Name: Veeraswamy
Area: Piccadilly Circus
Address: 99 Regent Street
London W1B 4RS
Phone: 020 7734 1401

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 31 Jul 2008

I can't put my finger on it, but there was something different about El Presidente that night.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 100 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
"Our 100th Outing"
Date of visit: 31 Jul 2008
Cost per head: £57.50 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.2 6.9 5.3 7.9 6.7 7.1 7.7 6.0 3.9 6.62
Dave 7 8 6 8 8 8 9 6 4 7.3 See Dave's comments
Graeme 6 6 7 8 8 9 5 3 6.8 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 6 9 4 10 6 5 10 5 4 7.0 See Dominic's comments
Jeff 6 7 3 8 7 10 7 8 5 6.9 See Jeff's comments
John 6 8 7 10 9 9 10 9 7 8.6 See John's comments
Jon 6 5 6 8 7 7 5 5 2 5.7 See Jon's comments
Alex 8 8 7 9 9 8 8 7 8.1 See Alex's comments
Robin 6 9 6 7 7 7 8 9 2 6.9 See Robin's comments
Brian 7 7 6 7 6 6 7 4 5 6.2 See Brian's comments
Richard 4 2 3 6 4 3 3 5 0 3.4 See Richard's comments
Mark 6 7 3 6 4 8 9 2 4 5.8 See Mark's comments
Tim 6 6 6 8 6 6 8 7 3 6.5 See Tim's comments
Neil 5 6 1 3 7 5 2 2 1 3.4 See Neil's comments

All Comments

Dave - The Veeraswamy was a venue befitting the 100th outing for the curry club - The venue had a nice atmosphere in keeping with the occasion (although the rose petals on the table was probably a bit too over the top). My main course of the signature lamb dish was excelllent - despite the intial radioactive green appearance being a little off-putting. The spicy poppadums were good and my starter of mini-chicken drumsticks came with a nice sauce. The Cobra beer was served in small glasses rather than bottles and seemed ridiculously overpriced. In fact price was the main issue with this restaurant, and would be the main reason I cannot see it making the top six. Disappointed no towels were provided (real or otherwise) but the complimentary drink at the end was welcome. Would welcome revisiting in 2017 for Curry Marks 200.

Graeme - 100-up for CurryMarks! All togged up in shirts and ties (except Alex who couldn't be bothered) and a visit to an up-market West-End restaurant to celebrate! However, the venue did not live up to my expectations. It is hard to pinpoint exactly why but the evening had no sparkle. While Veeraswamy is undoubtedly a very smart place, it is lacking 'soul'. The service was generally very good but we had to wait ages for the starter to arrive. They did have draft Cobra (although they only served it in halves). My Red Mullet starter was very tender and tasty (but I have reduced my starter mark as they only had spicey poppadoms). My main course (???) was excellent. The veg tasted OK but I was put off by the pureed spinach in the Sag Aloo. Overall, it is hard to really criticise the restaurant or meal. However, I just felt it was expensive for the sake of being expensive without offering a genuinely special experience.

Dominic - The Veeraswamy was a perfect choice for the 100th outing (well done Wrats!). Modern, spacious and comfortable. And very much the most "up market" Indian eatery we have visited. Given the occasion I decided to splash out and had the Oyster starter and then the Lobster! Both were excellent. And although I was quite happy to pay for my own meal I was invited to average out the meal - even better! Apart from the two dishes the rest of the meal was unusually average and the wine list very pricey. All in all a wonderful dining experience but relative to some of the great eateries the Club has visited I think this will not receive great marks as a VFM establishment.

Jeff - I was happy to help Mark with organising this 100th curry outing. For the first time ever we went up West, and up market (with apologies to all our previous venues). The Sam Smith's pub was remarkably cheap, less than £2 a pint, but it was somewhat grubby and I wouldn't rush back. The democratically-chosen Veeraswamy was a sound choice - the room, reached by a lift, was large but broken up into sections to create some intimacy and nicely fitted out. Our table was adorned with rose petals which someone tried to eat. There was just one choice of beer, Cobra, coming already poured, and surely it wouldn't have hurt to have some different beers available. The menu was quite small and not particularly descriptive; I had no idea my 'street food' starter would come adorned with pomegranate seeds and that my lamb main dish would be so, well, GREEN. However I did enjoy both once over the shock. Breads were pretty good and my rice was beautifully cooked. So the food - pretty good as you would expect. Service was not particularly great e.g. extra poppadoms were brought unexplained to compensate for a slow-cooked starter dish. Toilet facilities were poor - mainly out-of-order. A strange mixture of prices - mains and starters very lumpy, beer ridiculously expensive, bread and rice quite reasonably-priced. Altogether strangely it was cheaper than most of us expected. Top 6 - not sure. Although I enjoyed the evening and the company, I'm not sure that we quite fitted the place, and we were definitely more subdued than usual. I think I'd prefer our usual more normal venues. But here's to the next 100!!

John - The quality of the food at Veeraswamy was excellent. I started with the crab kebab followed by a very tasty lamb dish. I can't remember what it was called but it came in a thick green sauce. Service was a bit slow but was polite. Drinks were expensive. Overall I think it was a worthy venue for our 100th visit although I'm not sure my pension will be able to stretch to this every month!

Jon - Perhaps this restaurant is not aiming at the same market as the places we usually visit, but in comparison to them, I found Veeraswamy distinctly disappointing. While the service was attentive, it was not speedy, and the surroundings lacked a certain something. My Starter (something beginning with 'k' with lamb in a lentil sauce) was good, but the Veg and accompaniments were generally no better than average and my lamb shank was slightly dry and burned - not a patch on the Mehek. Which all in all made it very poor value for money. After all the hype, a big disappointment. However, the pub was great and remarkably cheap!

Alex - Very good food. Took a long time to arrive but this is apparently unusual (talking to some colleagues who've been there several times before).

Robin - The Veeraswamy was quite an experience. Amazing décor, very polite and attentive staff, but our starters were a long time arriving although after that the service improved markedly. My starter was very nice, but lacking a bit of "bite". My main course was better - a king prawn dish whose name I forget, but lovely big tasty prawns in a delicious sauce. Mind at about £2.50 per prawn (there were seven) anything less would have been a big disappointment. The rice was good but not exceptional, and the veg dishes were superb, and very original too. The big issue to me here was the cost; I realise that the Veeraswamy probably pays rather more rent than most City curry houses because of its location, but although the food was very good overall you can do as well or better in several City establishments for about half the price. I don't mind paying top dollar for great food, and often do, but I don't think the Veeraswamy can really justify the prices that it charges.

Brian - Food was good, and better value than I anticipated (although still pricey by our usual standards). In my view there was insufficient choice on the menu - there were very few veggie sides on offer for example. The perception of quality given by the décor and waiting staff was sadly let down by the toilets not being fully functional, and my impression of the other patrons was lowered somewhat by the guy blatantly ignoring the "Do not use" sign on one of the non-functional urinals.

Richard - Veeraswamy should be renamed "Veerexpensive". The meal was below average. Rogan Josh was poor, no peshwari nan, the raj kachori average, although the king prawn "2nd starter" as part of the "meal deal" that Tim and I shared was very good. The ambience and service were stuffy, and despite the prices managed to have all the urinals out of action and slow delivery of starters. It wasn't worthy of 100th visit. It was nice to be "up-west" mind you. Soho had obviously got to Graeme, as he confessed that Robin's arse is the best part of him.

Mark - Veeraswamy was always likely to suffer on a VFM basis but would have done enough elsewhere to be recommended if not for the beer and vegetables. Parts of the service were good but I do not like long delays or having the waiter suggest that the chef simply prepares a selection of dishes for us. Nut stuffed Chicken Tikka for starters was very good although tiny for the price and marked down as the poppudoms were only spicy and a bit dry. Main of slow cooked Lamb was delicious as a stew but I felt needed livening. Sag looked like mint sauce to go with my lamb and was very offputting. The place was well spaced but seemed remarkably noisy. Well decorated but broken loo's lowered the ambience. A good place to go for our 100th outing and perhaps worth visiting in another 8 1/2 years time if the prices remain fixed. Even our oenophile was surprised at the cost! Looking forward to the photo's.

Tim - Veeraswamy has an unusual entrance - enter through a door on a sidestreet into a hallway where this is a very small reception, then into a lift, as the restaurant is on the first floor. The lighting is subdued and décor pleasant. The wider-than-average tables spread with rose petals made the seating seem more spacious than usual. The toilets, however, were poor. The 2 urinals were out of order, and there was only one cubicle. They had also hung low-light, high-heat light bulbs, meaning the place was like a sauna. Beer was disappointing - £4.40 for a small (330ml) Cobra; I would have thought a place like this might have had a more interesting selection, and I can't see that the price is justified. The mango lassi was nice, and Dom's wine selection was much enjoyed. Service was quite slow. Complimentary (I think) poppadoms arrived fairly quickly, though there was no choice of plain or spicy. The accompaniment portions were rather small and ran out quite quickly. Starters took a while to arrive (45 minutes?). I shared a tasting menu with Richard, which comprised two starters, two mains, rice and veg. I'm not really sure why it was called a tasting menu as we could have just ordered the same items for a similar price and shared them. Starters were (large) green prawns, and lamb with daal? and flat bread (a bit like pitta). They were both tasty, and made a change from the usual starters of onion bahji, chicken chat, tandoori chicken, reshmi kebab, prawn puri etc. Main courses were lamb rogan josh (4 pieces of lamb falling off the bone in a thick, rich sauce) and chicken something. I liked both dishes, and again it was nice to have something a bit different. The rice and sag aloo seemed nothing special, but I liked the aubergine side dish. Overall the cost was nearly twice as much as a good curry in the City, and I'm not convinced the food was much better, although it was nice to see a different selection of dishes from the usual curry house fare.

Neil - What an excellent night. 100 curries! So much has happened since 2000. The pub was a bit limited but fantastic value and the lager was as good as any "cooking" version normally provided. Shame about the restaurant, good fresh, fine, ingredients but absolute rubbish otherwise, everything tasted terrible (except the Nans!). Simply put it smacked of overdoing everything and not concentrating on the basics. I guess they had to make it different from the normal Anglo-Indian Brick Lane experience but different doesn’t always mean better. Also, £4 odd for half a beer, with only one choice available! Definitely a restaurant trading on snobbery, avoid at all costs. Great Curry Club atmosphere though, wouldn't have missed it.

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