Last weekend Freya and I decided it was time to visit SpiceBox in Walthamstow. Although they're a relatively new restaurant, having just opened their doors in January of this year, they're already a well-established name in London's vegan food scene. We've been enjoying their authentic Indian food at street markets across the capital for the past few years. So when we saw their announcement earlier this year that they'd opened up a permanent kitchen, we were very excited!
Freya and I have been lucky enough to have visited India a few years ago. Since our visit, proper authentic Indian food has well and truly established itself as one of my favourite cuisines! Everything about SpiceBox reminded me of why I love it so much. The food was absolutely spot on! The balancing of the aromatic herbs and spices with the sweet and savoury flavours was all totally delicious. On top of that, the interior is alive with colour, which really reflects the essence of India, it's food, and its people. The walls are painted with bold oranges, yellows and pinks, and above the dining area, there's a large glass roof which makes the whole space feel open and spacious.
We arrived on a Saturday morning at around 10.30am to try out their brunch menu, and started as we always do, by ordering some drinks. I opted for my usual black coffee (£2.50), which was an organic roast that's drip filtered to make a deliciously smooth brew. Freya got herself a masala chai (£2.75), a traditional Indian tea with aromatic flavours, which really complimented the food. Both drinks were well made and very enjoyable.
The signature dish on their brunch menu is the Doffels, aka dosa waffles! This is a perfect mix of a classic Indian dish combined with a brunch staple. We decided to get them served up in two different ways, one savoury as part of The Full Indian (£12) and one sweet in the Banana Chai (£7), as well as a side of their KFC 'Keralan Fried Chick'n' Nuggets (£4). Every dish we had was absolutely incredible! The complex flavours were perfectly balanced to create the most scrumptious plates of food!
The Banana Chai doffles are the sweet offering on the menu. You get some chai-spiced banana, maple syrup and toasted coconut flakes with coconut ice cream sitting on top of a serving of doffels. The doffels were so light and delicious, and the sweet coconut ice cream worked perfectly with the exotic spices. For only £7 we thought this was really good value as you get a big portion. It was a well thought out dish which was executed to a high standard. We'd definitely order this again!
It's very hard to choose a favourite, but out of the two main dishes I have to give it to The Full Indian. This reminded me most of the breakfasts we had whilst in Kerala. It's a stack of doffels with spicy jackfruit beans, crispy Bombay potatoes, and coconut sambal. If I wasn't so full already, I would've easily enjoyed another serving! The whole dish was so well balanced, with the spiciness of the jackfruit beans against the salty, tangy flavours of the potatoes. The creamy coconut sambal added a necessary cooling element to help offset the spice. This dish was more expensive than the chai banana, at £12. However, the portion is much larger and you get lots more elements on the plate. Definitely worth the cost for us!
The other doffle on the menu is the KFC: Keralan Fried Chick’n’. Its soy chick’n pieces in a crispy spiced batter served with dhal, spicy tomato chutney, golden syrup and coconut sambal. As delicious as this sounds, we just couldn't quite fit in another plate of food this big. Instead, we opted for a side of the Keralan Fried Chick'n for £4. This was the perfect side dish. The chick'n pieces had the most incredible batter! Basically KFC with an Indian twist, but vegan! What more could you want!? Judging by this dish, we bet it tastes just as delicious on top of the doffles. We can't wait to come back and try it!
What sets SpiceBox apart is their emphasis on authentic food. Indian cuisine lends itself naturally to vegetarian and vegan diets, especially in the south. Many of their traditional dishes are made using an abundance of fresh vegetables and spices, which is perfect for people following a plant-based diet. SpiceBox has cleverly developed these traditional dishes, having added in elements that we've come to expect at brunch, whilst still staying true to their roots. I loved our visit and it's easy for us to say that we'll be back again soon, as I have high hopes for their dinner menu!
WHO’S IT FOR:
Tues – Thurs: 5.30pm – 10pm
Fri: 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Sat: 10am – 3.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Sun: 10am -3.30pm, 5:30pm – 9pm
58 Hoe St, Walthamstow, London, E17 4PG
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