Brick Lane Named ‘Curry Capital 2012′

As part of a package of positive action to promote Tower Hamlets after the marathon, walking races and basketball tournament were moved from the host borough, Olympic organisers have named Brick Lane ‘Curry Capital 2012‘.

Tower Hamlets dropped its legal action against London 2012 earlier this year, on the promise of concrete benefits and positive publicity for the borough including job opportunities targeting residents, the chance for young people to be involved in Olympic rehearsals and a media centre operating in the area during the Games.

Of course, Brick Lane doesn’t need Olympic endorsement to carry off the title of ‘Curry Capital’. Also known as Banglatown, the area is a hub for the Bangladeshi community with its own Curry Festival and Mela. Whilst you can find great curry in other parts of town without the infamous fleet of curry touts in tow, there’s no doubt that Brick Lane is synonymous with curry. But the official 2012 tag will give the whole of Brick Lane more prominence in the run up to the Games. The owners of Bar 2012, up the artsier end, must be delighted.

Aside from dozens more media types descending on the street next year with money to spend, other tangible benefits include environmental improvements under the High Street 2012 scheme and the welcome news that Victoria Park — which is undergoing a £12m regeneration itself — has been named as one of four Festival Live Sites where the Games will be shown on al fresco big screens.

Image by Mike King via the Londonist Flickrpool

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  • Bricky O’lane

    I’m a shop keeper on Brick Lanend would never eat at any of the curry houses on the main strip. I’ve heard too many horror stories about the conditions of the kitchens, some of the restaurants even share kitchens – so food in one is exactly the same as the one next door – probably because neighbouring restaurants are owned by the same people – so the back of house is one operation and the front of house(s) are just that; fronts!

    We had a worker from a gas company who visited us to read the meter. They were visibly shaken and we asked if they were ok, they said they had just been through several of the curry house kitchens and were shocked by the amount of vermin excrement, cockroaches and poor cleanliness… their exact words are not suitable for a public forum!

    Also the touts are operating illegally, they were forced to stop a couple of years ago but soon got back into the habit of their old ways. Much like you aren’t allowed to sell things on the street with a trading licence, you aren’t allowed to tout your business either. Any restaurant that requires someone – or a gang of people – to stand on the street to convince you to dine at their establishment isn’t exactly going to be the best food you’ve ever attempted to safely digest!

    I do go to the smaller, independent, restaurants along Hanbury Street and of course Tayyabs on Fieldgate Street. But the strip – the front line of this curry capital – where it is restaurant next door to restaurant should be avoided at all costs!

  • Anonymous

    Brick Lane curry houses are mediocre tourist traps in the main, so this is a perfect endorsement.

  • Chicken Norma

    Yes, only tourists go to Brick Lane for curries and it hardly needs more selling as such, it just benefits the resturant owners who are chums of certain council members who negotiated this pathetic sell out deal. Oh, and Bar 2012 has been shut for about three weeks now!

  • Jean-Michel Genre

    Bhundu Khan is the best one I know in the area – Corporation St…only a short walk from the (sadly) execrable brick lane….