|Address:||57 Aldgate High Street|
|London EC3N 1AL|
|Phone:||020 7480 7402|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 24 Apr 2003|||||2. 25 Nov 2004|||||3. 29 Sep 2005|||||4. 27 Jul 2006|||||5. 27 Aug 2009|
|6. 31 May 2012|
|Visit Number:||113 (visit 5 of 6 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||27 Aug 2009|
|Cost per head:||£23.00 (2 beers)|
|Mark||8||6||5||5||8||7||7||6||9||6.6||See Mark's comments|
|Graeme||6||7||6||7||7||8||8||7||9||7.3||See Graeme's comments|
|Robin||7||7||6||9||9||7||10||9||10||8.4||See Robin's comments|
|Jeff||7||8||5||4||7||6||5||9||6.2||See Jeff's comments|
|Tim||8||6||7||7||7||7||8||8||9||7.5||See Tim's comments|
|Dominic||7||8||6||7||6||5||7||6||8||6.7||See Dominic's comments|
|Richard||6||6||5||6||5||5||3||5||7||5.1||See Richard's comments|
Mark - Like an old flame that still catches the eye on my daily walk up to Whitechapel led me to suggest the Kasturi for a revist. The Toptable attraction of 50% discount was also an encouragement given that price was one of the downsides here previously although the food had always been good. My Crab starter was pleasent but not something I would order again. A bit small and not really to my taste. Chicken biryani main was better and very well presented and accompanied by a very sweet nan. First beer could have been colder but second was better. Overall I thought this was a good outing but perhaps not top 6? Conversation was dominated by our Ashes victory as Dom sat in the corner and suffered. What would it be like if we had beaten a good team?
Graeme - On our previous visit, the consensus was that the food was good but let down by poor service and expensive price. This time, the food was still good, the service better (although not great) and the price was very reasonable (mainly due to the 50% discount on the food negotiated by El Presidente when booking in advance). The waiter taking our order insisted on using the menu numbers rather than the names of the dishes. Then when the food was brought to the table, the waiters didn't seem to know what many of the main courses were, although I think everybody did end up with the right dish in the end. I had a 1* to start and a 15* for main. The 1 was nice but wasn't quite special enough based on the write-up and price on the menu. The 15 was tasty and well-cooked with tender chicken but was a bit mild for me. I was pleased to have the opportunity of explaining swing and reverse swing to Robin and Tim in the pub beforehand (putting my cricket coaching course to good use!) but felt I was unsuccessful in getting the multi-dimensional attraction of the game across to Tim who had the rather jaundiced view that cricket was all about ball-tampering and other dodgy practices. * Kebab-Ke-Karishma (mixed platter for two) & Zeera Chicken.
Robin - Having previously fallen out of the top 6 the Kasturi has returned to favour big time in my view. No long delays, orders all taken correctly and a 50% discount off the price of the food were most definitely steps in the right direction. I had the Mixed Sheekh Kebab to start ("kebabs of mindly spiced minced of chicken and lamb"), which was excellent. Then I ventured a main dish called Koh-e-avadh, allegedly "... a pair of elegantly exposed lamb shanks DUM ...", and DUM, when I enquired, was explained to mean "off the bone". Well they weren’t lamb shanks and they were certainly not off the bone, but they were absolutely delicious and the sauce they were in was fantastic – really meaty but spicy too. The veg dishes were all very, very good (and the selection available is fairly unusual), and although they couldn’t provide my preferred choice of special rice the mushroom rice was also pretty good. Even my chapati was a premium example of its type. Only bottled beer was available, but it was good and cold. And the price – wonderfully inexpensive and a far cry from most City curry houses today! A maximum VFM score from me, which I think may well be my first.
Jeff - My third trip to this restaurant - it was pleasant, but not particularly memorable. The restaurant, unusually, was staffed by gentlemen even older than us. The usual poppodoms (good pickles) and bottled beer choices. A nice selection of strange shaped serving dishes. Starter of shami kebab was a disappointing, mushy affair. Main course of chicken zeera was tasty but a little small, rice and veg ok - but as on my previsous visit the bhindi bhaji was crispy - it must be the way they serve it here. El Presidente had got 50% off food on toptable, bringing the price down to £21 each - great, I thought, but over the evening I annoyingly managed to lose a tenner (possibly to the whip) so it might as well have been £31!! At £21, this is a place worth going to.
Tim - The service was attentive from the moment we arrived. Poppadoms arrived very quickly, though the plain ones were not completely crispy - they'd obviously been made earlier. Starter of Kebab-ke-Karishma was an interesting selection of meats. The minced chicken roll suffered from the usual problem of looking rather anaemic, and the chop was a bit short on meat, but I can't fault the taste or overall quantity. The main course of chicken shahjahani was good, though I didn't find the sauce particularly spicy. The crispy okra, and baby aubergine in peanut sauce side dishes weren't bad either. A free round of drinks at the end, and Mark's TopTable discount made for overall excellent value for money.
Dominic - This was my second visit to this eatery which I very much enjoyed the first time around. The decor is modern and spacious but unfortunately we had a table near the door rather than the main part of the restaurant. Without remembering what I had last time it just so happened that I picked the same dishes - the Crab Masala starter was quite good although a bit on the small side while the Murgh Shahjahani (stuffed Chicken dish) was tasty without being extraordinary. No special rice was a disappointment, however, the mushrooms laced with garlic did deserve a mention. The wine was fair but a bit pricey but the 50% food discount and free round of drinks were very much appreciated. A good eatery but not as enjoyable as last time out.
Richard - Starter of mixed sheek kebab was fine, non-vegetarian thali was a little disappointing, as the curries were a bit bland and the peshwari nan was slightly greasy. VFM was good, but mainly due to the 50% discount from top table and the Dom beer drinkers’ subsidy, so VFM mark was not as low as it would be for "everyday low prices".