Food and drink
No. 37 Al-Badar Fried Chicken restaurant facade (2019). Credit: Andrew Walker, Periscope
No. 39 Al-Badar Restaurant facade (2019). Credit: Andrew Walker, Periscope

Al-Badar Fried Chicken

Al-Badar Fried Chicken opened in 1990. The café’s first owner was of Indian origin.

Today, Al-Badar is the only Pakistani-owned catering establishment on Brick Lane. The current owner started out as an employee at Al-Badar and purchased the business in 1994. He was born, and studied for his degree, in Karachi, Pakistan. He arrived in Britain in 1991 and, having landed at Heathrow airport, asked his taxi driver to take him to ‘an Asian area’, which is how he ended up in Brick Lane. He now lives in Tower Hamlets. 

Al-Badar operates as a fried chicken and curry fast-food café. It serves speciality dishes, including traditional lamb biryani every Friday and chicken biryani every Tuesday. The most popular main dishes for eat-in customers at Al-Badar are lamb and chicken biryani, doner kebab, and fried chicken and chips.

Al-Badar is open seven days per week, 365 days per year and approximately half of its business is takeaway. The customers are a mixed crowd, including students and locals. City workers tend to visit at lunchtime, while locals tend to visit after work. It is estimated that around 70% of Al-Badar’s customers are male,

‘all mixed, white, black and Asian. Most of them are regulars’. 

Interestingly, all four kitchen staff at Al-Badar are of Keralan heritage. Many of whom worked as chefs in the Middle East before making their way to Britain. Brick Lane’s curry houses have a long history of employing Keralan-born chefs, who are seen as skilled and conscientious workers, including at the original Famous Clifton restaurant. 


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