry house was Hot Stuff down in Vauxhall. It had been recommended by a friend and we got a bunch of guys together on Wednesday night and headed down there. I don’t know Vauxhall well and hadn’t been there for a couple of years. I had never heard of Hot Stuff but a cursory check on Urbanspoon brought me to Cheese and Biscuits rave review which got me very excited. Cheap curry houses are not hard to come by in London, decent cheap curry houses are.
It was a lovely summers evening and Hot Stuff had opened up all the doors and put tables out into the street. The secret is obviously out with this place as it was completely rammed and queues continued to grow as we sat down to eat. The first thing to say about Hot Stuff is that it is BYB and does not charge a corkage fee, a major plus point. The second thing to say is that unless you have specific dished in mind what they prefer to do is charge everyone a flat rate of 15 quid and serve you an array of stuff that just keeps coming and coming, another thumbs up.
So what was the food like? Well, the starters were a little hit and miss really. First up some odd looking cheese in a curry sauce that tasted a little weird but ok, then we had a few plates of decent bhajis that were very tasty. This was all fine but what we were really here for were the currys, and after we had disposed of the last plate we waited expectantly for them to arrive, and then we waited a little more, and after 35 minutes they finally showed up. Turns out that our table had slipped through the cracks and they had forgotten about us but to be honest it was such a nice evening that we weren’t put out and when they finally did arrive they didn’t disappoint, and there were a lot of them.
A myriad of dishes came out from vegetarian marrow curry (delicious) to succulent prawns in a chilli sauce, a delicate fish curry and lamb dish. All of them were perfectly spiced and accompanied by even more dishes filled with spinach, sweet potatoes and of course rice. We all grabbed a huge hunk of naan bread to mop up any of the leftovers and sat back satisfied and full.
Hot Stuff isn’t rocket science, it’s not going to “wow” you but there is something lovely about a small family run place that serves up generous portions of good grub for 15 quid a head. The place was still buzzing when we left at 10:30, with people still willing to wait for a table. Although this is not it’s not particularly convenient for me to get to I can tell I’ll be returning to Hot Stuff pretty regularly. It’s got a friendly, family run feel and serves up some great grub. Just don’t take them up on the invitation to taste their spices (which they put on a tooth pick), I had half a lick and my mouth was burning for an hour.