|Previous name:||City Spice|
|Address:||4 New Bridge Street|
|London EC4V 6AA|
|Phone:||020 7353 5525|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 25 Jun 2009|||||2. 25 Feb 2016|
|Visit Number:||111 (visit 1 of 2 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||25 Jun 2009|
|Cost per head:||£33.00 (2 beers)|
|Robin||7||9||6||6||7||8||7||7||5||6.9||See Robin's comments|
|Mark||6||5||6||7||6||8||7||3||4||6.0||See Mark's comments|
|Brian||7||7||6||8||8||6||7||7||6||7.0||See Brian's comments|
|Jeff||8||6||6||5||7||9||7||6||6.9||See Jeff's comments|
|Jon||9||7||7||8||6||6||7||7||5||7.0||See Jon's comments|
|Graeme||7||5||6||8||7||7||7||7||5||6.7||See Graeme's comments|
|Tim||8||5||6||7||6||7||8||7||6||6.8||See Tim's comments|
Robin - The City Spice is a fairly small but obviously quite popular restaurant (the street level dining area was full when we left although there are 5 additional tables downstairs next to the loos, where you definitely wouldn't want to be seated). The ambience was very good, the papadams (their spelling) arrived quite promptly and our order was taken not too long afterwards, but then there was quite a long wait before our starters arrived although the main courses were delivered not long after we'd finished the starters. My Sheek kebab was good and meaty, but nothing exceptional, and my main course of lamb balti was very nice (tender lamb, lovely aromatic sauce) but let down by being rather oily. In fact I noticed a number of dishes where oil was pooling where people had spooned out some of the contents and I'll be interested to see if this was noticed by any others in our party. My special rice was pretty good and the other veg dishes were also good, but again somewhat oily. As usual only bottled beer was available. Overall I felt that price was pretty steep for the quality of the food so my VFM mark reflects this.
Mark - Having not attended the pre-meal drinks as I was out in Brick Lane meant that was first to arrive in a nearly empty restaurant. The others soon turned up as did a fair number of others over the evening but it did feel like we were sitting in the entrace hall rather than a main room. Onion bajhi starter was good although chutneys not wonderful. Chicken Rezzalla main was plentiful as was the rice. Veg seemed small and a bit chucked together rather than an Indian speciality so not impressed. Overall bill was surprisingly high but 2 beers each meant £9 ph and with several King prawn orders it was always going to cost on the high side. OK but I doubt it would be a contender for revisit although thanks to Robin for organising.
Brian - Duck tikka starter was good, despite my initial disappointment at the portion size. My fish main was OK - fish obviously a bit overcooked, but that's difficult to avoid in a curry I think. Chapati was very good, not at all dry as they often can be. Veg dishes were also good, and enough of them which meant I got some. Very enjoyable banter as usual. Not a great restaurant in my opinion, but perfectly acceptable on all counts.
Jeff - Curry co-ordinator Robin did a good job here, although there was no Gatta on the menu. Starter of tandoori lamb chops was a bit chewy, but main - of King Prawn rezalla (sorry but this is the first time I've ever had king prawn, I didn't take much persuading by the waiter) - was excellent, although I'm paying the price as I write this with some MAE brought on by the green chillies. The price was a bit lumpy, but perhaps understandable as our tastes seem to have gone upmarket as well. Summary - pretty good, and I'm keen to see how others rate it.
Jon - Good food, but unremarkable and rather pricey. Despite a comment on the menu that the chef could prepare dishes not listed, a request for a simple reshmi kebab could not be accommodated. But the starter I chose, a King Prawn Suka, was very tasty and nicely cooked. My lamb shank main was pleasant but not a patch on the Mehek at its best and the accompaniments were rather average. The service, however, was very efficient and quick, to such an extent that we were done in under two hours - perhaps the lower than usual turnout helped on that front, but it was impressive nonetheless.
Graeme - A capable but unexciting performance by City Spice - there was nothing really to fault and the food was good. It was a bit dear though and I felt it should have been about a fiver per head cheaper. My Prawn Puree starter was very pleasant but could have done with a bit more of a kick. My Chicken Jalfrezi main was, if anything, over spicy but lacking in true flavour - it was just hot, a bit like a Vindaloo. The portions were large though. I didn't appreciate the waiter trying to talk me into having a more expensive starter but, other than that, the service was efficient. We had another childish but amusing round of synchronised texting to some of the absentees. I wonder if Robin's new job is, in fact, with Transport for London as he was banging on about the benefits of the nearby City Thameslink station for most of the evening.
Tim - City Spice is a fairly small, narrow restaurant near St Pauls. It was fairly quiet when we were there, though a few people came in later. Poppadoms arrived with a generous quantity of accompaniments. The raita was thicker than normal (consistency of greek yoghurt) and arrived in a little gravy boat, which was more convenient than the usual runny stuff with the little spoon that drips sauce all over the tablecloth. The duck tikka starter looked quite small compared with the other starters, and the first piece of meat I had was a little tough, but overall it had a good flavour; more interesting than the usual chicken tikka. The main course of chicken rezalla, had some large chunks of chicken in a thick sauce. It didn't have big pieces of onion as is sometimes the case; it looked like the ingredients had been pureed, apart from some welcome green chillies. The peshwari nan was OK, though not the largest I've ever seen. A mixed vegetable curry side dish made a nice change in addition to the usual sag aloo and mushroom bhaji. Service was good: drinks, including tap water, arrived within a minute of being requested. Food was also quicker than usual to arrive, but this may be because we were a smaller group than is usually the case.