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Restaurants, Indian Lee
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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An unpretentious South Indian and Sri Lankan joint in Lewisham.

It’s always the inconspicuous ones, isn’t it? And Sajee, a South Indian and Sri Lankan spot in central Lewisham, is about as an unprepossessing as you’ll get. Behold: there’s the lack of a functioning website (effusive Just Eat comments are your oracle here); the flummoxing black and fluorescent green decor; and the takeaway-style menus that offer a cornucopia of ‘Kebab Burger Biryani Curry Dosa Idly’ (in that order).

In the name of journalistic integrity, we ordered with impunity. Reader, I nearly burst, but it was all marvellous. Arbitrary highlights – but, I mean, take your pick – included dinky, spidery onion bhaji, humming earthily of chickpea and turmeric; piles of flaky veechu roti, both tissue-thin and densely chewy; and a chana chickpea curry that was all intense oily umami, chilli and smoke.

The Sri Lankan staple of string hoppers – none of your hipster-appropriated, concave batter variety here – were unavailable, which also meant no coconut sambal. But a swerve towards the country’s king comfort food, kothu, saw a hulking pile of dry-fried chopped strips of roti, chicken, egg and veg that’s a bit like a Sri Lankan pad thai, and equally as moreish/appetite-crushing. Finally: a tremendous egg curry, the hard-boiled ovoids buried in an onion-heavy mulch as that I’d have scoffed in perpetuity were I not beginning to creak at the seams. They don’t do booze, so that lot was jostled down with a highball of faluda – an ambrosial, rose-flavoured, chia-seed-flecked milkshake.

Sajee is a true underrated gem – at least by middle-class gastronaut types like yours truly – and surely deserving a place astride every ‘best of’ South Asian/Sri Lankan/Cheap Eats rundown in town. Take your friends, eat everything, pay pennies: what’s not to like?


Address: 19 Lee High Rd
SE13 5LD
Transport: Lewisham rail
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £30.
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