Kar-O-Bar, the new addition to Hockley's Goose Gate, offers the chance to sample the type of food you might find while backpacking through India. Serving only tapas-sized portions, diners are invited to order various morsels in order to experience a host of delights both hot and cold.
In addition to the street food, Kar-O-Bar offers a selection of craft beers, both local and global. Font's delicately citric Grapefruit IPA was in, so I opted for that; fruity pale beers are a favourite when it comes to spicy food.
I went around lunchtime, and it was pretty quiet, but it just meant that the service was all the speedier. As you walk in, the decor is charming with the brightly coloured Bollywood memorabilia of yesteryear holding a nice aesthetic. Plus, the picnic benches naturally add a social element to the meal.
The little dishes are brought out three or four at a time: the fish amritsari fritters were perfectly seasoned with chat masala and weren't overdone, as is sometimes the way with fried fish; there was some delicious, tangy sauce in the desi-style chicken curry, which went well with the warmth of the potato vada. There was more than enough for two people, and it all came in at under ten pounds each.
We had a couple more summery, refreshing dishes, including the pani puri; one of the most famous items on the menu. The little tamarind-drizzled bulbs of wheat were sweet, tangy and had a rewarding crunch, working well with the soft potato, the chickpea filling and the mint and coriander garnish.
In all, Kar-O-Bar is a relatively well-priced place for a quick snack and a drink, or a leisurely banquet, sampling a host of flavours from across India.
Kar-O-Bar, 38 Goose Gate, Hockley, NG1 1FF. 0115 924 1742