|Address:||41 Farringdon Street|
|London EC4A 4AN|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 27 Jun 2002|||||2. 27 Nov 2003|||||3. 30 Nov 2006|||||4. 29 Nov 2007|
|Visit Number:||92 (visit 4 of 4 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||29 Nov 2007|
|Cost per head:||£31.00 (2 beers)|
|Jeff||7||5||6||7||8||6||7||4||6.3||See Jeff's comments|
|Robin||7||7||6||8||6||9||5||6||4||6.4||See Robin's comments|
|Graeme||8||7||6||8||8||6||8||7||7||7.3||See Graeme's comments|
|Tim||8||5||6||8||5||6||7||6||6||6.5||See Tim's comments|
|Richard||6||4||6||8||7||5||6||7||4||6.0||See Richard's comments|
Jeff - My first trip to this top 6 restaurant - and although enjoyable, and competent, I'd say the experience and food was only slightly above average. It is somewhat off the beaten track, and a smaller place than I expected, and rather cramped; as there were, unusually, only 5 of us, our booking in advance proved unnecessary as we were given a table for 8 anyway. Service was mostly unobtrusive but annoyingly they filled up our glasses without asking. The menu was pretty conventional. My prawn puri was pretty good, but the Lamb Balti wasn't herby enough and was short of lamb. I shared a very good keema nan with Tim. Free liqueur at the end. I was surprised at the size of the bill, as the menu prices didn't seem that high; and with the meal being only a little above average, I've marked it down with regards to VFM.
Robin - The service was good, but perhaps because I was at the end of the table a waiter kept pouring my beer for me - which I don't much like - and as usual only the bottled stuff was available. I had a nice (and quite large) king prawn puri to start, but with the exception of the special rice, which was superb, the main dish was rather a let-down. I'd chosen the lamb tikka balti, which didn't much taste of either tikka or balti and a few chunks of lamb were almost tough. The vegetables and my paratha were okay but not exceptional, but the VFM was not very good in my view. The City Raj is overall a fairly good place to go but doesn't deserve it's current top six ranking as far as I'm concerned.
Graeme - A good all-round performance from the City Raj, living up to its top 6 billing. It's an interesting place with its exposed brick work, a mezzanine 'balcony' and access to the upstairs toilets via a spiral staircase. All the food was very good. I had Prawn Puree to start and Chicken Silasila (?) for main - I would recommend both. Many of the usual suspects were missing from tonight's outing and the conversation took some unusual turns. We touched on religion before moving to a more controversial topic - does Father Christmas exist? Although all the evidence supports his existence (otherwise, who delivers all the presents on Christmas eve? - der), Tim has the notion that he is merely a fictional character. Anyway, we soon got back to a much more testosterone-fuelled subject - Strictly Come Dancing. Some of the guys are not convinced but Jeff and I agree that it is the best thing on TV at this time of year - the hard work, the emotion, the passion and (oh, yes) the scantily-clad women.
Tim - When we visited this restaurant last year in November, we had one of our largest ever turnouts, and the restaurant was very busy. This year we had one of our smallest groups for a long time, and the restaurant was practically deserted. Poppadoms and pickles were pretty standard, though they generously gave us two sets of pickles to share between the five of us. Mixed starter was quite good, and interestingly came with a chunk of paneer (cheese) amongst the meats. Main course of chicken mirchi methi was fine. Rice and veg were OK, but the nan was quite small. The service was fine (but then there were hardly any other customers to worry about), and a free round of cocktails at the end of the meal was a nice touch. Overall cost was not cheap, but fairly standard for curry in the City.
Richard - I always wondered why the City Raj was top 6: the most memorable things about it are being very cramped and under the viaduct. Indeed it was cramped, even if nearly empty when we were there, and if some other diners had got in first, it would be a game of musical chairs like last time. Having said that, the food was generally good, especially a large and tasty mixed starter of lots of grilled meats, and also notably good nan, veg and popadums. Overall, the price is too rich to put up with the cramped seating, and the food isn't good enough to compensate. We managed to avoid falling out like last time despite discussion of such contentious subjects as Religion, Santa Claus, which pub to meet in, strictly come dancing, Jodie Marsh, women, and Robin's Wallace and Gromit Christmas tie.