|Address:||343 Gray's Inn Road|
|London WC1 X8PX|
|Phone:||020 7837 8398|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 31 Oct 2013|
|Visit Number:||163 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||31 Oct 2013|
|Cost per head:||£35.00 (2 beers)|
|Graeme||3||5||6||6||7||6||7||8||5||6.0||See Graeme's comments|
|Jon||2||9||7||9||8||8||6||8||7||7.1||See Jon's comments|
|Brian||4||7||7||6||6||7||6||6||5||6.0||See Brian's comments|
|Mark||3||6||7||7||9||6||0||2||4.6||See Mark's comments|
|Jeff||3||5||6||6||7||6||7||8||5||6.0||See Jeff's comments|
|Neil||1||4||8||2||2||3||0||0||0||2.0||See Neil's comments|
|Tim||5||7||7||8||7||7||9||7||6||7.2||See Tim's comments|
|Robin||1||7||6||7||5||6||6||7||5||5.7||See Robin's comments|
|Dave||3||4||6||8||7||7||6||6||5||5.9||See Dave's comments|
Graeme - It was good to try somewhere different, especially in what could be considered to be a less salubrious part of town. However, I think the pub was a bigger success than the restaurant. We met in the "The Parcel Yard" bar in King's Cross station which has been 'done' very well. The restaurant looked like it had had a make-over but I thought it was a little tacky and stark. Overall, the food was pretty good without being special. I had an East Indian dumpling dish to start - 5 reasonably sized dumplings but they each had only a tiny piece of meat inside. I was hoping for an Indian slant on this dish but it was just like a Chinese one. My main of Garlic Chilli Massala was quite tasty but didn't have the required spice & garlic 'hit'. The veg dishes were very good and decent portions too. The service was ridiculously slow and haphazard which ended up spoiling the mood of the evening. Much discussion about trivial matters ... religion ... what's outside the Universe? ... where did the Big Bang take place? Answers on a postcard, please.
Jon - I was really looking forward to the Indian Lounge, and I believe it has promise, but it really needs to sort out its service. The Parcel Yard went down well as the pub to meet in, although one or two found it hard to find for some reason. The menu was interesting and I had to go for the Ak-Bari Lamb Shank just to compare with the Mehek. The food was OK - the mixed kebab starter was very nice and all the accompaniments were good. Unfortunately, despite turning up later than everybody else's main, the lamb shank was not done enough. It was OK but not a patch on the Mehek. The main issue with the place was service - we had been in the restaurant an hour before the starters appeared and two hours before the first main came out. As I said, my main course was the last out some 10 minutes behind the first, and it was another 10 minutes before the mushroom bahjees turned up. It was a good night overall with some lively debate about science versus religion - interesting stuff!
Brian - I did not time the delays, but it did seem to take an age to produce the starters, and a similar time subsequently to produce our main courses. The clue came early, with an extra batch of popadoms appearing unrequested, I guess to disguise the fact that the starters were going to take a while. Having said that, if I was Mark, I think I would rather still be waiting, as describing the sauce in which his tuna was drowned as vile, is probably to compliment it too wildly. For my own part, the starter of squid rings was good, and the duck main was OK - some of it was delicious, but too much was chewy and unpleasant. Rice, bread and veggie sides were all good. Loved the station pub at Kings Cross, and in hindsight we would have been better staying there, as the food looked to be good as well as the ambience of the place - only downside was that the beer was a bit pricey.
Mark - I wasn't sure if I should leave my Main meal mark blank or give it zero as I did not have one. What was served tasted so weird that I had one mouthful then sent it back as inedible. The waiter checked with the chef who said it was meant to taste like that but as this was my 130th outing I think I know what a curry should taste like - for those who want the unusual try the Tuna! Rest of the food tasted good, the nan was excellent, just a shame we had to wait 2 hours for it to be served having watched others arrive and get their meals while we waited - I think they decided we were in Harry Potter mode from our visit to Kings Cross and served us at 9 3/4. At least they gave us extra free popadums, removed my meal from the bill, gave me a CTM in place without me asking, and then gave us a snifter to end so at least some service marks. Bonus point also for laughing at our coordinated 'Duck'!
Jeff - Another non-City curry, this time a first as we went right outside Kings Cross. The meeting point, the station pub the Parcel Yard, was probably the best station pub I have been to, and on the tourist "track" as it was right above platform 9 3/4. We got to the restaurant at 7.45. Everyone will of course comment on the 2 hour wait for main courses. Couples came and went with regularity, but we sat there ignored and getting increasingly restless, watching Bollywood projected onto the plain white wall opposite. It seems that many places outside the City / Brick Lane just cannot cope with any more than tables of 4. A shame because the food, when it came up, was plentiful and tasty, the chilli nan being especially good. Tim took home his now traditional doggie bag. The meal ended with a slightly sheepish offer of a free liqueur, welcome nonetheless. And the price was high, but again probably due to members' increasingly expensive tastes and yet again an over-order on vegetables and beer; and no toptable discount.
Neil - Evening started well as we were quickly sat down and served with a good choice of beers and enough poppadums to sink a battleship. Then an hour's wait for the starter! Followed by another hour for the main course! What made things worse was that the food was not that great. I had a very large mixed starter that probably would have been quite nice when it was cooked but very cold when I got hold of it. Next the main course, very salty and over cooked. Rice and stuffed paratha similarly had been hanging around far too long. The worst thing however was the Sag Aloo. I can only describe this as something close to wet grass. Yuck! Mark got the worst deal with tuna in the nastiest tasting sauce ever and there were a few other nightmares around the table. Well we have to try out some of these places to keep the marking rightly calibrated by knowing were the bottom really lies! Better luck next month.
Tim - There's some interesting décor in this restaurant: coloured water bubbling in the walls upstairs and jungle ceiling with waterfall downstairs. The usual bottled Kingfisher and Cobra were available to drink, though they were described as pint/half-pint in the menu. They seemed slightly surprised by a request for spicy poppadoms, which arrived at least ten minutes after the plain ones, though they did provide a few extra than we asked for. The mixed starter was good, and of a generous size, though I could have done without the wait of over an hour. I can't remember what I ordered for the main, save that it was something I'd never tried before, and I do remember enjoying it. The overall cost was fairly standard, and could have probably been a bit lower given that there was quite a bit left over at the end. Aside from the wait for the food, the service was good and friendly.
Robin - Nice food but let down by dreadful service - something we've experienced far too often lately. I had the prawn puri to start and the chicken chasnidargh for my main course. Both really nice without being outstanding, but it was 75 minutes after we'd arrived before we received our starters, even though we'd ordered fairly early on. The veg dishes were nice enough, the beer was ok, the rice wasn't very special and the ambience was good - busy but not jam packed. I thought the food was a little overpriced, but that's common enough these days. I doubt we'll be going back to this one, which is a shame because the Fullers pub in King's Cross Station (the Parcel Yard) was surprisingly good.
Dave - Unbelievably poor service is my main memory of this evening. Had to wait 45 mins to get 2 spicy popadums and main course finally arrived 2 hours after our arrival in the restaurant. Had lost the will to eat by this stage and will be in no hurry to return.