As London’s South Asian population grows more affluent, places like Asher’s are becoming rare, which is a shame. This well-scrubbed caff – where vibrant prints of Hindu deities add zest to a magnolia colour scheme – is an ideal spot for a keenly priced Gujarati thali before indulging in the retail treats of the Ealing Road.
If you’ve only pennies to spare, choose the mini thali; £3.50 buys a chapati, a mouth-wateringly savoury, soupy dahl, passable veg curry, yoghurt, rice and basic salad. If, however, you want a lengthier exploration of the cuisine, order the Gujarati special thali, which, at £8, also includes an exquisitely light samosa (plump with vegetables), and equally well-turned-out and freshly made kachori – two crisp snacks – plus a lassi, and a shrikhand dessert with the flavour of condensed milk and the consistency of mayonnaise. Mogo chips are among the African-Asian snacks also on the concise menu.
Local Gujarati couples, friends and elderly single diners populated a lunchtime visit, attended by quiet, smiling waitresses sporting bindis. Stainless-steel thali dishes and the staff’s sometimes shaky English complete the experience.