Restaurant

Name: Clifton
Area: Brick Lane
Address: 1 Whitechapel Road
London E1 6TY
Phone: 020 7377 5533
Website: www.cliftonrestaurant.co.uk

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 28 Jun 2007


How can I compare you to a curry?
Let me count the ways ...
Who was the left over dish?
Posh but with little breast meat?
Lumpy & spiced just right?
Too large for one sitting?
With something hidden underneath?
Flash & in your face?

Visit Report

Visit Number: 87 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 28 Jun 2007
Cost per head: £25.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.4 7.5 6.0 7.8 6.0 6.6 6.9 6.5 6.6 6.77
Brian 8 8 7 9 8 9 9 6 7 8.0 See Brian's comments
John 7 7 6 8 5 6 5 5 5 6.0 See John's comments
Graeme 4 7 5 7 7 5 5 6 5 5.7 See Graeme's comments
Mark 8 7 6 8 3 7 6 7 6 6.5 See Mark's comments
Richard 7 9 7 6 8 8 8 8 8 7.6 See Richard's comments
Jeff 6 7 3 8 6 7 7 8 6.6 See Jeff's comments
Robin 4 7 6 7 5 6 8 6 6 6.3 See Robin's comments
Tony (Guest) 7 8 8 9 6 6 7 7 8 7.4 See Tony's comments

All Comments

Brian - I thought the meal was excellent, apart from the Brinjal Bhaji, as I was not keen on the entire aubergine being present, including parts that were overly resistant to chewing. My starter of chicken pakora was excellent, as was my lamb main. I thought the Clifton deserved its reputation as one of the finer Brick Lane eateries, and would recommend this place without hesitation. Good company and the usual range of despicable conversation subjects made for another excellent evening with currymarks.

John - Average. Good prawn purree starter followed by a bland chicken and spinach dish. Forgettable veg and cold beer. Nice to get away from all of those stinky nappies though!

Graeme - This is a large contemporary restaurant - all glass on 2 sides with modern furniture & lighting - it works reasonably well. However, it got off to a bad start with only bottled Cobra on offer - not that I've any objection to bottled Cobra but most places have, at least, a choice of bottled beers. My starter of Lamb Chops was exactly as described - they were very tasty but there wasn't much meat on them. My main course is hard to mark as I made the mistake of being in the toilet when the food was delivered and ended up with a main dish that I didn't recognise and half a boiled rice rather than a whole pilau. As everybody else was merrily tucking into their food, I decided to get on with it rather than wait 15 minutes for a new dish to be prepared. My main dish reminded me of Sporty Spice - I ended up with it because nobody else wanted it. Overall I would say that this place was OK but nothing special. I am pleased to report a return to sanity in the pub beforehand - as Tim wan't there, we were allowed to enjoy a fourth pint rather than rushing off to the restaurant too early.

Mark - With news of the Spice Girls reforming it was time for the Currymarks spice boys to hit the town again. No clock watching winers (sic) to chase us out the pub so we all managed the full 4 pints while watching Robin enjoy his hand job with a young lady as we discussed a Countdown shag with Carole! We headed to the Clifton, a very open plan place with the kitchen in full view. Starter of lamb chops was good although dim lighting made it had to see the meat from the bone. Main of Mancurian Chicken was a bit Tara Palmer. Came out posh and appeared to be hot but soon realised there was little breast meat. Slight confusion with the rice as boiled and pilau were both fairly white although the difference between 1 or 2 portions should have been obvious to our new gadget man. A tidy place, repectable but needs more Zig-a-Zag Ahh.

Richard - An inspired selection by el Presidente. A bit off the main main curry house section of Brick Lane, and it felt a bit different straight away. The open-plan kitchen was a nice touch, and it was modern without trying too hard, and spacious for a Brick Lane establishment. Dom was not available to stress-test the chairs. Food was very well presented, and delicious, although my starter of Chicken Pakora could have been bigger. Manchurian Chicken was unusual, lumpy and was spiced just right (could it be the Sarah Beeny of curries?). Overall, very good food, good ambience and good location. A new top-sixer?

Jeff - With no-one in place to force the advisory guideline on leaving time, we stayed in the pub until a civilised 8:00 p.m. and Graeme and I considered having a minimum 4-pint advisory guideline. Mark's suggestion of the 'Clifton' seemed a good one and as we walked to the south side of Brick Lane there was a noticeable lack of the usual touts. Nicely decorated place if a little dark, and there being only 8 of us they fitted us in easily. Beer choice was Cobra only! but nice poppadoms and good quantity of chutneys arrived quickly. They were a little slow to take our order and unusually took starter order first, then main order a lot later. The menu featured old favourites and new things as well; I was spoilt for choice. My starter of vegetable puri was filling and spicy but served on an odd metal plate you might give to a toddler. I would compare my main of Lamb Gatta (runner beans) to Fern Britton - nice, but too large to be eaten at one sitting. Vegetable sides were ok but the rice was nothing special. Altogether, a place I would return to, although not top quality the vfm was good. I'll be interested to see how it fares - my guess is just outside the top 6.

Robin - A smart, clean, roomy restaurant serving food a bit above average and a little expensive considering all the competition at the other end of Brick Lane. The service was rather slow and I didn't like the waiters continually pouring my bottled Cobra for me, hence the low mark in this category. My king prawn puri was quite nice (and only £3.95 - somewhat at variance with the final cost per head), but it was served (as were all the other starters) on a stainless steel plate that went cold very quickly.  My chicken xacuti main course was very good - fairly hot, spicy and aromatic. The vegetables were okay but a bit greasy, as was my paratha, and the special rice wasn't particularly special although plentiful. Unusually there is a large "cooking" area in full view at the other end of the restaurant full of busy people in white coats and aprons, but I suspect that more food preparation goes on downstairs as well. Overall I think I prefer Brick Lane proper rather than the Whitechapel fringes.

Tony - After the trek along Brick Lane, the Clifton at the end looked appealing with its corner position and glazed floor to ceiling windows. They obviously were not afraid of the state of their chefs, as the food was cooked in a corner open for all to see. The crowd was a mixture of young, older and arty types; nice to see rather than the flood of beered up blokes in their suits - like us. Cobra as the beer is always a winner, and the service a little slow at start, soon provided some morsels of poppadoms. The prawn pakora starter was suitably spicy on a bed of fresh crisp salad. My main was promising a king prawn, coconut something or other, which while promising on the page proved a bit of a dampner on the evening - missing some subtle spice to make it memorable. I missed the colourful rice, and the plain rice was, well rather plain. All in all a pleasant venue, good value and a pleasant place to stay. Figuratively speaking, I was going to say a Liz Hurley at first, all flash with something hidden underneath; but instead opt for Paris Hilton; a bit flash, up front and in your face, can see straight through her (too thin!) and no meat on the bones, and probably once tasted you probably wouldn't go back for more. Or at least if you did, everyone else would know about it.


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