Laksha Bay: When in Wapping (July 2017)

The word Wapping generally brings to mind either images of dastardly deeds in the docks of Victorian London or Rupert Murdoch’s destruction of the British newspaper industry, not a place for culinary surprises. Yet this is precisely what experienced when seeking an Indian meal after a mini pub crawl in the area. Plaudits to Google for suggesting Laksha Bay, a gem of a restaurant which provided some very innovative offerings at great value. The place has been open for around four years, and appears not only to have built a strong local following, but also to have won a number of awards for its cooking. Laksha Bay offers a range of dishes, traversing both the traditional (such as tikka masala or biryani) through to the much more pioneering such as my lamb Kathmandu main. This was a semi-dry dish with a huge emphasis on flavour, provided by the fresh herbs, shredded ginger and crisp red naga chillies – pretty spicy, but done in a thoughtful, subtle and well-integrated way. Indicative of both the dexterity and diversity of the restaurant, around a dozen different specialities can be sampled at Laksha Bay (my lamb being just one from the list), taking in influences from Goa, Bengal and Hyderabad. Portion sizes were generous and, at around £20/head (including poppadums, beer and service), we all left feeling mighty contented.