Monday, 30 January 2012

BYOB Restaurants

For those not in the know.....this stands for 'bring your own bottle'.

Living in London, dining out is an expensive habit. I live in an area with an abundance of South Indian restaurants, most of which are Bring Your Own......I love the relaxed atmosphere of these restaurants, mainly because I know I can afford everything on the menu and don’t feel ashamed by my bottles of cider! It is great with friends too, as you don't have that awkward moment where you split the bill. I have also recently set up a 'Cheap Eats London' tab, listing the best cheap meals - stating the ones which are BYOB. If you have any recommendations, let me know!
Our local (and favourite) BYOB is:

 Apollo Banana Leaf
190 Tooting High Street
SW17 0SF
020 8696 1423
We used to walk past this Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant on our way home from work and it was always packed. One night we tried it out and never looked back. Really friendly staff and you’ll be hard pushed to find anything on the menu over £7, the food is excellent. I recommend the chicken tikka jalfrezi with mushroom rice and the mutton rolls to start (80p each!). Bottle openers supplied. No corkage charges.

Cook your own Chicken Tikka Masala (from Jamie's Ministry of Food)

Makes enough for 2 dinners and all this leftover.....

Two lunches and the extra one we put in the freezer to eat with a naan on a lazy day
  • 3-4 chicken breasts (depending on how much chicken you like!
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli (I sprinkle extra chilli flakes, too, as I like it hot!)
  • Thumb-size piece piece of root ginger
  • Small bunch of coriander (I use from a jar)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 1/2 jar Patak's tikka masala curry paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
1) Chop the chicken breasts and the onions. Finely slice your chilli. Peel and finely slice the ginger.

2) Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter (I use a large saucepan). Add the onions, chilli, ginger and chopped coriander and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.

3) Add the tikka masala paste and the chicken. Stir well to coat everything and season with salt and pepper.

4) Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill the tomato tin with water and add into the pan and stir. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.

5) When the meat is tender and cooked, taste and season.

6) I serve with risotto rice (nice and sticky texture). Jamie Oliver suggests serving with sprinkled almonds and a few spoonfuls on yoghurt on top.


  1. Awesome tip, next time I'm in London I will look this place up. I also enjoy making my own currys, what a good plan.

  2. Thank you! It doesn't look much from outside but definitely worth venturing inside!


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