Wrapchic (Indian Street Food) – Tower Hill, LondonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal
If you’re feeling peckish after a tour of the Tower of London, then there’s a fully Halal, fast food store conveniently located only a minute’s walk away.
Wrapchic, which boasts 17 branches across the UK, including one in Dubai, offers a menu that’s been inspired by Indian and Mexican street food cuisine.
Although there’s seating available for 50, both inside and out, this number has significantly been reduced in accordance with the government’s ongoing restrictions.
The menu concept is a familiar one, offering customers the chance to build their own wraps and rice bowls from an assortment of ingredients.
Readers might be familiar with similar such places across the capital, such as Indian eatery Pali Kitchen in the City of London, or Mexican joints Firebean in Ilford and Gringos in Shepherd’s Bush (this particular branch has since closed; but there are others) – all of whom follow the same model originally made famous by the internaional sandwich brand, Subway.
When we visited, however, a good portion of their menu, which included their chaats, lassis, wings, and said biryanis, weren’t available for review.
A number of restaurants have been forced to streamline their menu in an attempt to cut back on expenditure during these testing times.
Not only had Wrapchic done precisely this when we visited back in September, but they were also forced to modify their opening times and close as early as 5pm on weekdays.
Firstly, let’s take into consideration that different regions of the world have their own take on the ubiquitous Masala Chai.
Made from inhouse-ground spices proudly displayed on the restaurant walls, Wrapchic’s version had enough spice to ensure a soothing cuppa.
And though this is far better than your standard English equivalent, we couldn’t help but wonder how much better it could have been with something additional – cardamom perhaps?
THE MAIN EVENT
The competition in the fast food, Halal burrito wrap market is going to be compared right here, right now, with a verdict being given in the end:
Opting for rice with seekh kebab and some salad, this big, flavourful burrito had good spice; but was sadly let down by the reheated, supermarket quality of the kebab itself.
And though the first few bites did create some initial excitement, this was short-lived, since, by the end, it all became rather uniform in taste. Perhaps the apparent absence of the chutney might have contributed towards this sameness.
Firebean’s Chicken Tinga Burrito was huge and filled to the brim with moist and well flavoured spicy shredded chicken.
Along with the sheer “assortment of ingredients, the combination made for a flavourous sandwich. A great option both in terms of taste and size”.
Both Gringos’ Fajita Vegetables wrap and their Steak wrap were both really nicely constructed, with plenty of good flavour.
If we had to choose between the two, it would be the Steak, with “soft-textured, tasty and well lubricated” beef paired with “two types of rice”.
Having reviewed Pali Kitchen in 2018 during its early stages, the two wraps we tried, namely the Lamb Yakhni and the Saag Paneer Veg, were certainly different. While the former’s “overall taste was somewhat underwhelming”, the latter’s “depth of flavour, coupled with the solid heat of the chilli… succeeded in epitomising those quintessential Indian spices we all love”.
And, of course, it can only be fair that we also choose a worthy winner in the battle of bowls:
With no biryani available on the day, we got a pair of rice bowls which, in terms of flavour alone, wouldn’t sit out of place in a high end restaurant.
The condiments in the Chicken Rajasthani were perfectly placed, with each element – the red kidney bean rice with salad slaw and salsa all enveloping a good amount of chicken – working in sync to provide a hearty bowl which didn’t disappoint. Again, there was none of that advertised chutney, which tells us that it must have been out of stock.
As for the Chicken Methi, then when it came to flavour, this managed to trump its Rajasthani counterpart. With a 3-chilli rating, it was the bold earthiness of the fenugreek, whose viscous texture helped coat and mask the dry nature of the rice therein, which made this another reasonable choice.
Despite its designation, this was more a bowl than a Burrito. In addition, this could have been a little larger too, particularly in comparison to Gringos’ cheaper naked bowl.
Nevertheless, this “extremely delicious” concoction did turn out to be the best main we had at Firebean on the day; and super healthy too.
With a good assortment of ingredients, it was the magical chipotle sauce in Gringos’ Burrito Bowl which managed to unite such a variety of ingredients to deliver a fresh and vibrant, well balanced dish. As said back then: “We were left impressed and satisfied!”
Having had both the Chicken Tikka and the healthy Jackfruit, it was former that got the thumbs up. Having said that though, they both suffered from being a little too simple, and could have done with stronger spices. As such, we remember them to be pleasant without being anything spectacular.
Both the crispy fries and its spruced up masala cousin were the same price, with the gentle heat of the masala making the latter our go-to version.
It’s worth highlighting this salient point: we can’t think of any other place where fries are topped with extra ingredients, and yet the restaurant chooses not to take advantage of hiking up the prices.
With that said, however, they were a little stingy with the cheese. Furthermore, the only sauce they had to offer was your standard mango dip, which actually turned out to be quite good considering.
Perhaps next time we’ll ask them to make us cheesy masala fries, since their other two were a little too simple for our liking.
Classified as “Light Bites”, these pair of parathas were generously filled with two choices, which in this case comprised of chicken tikka, mutton keema, paneer bhurju and aloo matar.
The paratha itself was akin to the ready-made variety, which lack the layers of an authentically made one, you can find at your local supermarket. As for the fillings, then the vegan paneer turned out to be surprisingly good, with a spicy depth to it. Similarly, the mutton keema too had bags of flavour.
All they have to do now is source better parathas and these could pass for authentic sub-continental street food rolls.
And though the more familiar Ben & Jerry’s was also available, we were compelled to try the brand that had won the independent ‘Great Taste’ award.
Alas, the idea of their automated Fwip machine making life easier, by churning your choice of flavour into a soft-scoop consistency before depositing it into a tub, didn’t quite work on this occasion. In the end, it Fwipping took two goes to get it right (we were not going to be denied our Fwip)!
All that persistence paid off too, because despite a malfunctioning ice cream dispenser, we received a good quality, single soft scoop gelato for under £4? With the caramel coming through nicely, this is worth a try.
As sorbets goes, this strawberry one was bursting with fruity goodness. You could really taste the quality therein, with actual small bits of strawberry catching us by surprise. Of the two, this is the one to get.
- NO/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
- UBER EATS
In comparison to its competition, and despite a portion of the menu unavailable on the day, presumably down to covid cutbacks, this place showcased enough positives to leave us pleasantly surprised. Said to blend their own spices, Wrapchic served us a soothing Masala Chai along with a number of flavorous items.
If you're looking for two cuisines in one, then Wrapchic is worth a visit, especially if you're visiting the Tower of London.
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