Name: The Red Fort
Area: Soho
Address: 77 Dean Street
London W1D 3SH
Phone: 020 7437 2525

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 12 Jan 2017|2. 28 Sep 2017

After a long absence, Griff seems to have forgotten normal "lads' curry" behaviour.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 209 (visit 2 of 2 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 28 Sep 2017
Cost per head: £60.00 (1 beer)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 4.8 6.6 4.5 8.6 5.3 5.9 5.4 5.2 2.6 5.56
Jon 6 7 3 8 3 5 5 3 2 4.9 See Jon's comments
Dave 5 4 8 9 7 6 6 3 6.2 See Dave's comments
Jeff 4 8 4 10 8 7 4 2 2 5.5 See Jeff's comments
Alex 5 7 7 8 7 0 1 4.6 See Alex's comments
Graeme 7 7 5 10 7 5 7 4 6.5 See Graeme's comments
Neil 6 6 6 9 6 6 9 9 6 7.3 See Neil's comments
Dominic 0 8 2 5 2 5 7 0 4.1 See Dominic's comments
Mark 5 6 1 10 4 5 7 5 3 5.5 See Mark's comments

All Comments

Jon - It is rare that I feel so differently about a restaurant from one visit to the next, particularly when there is less than 12 months between them. I opted to go la carte rather than from the set menu, and I was generally not that impressed. My starter, a mixed meat platter, was good with all the various meats nicely cooked and very tasty but my main, a form of lamb biryani, was disappointing. The meat was tasty and tender but not particularly plentiful and there was nothing else to the dish apart from some pretty average rice no sauce, veg or anything. And with such a meagre selection of side dishes available, there was no way you could really get any sort of variety without going for the tasting menu. Like the veg, there was no variety in the choice of breads and those available were bland and dry. Finally, with just one make of (small) beer available and a much-reduced wine list, it seems that the Red Fort is unlikely to feature in this year's top six.

Dave - After a 7 month break from the curry club I had to reintroduce myself as a country member and luckily for me everyone remembered me! The Red Fort was very much as last time, not much ambience as quite empty, starters and popadoms excellent, but followed up with, at best, a mediocre main course. At the end of the meal I risked instant expulsion from the club by ordering a cappuccino. How long before it will be a cup of Cocoa? Overall certainly not worth the eye watering 60 price tag and I am hoping it will not make it back into the top 6.

Jeff - Met in Soho in the Ship, a small-ish pub, but it was warm and dry enough to stand outside. The Fort was quite quiet, with a mixture of groups, families and a suave but disgruntled looking solo diner. The restaurant is spacious and well looked after. This visit, I am prepared to be a bit more critical as the price is lumpy and you would expect good service and 'the extra mile'. However, they fall down in this department - e.g. flaky service, only spicy popadoms, just one choice of beer, and poor availability of wines. I went for the fixed price menu, and yet again the mixed starter was delicious - the salmon especially. Again, the main of lamb shank, chicken curry, lentils, and okra was not as good - the okra was in a very unpalatable bitter sauce, and loads were left. The shank was tender but bland. Rice was pretty plain - for the price, a special rice would be more acceptable. Actually, I enjoyed the ice cream but there was no coffee - not sure if this was yet another service issue.

Alex - Service not up to scratch for the price, Dom, opposite me, was particularly unhappy. Flavours were still good. But something was undercooked in mine, probably the main on reflection, because I wasn't remotely well after I got home, food poisoning is not what you expect spending this much. So rather a train wreck, sic transit.

Graeme - When we came here for our 200th outing, I thought it was a very suitable venue and I had a very enjoyable evening. This time, on just a 'regular' visit, certain short-comings came more to the fore, e.g. there is a very limited menu, the only beer available is small bottles of Kingfisher and it is very expensive. However, my "Mix Starters" (sic) was the best starter I have ever had and even at 15 it was good value. My main of Dum-Pukht Biryani was disappointing - the slow-cooked lamb was very nice but there wasn't enough of it in the puffy mountain of basmati rice (which in itself was very good). Having said all this, I'm glad we went back; it's always good to visit different types of places in different areas of London. Yes, it was dear but not to the point that it was unaffordable, although I wouldn't like to pay this much every time we go out.

Neil - A very nice evening which started with Mark buying us drinks to celebrate his well-deserved retirement, our last official link with GRD is now gone (outsourced to India). Graeme's daughter also added to the pre-drinks merriment, unfortunately I couldn't impress her with my Christmas visit algorithm as it's now a 'beer haze' mystery to me. Jeff needs to dig out those last AGM minutes! On to the Red Fort. Our 200th special night out delivered this rather posh but pricey establishment into our Top 6 revisits, much to the annoyance of some members. I went for the set meal without wine for a cool 49. That said, it was delicious and very large. We asked for another lamb shank and wished we hadn't as far too much food. The set meal also included a rather nice ice cream, so reasonably good VFM all-in-all. Service not so good though, Dom seemed to have an issue with a waiter almost breaking his camera, they also forgot my coffee so have marked this down slightly.

Dominic - I found this to be one of the most forgettable and disappointing Currymarks evenings ... especially so given the Red Fort's reputation and price tag. For a venue that pride's itself on all aspects of dining I found the service appalling. Firstly through absolutely no help with the wine list then an incident where a waiter placed a bottle of beer on my camera. When he started to walk away without uttering a word (apology or otherwise) I called him back and informed him that he just placed the bottle on my camera to which he replied "it's ok as it wasn't very hard ..." then walked off!! I'm not sure I'd expect this even in the more downmarket venues of Brick Lane ... but for this place??? Accordingly, I insisted they take off the service charge (58) and again was surprised when nobody asked me why. Perhaps this is their new norm.

Mark - My last working curry? We met at the Ship and were joined by the 3rd member of the Stansfield clan to attend Currymarks (although not staying for the meal). The Red Fort had a few more attendees than last time but still very quiet for a West End eatery but not surprising that your average punter would certainly be put off by the price for a curry. I went for the set menu which like before produces the most wonderful starter and a very plentiful and enjoyable main mix. However, it is the various other elements which let it down and therefore reduce the value. The rice is OK but nothing great, the beer is ridiculously priced and the overall menu choice fairly limited. I'm glad we returned but would be happy not to again. Nice to meet our Country Member again!

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