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Those expecting an identikit East London curry house are in for a surprise at the innovative Panna’s, which occupies a dramatic space in the upper floors of the mammoth City Pavilion event space.
Diners sit in two-storey houses in a mini-village underneath the ‘sky’, a black ceiling studded with twinkling spotlights. It’s a quirky idea that actually works: the separate dens make for great
privacy, while their open windows and doors ensure the space doesn’t lose its buzz. But it takes more than an original concept to impress the Indian locals who are filling up the dining room night
after night. The authentic menu majors in vegetarian cuisine, with broccoli, marinated with ginger, carome seed and cream cheese as a speciality to start, while at main, the Malmali kofta – cheese
balls in a cardamom-based sauce – is a surprise hit. However, meat kebabs are just as good, with the likes of lamb boti (lamb marinated with ginger, garlic and yoghurt) more than holding its own
against the vegetarian options. Take your time and soak up the surroundings; laidback service might frustrate those looking for a quick turnaround.
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