All reader reviews by G & T

The Red Fort

Despite some unfavourable reviews with regard to value for money, we decided to try the Red Fort for Friday lunch. The décor was very smart and up market and there were several European girls in severe black suits handing out menus and taking orders. We felt the restaurant lacked atmosphere. The food was an agreeable surprise, we chose the set menu at £12 per head and received papadoms, followed by starters of Tandoori chicken, salmon and a roasted mushroom kebab which were all very good. The main course consisted of a spinach dish, a dall and more chicken, all of the same quality as the starters. We discussed the food in terms of value for money and felt that it compared very favourably with the Sunday buffets that we get locally, usually for about £9.95. The sting was in the tail, when we received the bill we found that we had been charged £17.50 (service included) for 4 very small Kingfisher draft beers. Given that we had just come from Wolfe’s Cocktail bar and Grill in Great Queen Street (not a cheap establishment) where I had paid £1.90 for a small draft Stella Artois we thought that this was totally outrageous. We just might go back, it would be interesting to see their reaction if we asked for tap water with our meal.

Friday, August 03, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5


The Red Fort

Despite some unfavourable reviews with regard to value for money, we decided to try the Red Fort for Friday lunch. The décor was very smart and up market and there were several European girls in severe black suits handing out menus and taking orders. We felt the restaurant lacked atmosphere. The food was an agreeable surprise, we chose the set menu at £12 per head and received papadoms, followed by starters of Tandoori chicken, salmon and a roasted mushroom kebab which were all very good. The main course consisted of a spinach dish, a dall and more chicken, all of the same quality as the starters. We discussed the food in terms of value for money and felt that it compared very favourably with the Sunday buffets that we get locally, usually for about £9.95. The sting was in the tail, when we received the bill we found that we had been charged £17.50 (service included) for 4 very small Kingfisher draft beers. Given that we had just come from Wolfe’s Cocktail bar and Grill in Great Queen Street (not a cheap establishment) where I had paid £1.90 for a small draft Stella Artois we thought that this was totally outrageous.

We just might go back, it would be interesting to see their reaction if we asked for tap water with our meal.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 5


The Punjab

We visited The Punjab today for lunch and were disappointed. Having read glowing reviews (A list, and nominated best Punjabi Restaurant in the Cobra Good Curry Guide) we were expecting much better. The ambiance was acceptable but the décor was in need of refurbishment, the service was acceptable but not especially friendly. In fact the word acceptable sums up this restaurant, the Punjabi Samosa and the Chicken Chat were OK, and the much vaunted chef’s special of Acharri Chicken was a little too pungent, almost vinegary. The best dish we had, the Chicken Tikka Special was …. acceptable.

We would not go back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


Planet Spice

We would not normally send in another review so quickly (see 3rd July) but, having visited a couple of other well known restaurants in the meantime, we took some friends to the Planet Spice last Friday to celebrate a special occasion. The food was once again outstanding and one of our friends thought that it was the best Indian food that she had ever tasted. The group differed with regard to the décor, the men thought it was a little cold whilst the women thought it was chic. The main point is that this is a local restaurant which consistantly outperforms better known London establishments. If you live in the area you should give it a try.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 9 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


The Punjab

We visited The Punjab today for lunch and were disappointed. Having read glowing reviews (A list, and nominated best Punjabi Restaurant in the Cobra Good Curry Guide) we were expecting much better. The ambiance was acceptable but the décor was in need of refurbishment, the service was acceptable but not especially friendly. In fact the word acceptable sums up this restaurant, the Punjabi Samosa and the Chicken Chat were OK, and the much vaunted chef’s special of Acharri Chicken was a little too pungent, almost vinegary. The best dish we had, the Chicken Tikka Special was …. acceptable.

We would not go back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 6 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6


Planet Spice

Having been refused Tuesday lunch at a restaurant in Bromley (the restaurant was open but the Chef was indisposed) we made an impromptu visit to an old favourite of ours, the Planet Spice at Addington. The restaurant was entirely empty but we were given a warm, friendly welcome and then left to enjoy our Cobra beers whilst choosing from the extensive menu. Both of our chosen starters were excellent but my wife’s ‘Char grilled breast of chicken with fenugreek, mace and cardamom’ was outstanding, one of the most delicious starters either of us could remember. For our main courses we had ‘Galina Curry, Masala chicken supreme, tempered with dry roasted spice with cumin pulao’ and Shank of Lamb with saffron rice. Both dishes were well presented, and the meats were tender, succulent and subtly flavoured. Notwithstanding the fact that an empty restaurant always lacks something in atmosphere we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We will go back soon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8


Mala Restaurant

Tried the Mala for the first time with two good friends who are both fervent curry lovers. The location in St Katharine’s was attractive even on a dull and wet day, and the interior of the restaurant was pleasant. The quality of the food was mixed, two of the party chose A La Carte whilst the other two had the set lunch menu. It was agreed that the set menu was ‘average to good’ with the exception of the Lamb Rhogan Josh which was excellent. Our male friend ordered Delhi Aloo Tikka Chaat followed by the Malabari Prawn Curry and was delighted with both. I ordered the Tandoori Chicken & Orange which was outstanding, a delicious combination of flavours. Unfortunately my Raan Buzkazi was extremely disappointing. The quality of the lamb was poor, not in the same class as the Rhogan Josh, and the appearance of the dish was unappetising, the sauce having a grey sludgy appearance. The taste was ordinary, bland and uninteresting. With regard to the service, our waiter seemed to have his mind on other things. Observation of the service at other tables seemed to indicate that we were unlucky. We would certainly try the restaurant again, but would eat A La Carte.

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 7


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