Spicy Basil - Kilburn's hidden gem

One of the first things my flatmate said to me when we moved in together 12 months ago was, “I have to take you to Spicy Basil.”

This little gem in the heart of Kilburn quickly became one of my favourite places to eat – it’s fast, cheap and delicious.

Upon arrival, I have to say, it doesn’t look impressive – the exterior is urgently in need of a facelift and the restaurant itself has a café-style feel to it, with it’s bustling atmosphere and strangers sharing tables with one another. But once you sit down, give a nod to your neighbours and start exploring the menu, you’ll definitely be pleasantly surprised at the prices. Most of the main dishes – if not all – are under £6 and yes, that does include the rice, with starters and sides usually around the £4 mark. Do not, however, believe that these prices will have an effect on the portion sizes – I’ve only been able to finish my plate maybe once or twice in a whole year.

My favourite meal at Spicy Basil (and trust me, I’ve been there enough times to have one now) is the Creamy Thai Red Chicken Curry at £5.50. There are other variations; prawns, veg, etc, but it’s always going to be chicken for me. As the restaurant’s name suggests, the food has a real kick to it (which I can just about handle without gulping down a glass of water), the sauce is creamy and incredibly moorish and the chicken is moist and juicy.  

It’s also unheard of for my friends and I not to order a bowl of spicy prawn crackers with sweet chilli dip and for just £1.50 they are ridiculously addictive, perfect to mop up with and I have yet to find a rival for them.

I think it’s pretty fair to say that Spicy Basil is at the top of mine – and my North London friends – list of places to eat and you should have seen the joy on our faces when we realised they had started offering a take away service.

So, if you’re in the area and fancy a little bit of spice, give the place a chance and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Overall rating: 9/10

Total cost for two: £12.50