It would be an exaggeration to say that I can’t stop thinking about Rola Wala, but only a very slight one. I think about Rola Wala most times that I’m hungry at my desk, which is often.
They serve sourdough naan wraps, an extremely tactile food that tends to lodge itself in the memory, like the exact opposite of a trauma. I can feel the heft of them even now, all warm and full of curried things, cradled in my paws like a spicy water balloon made of bread you can sink your teeth into. That it took me as long as it did to discover Rola Wala is an oversight for which I will never truly forgive myself.
WHERE? 36 Brushfield Street by Spitalfields Market. Rola Wala was originally a pop-up and this is its first perma-spot in London. The Indian street food takeaway retains a cool food truck vibe, in that it’s tiny and there’s the reassuring whiff of diesel fumes from the nearby Bishopsgate road.
ORDER THIS... Pick your curry’s chosen vehicle – either the sourdough naan wrap, a grain bowl or a cauliflower rice bowl – and then choose your filling. The wrap is the way to go. Pump it full of kala chana chickpeas and charred sweet potato, the spinach and garlic saagwala, or the signature vegan red dhal, and then load up with as much paneer as your dignity permits. Vegetarian options abound, while meaty fillings include a sweet chicken tikka and a twist on the classic vindaloo, with marinaded lamb in a spicy onion masala.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? If you saw the kinds of faces and noises I make while walking down Commercial Street eating curry swaddled in naan bread, you would not want to do any business with me.
NEED TO BOOK? It’s basically a food stall, so you can’t. The queue isn’t bad though, and they’re open from 11am to 10pm.
THE VERDICT... Extremely good Indian street food served in very generous portions at decent lunchtime prices.