Hanji, Welcome to the Samosa Files, so on our desi pub/desi grills tours up and down the country we noticed something very strange happening on our journeys. Whilst in the car and driving to various places, we found out that all of our team had different views on Mithai shops, we thought everyone just liked the same ones, but no no, so after a few heated debates (on one occasion one person left the car with a jalebi in their eye) we decided to tour the UK and see which Mithai shops rule the roost in your town.
We start the Samosa files in Walsall, and the top two shops in the town are: Harguns Sweet Centre and Ashriwaad Sweets, again the reviews are carried out in secret and no prior warning was given to the shops that we were attending, and just like the grill reviews our identity has been kept a secret and we use images from the venues media. We will always have the same order: White Barfi, Ladoo, Gajrela, Samosa, Spring Rolls and Pakora. SO LET US BEGIN!!!
Hargun Sweet Centre (WS1 3RF), 8 Mins drive from the M6 junction 9, ample parking opposite the shop.
Ok, first things first, this is not a place where you can go and sit in and eat, everything here is made for you to take out. Yo! This place is busy, and us being us, we are just awkward as we throw out our order for White Barfi, Ladoo, Gajrela, Samosa, Spring Rolls and Pakora. We are informed we will have to wait for the Samosa’s and Spring Rolls as they are being prepared fresh, so in the meantime how did the sweets do:
White Barfi, moist, maybe a touch to much, this seems to be flying out, so it is popular, but for me this just missed the top marks.
Ladoo, These are good, nice flavour and not greasy in your hand, and they do not just turn to mush as soon as you put them in your mouth these were not bad at all.
Gajrela, These like the ladoo have a definitive Harguns taste to them, not to moist and break off nice and even, nice flavour to these, impressed.
So after approx 8-10 minutes we get our Samosa and Spring Rolls, we race back to the car like teenagers and settle down to enjoy.
Samosa: These are quite large and hand made, better than those machine made ones, so we are off to a good start, nice texture on the pastry and the filling, it has a lot of jhera, and that comes through in the samosa, but fresh, not greasy and handmade, there is a lot going for these bad boys.
Spring Roll: Again, just like the Samosa, these do have a jhera taste to them, and I guess that is something Hargun Sweet centre strive for, they are unique and impressive,
Pakora: These are impressive, they have a lovely outside that has a nice subtle crunch as you bite in. The inside is not to moist and holds together well as you eat it.
Onto the next one
Ashriwaad Sweets (WS1 3RF), 8 Mins drive from the M6 junction 9, ample parking opposite the shop.
Ok these two shops are like 1 minute apart, so that was convenient for us, so let’s see what Ashirwaad has to offer:
Damn this place is stacked, I mean you can buy so much here, the shelves are full, and the place is busy, but most are standing around slating some woman called Ranjit, and damn Ranjit, why you let your son do that! Oh, sorry back to the review, the Mithai is all placed out nicely and in large volumes. This is not some place where you can sit and and eat, and I guess for Ranjit that is a bonus lol.
White Barfi, This unlike the Hargun one is more compact and is not so moist, the flavours do give it an edge, enjoyed this.
Ladoo, These seem quite fresh, and they do have a distinctive flavour to them, these are to soft for us once you bite in, they seemed to dissolve really quick, which was a shame as the taste also went too quickly.
Gajrela, These are impressive, nice flavours, fresh and not too sweet, really good, liked these a lot.
Samosa: These are once again made by hand, but were not cooked as we waited, these were pre-prepared, they were still warm, and tasted good, not that hint of jhera that we had previously, but a good solid Samosa.
Spring Roll: Again, not piping hot, and the pastry just was not as crisp as we expected, the taste inside was good and there was a nice paneer ratio.
Pakora: These were ok, they did the job, but were kinda spicy which we did not expect at all, took us by surprise.
Hargun and Ashriwaad are quite similar in the shop layouts and the fact they are both takeouts works for us, loved the atmosphere in Ashriwaad, the bibi’s were going in and I don’t know, the shop had a good vibe about it, and that we liked.
But hey, we are all about the food, and for us, on this the first Samosa files, we gotta give props to Hargun Sweet centre for pulling this out the bag, solid food, fresh and cooked as we waited, the chutney that we got (for free) with the samosa and spring rolls, damn impressive. So if you are passing through Walsall or are at a standstill on the M6 near Walsall then this might just break up the journey times with flavour.