Once upon a time, there was Oriental City in Colindale, a fabulous East Asian shopping centre with a big supermarket and a food court. Then the developers moved in and got the place closed down so they could build flats in an area now devoid of any facilities other than ASDA.
Pacific Plaza, right by Wembley Stadium, is the reincarnation. It’s much smaller, but the food court contains an entirely vegetarian outlet, Veggie Hut.
The food is mostly South Indian, and is ludicrously cheap. I splashed out on the lunch special, which cost a princely £3.50 and included a plain dosa, one vada, two idli, two chutneys, a bowl of sambhar and a drink of my choice.
The dosa was a touch on the oily side, but that’s as far as I am going to complain. The chutneys were the traditional coconut plus a tamarind one, both spicy and making no concessions to English tastes. The vada was crispy on the outside, soft within and the idlis were so delicate I needed to use a spoon. The sambhar was filled with vegetables, interesting ones.
There are vegetarian options at the other stands, notably Hot Korean and Nambu (Japanese) both of which indicate what’s suitable, or can be made so, on their menus. The supermarket is due to reopen here soon, too.
Oh, and the redevelopment of Oriental City? After taking so much trouble to close it down, the developers have done precisely nothing with the site.
Veggie Hut, Pacific Plaza food court, Engineers Way, Wembley, London HA9 0EG. [Map – note that it’s not where Google thinks it is, but over the road among the collection of outlets]. Open 10.00 till 22.00 daily; last orders 21.00.