You might think you’ve got a sweet tooth, but if you pay a visit to Stratford Road’s Suraj with a fiver in your pocket we’re willing to bet you won’t be able to work your way though the sugary spoils it will buy.
However, before you even get to the rows of fudge-like burfi, fat round laddoos, and syrup-laden jabeli and gulab jamun, there’s a mountain of savoury snacks to resist (or not, as the case may be).
‘Pure vegetarian’ does not mean ‘healthy’, as evidenced by the preponderance of endlessly tempting ‘things in batter’ – chillies, various vegetables, even spiced mashed potato. It’s a rare person who will scorn a Suraj samosa, but if it all sounds a bit heavy going, lighter bites such as Gujarati dhokla – steamed diamonds of lentil-based batter served with zesty chutney – are just as light on the wallet, but rather easier on one’s waistline.
As with most well-established sweet centres, the quality of the surroundings comes secondary to the food. In spite of the basic decor, it has an atmosphere of its own – largely evoked by the simple pleasure of customers united in their appreciation of a jolly good feed.