Name: Herb & Spice
Status: Closed
Area: Spitalfields
Address: 11 White's Row
London E1 7NF
Phone: 020 7247 4050

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 24 Feb 2000|2. 28 Nov 2002|3. 27 Mar 2003|4. 29 Jul 2004|5. 31 Mar 2005
6. 22 Feb 2007|7. 31 Jan 2008|8. 26 Nov 2009|9. 27 Oct 2011|10. 28 Aug 2014

Fast-forward : Is this us in 10 years time?

Visit Report

Visit Number: 116 (visit 8 of 10 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 26 Nov 2009
Cost per head: £27.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 3.0 4.2 6.2 7.0 7.2 7.5 7.1 7.5 6.2 6.33
Mark 2 4 6 2 7 6 6 7 5 5.0 See Mark's comments
Brian 2 4 6 8 8 8 8 7 8 6.8 See Brian's comments
Dave 4 4 5 9 8 9 9 9 7 7.4 See Dave's comments
Robin 4 7 7 8 7 10 8 8 8 7.5 See Robin's comments
Jon 2 7 7 6 8 9 8 8 6 6.9 See Jon's comments
Richard 4 4 6 9 8 7 7 8 6 6.7 See Richard's comments
John 1 3 6 8 5 5 3 7 5 4.8 See John's comments
Dominic 4 2 7 6 7 7 8 5 7 6.1 See Dominic's comments
Graeme 3 3 6 7 6 7 7 8 4 5.9 See Graeme's comments
Tim 4 4 6 7 8 7 7 8 6 6.4 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Mark - A real shame. The expanded Herb has not increased the number of staff so that 1 waiter can not cope with a fairly full restaurant and nor can the chef. Waiting 80 minutes for your starter that was then luke warm at best and tasted a bit off was not a good start. Main meal of Chicken Buhna was also not hot and our party of 11 took so long to serve that some meals sat around for 10 minutes while waiting rice, bread, veg etc. Good food to start can be ruined by leaving lying around. Perhaps by 2011 they may get it right as it could drop out of the top 6. It was still an enjoyable evening, The return of Richard & Dom, Robin with a beard, Tim turning shaggy and Griff almost looking neat. As for Jon's Mackerel question.....

Brian - Food was excellent, service was very slow. Bring back the hippy waiter!

Dave - The herb continues to deliver top-quality food on all fronts but is now let-down by a limited selection of beer (Cobra,Cobra or Cobra), poor service (I may as well have ordered a take-away nan bread to eat on the train home), and general lack of ambience in the main restaurant area.

Robin - Sublime food, pity that the service let it down somewhat. Had a really good king prawn puri to start, followed by xacuti chicken; lovely sour flavour with a bit of bite. The special rice was superb and still the best around in my view. The vegetable dishes were also excellent and I particularly enjoyed the combination of the mushroom bhaji and the aubergine dish. Ambience was good – the place was fairly full – but presumably as a consequence of that the service was very slow indeed and the meal took getting on for 3 hours. The bill came to £27 per head: excellent value for money.

Jon - As always with the H&S, the food was very good, but with one waiter serving a restaurant with about 25 people in it, the service was always likely to be slow. The starter of an off-menu reshmi kebab was good, but I’ve had better, but the rest of the food was excellent. The Kali Mirch Murgh main course was spicy, peppery and very tasty, the veg and keema nan good as always and the special rice was excellent. Good banter as usual and it was an enjoyable evening despite the incredibly slow service.

Richard - The waiters were rather rude when asked why we had been waiting 1 and a quarter hours for our starter. Yes we want it fresh, but not 1 hour late! The ambience has always been strange I find – quiet and oddly shaped. Mixed starter was tasty and a good size, and the main of Chicken Jeera and sides were all good standard. Good food let down by service and ambience.

John - Average food, rubbish service, good company.

Dominic - Although it is understandable that this venue should expand as it is a popular eatery I'm afraid if you are seated in the newer area then this can be a little soulless. Especially if you are near the toilets and are wedged into a table with little space. And the lack of service didn't help either. But the food is still quite good. I had the King Prawn Puri (no surprise there!), however, although tasty the prawns were anything but King. My Chicken Xacuti was quite good (and I even had a bit of Jon's Black Pepper Chicken which was also good) with the Nan and the special fried rice being the standouts. The wine was also reasonably priced. The food is still very good here but I'm afraid the service (lack thereof) will probably demote this venue.

Graeme - Disappointing! The once mighty (or, at least, very good) H&S has lost two of its main assets: the intimate ambience of its original tiny proportions and the feeling of getting a personal service. The 'extension' is too open with an unnecessarily high ceiling and is too brightly lit. With only one waiter to serve 11 of us, two other large tables plus miscellaneous others, the service was ridiculously slow. At least he managed to serve all the right dishes, although Griff had to wait for his Nan. I had a (special order) Reshmi Kebab to start, with Chicken Picklish for main - both were good without being special. The Picklish is a contrived Anglo-curry with a pickle 'theme' - it sounded interesting and was well cooked but I wouldn't choose it again. The conversation covered football trivia which lead onto the definition of vowels and consonants and the spelling of "Luton" which apparently does not contain the letter "M" - I must remember that for future reference!

Tim - We were again seated in the extended part of the restaurant - a clean, but rather austere and awkward space. There was a poor selection of beer - only Cobra, though the wine was reasonably priced. Popadoms arrived fairly promptly, but then the waiting started. It was half an hour after arriving before our order was taken, a further 45 minutes before starters arrived, and at least another half hour before the main courses. I don't know whether this was a ploy to get people to drink more, or they were short-staffed in the kitchen, but no explanation was forthcoming, and the waiter seemed rather off-hand about it. The food, when it arrived, was pretty good. Chicken chat starter was quite spicy and a good size, though I would have preferred larger pieces of chicken in it. Main course of murgh methi had a nice flavour, but I found the lamb a bit tough. Vegetables and nan were good. There was no free round of drinks at the end of the meal, and this, coupled with the slow service, meant that the meal overall was a bit disappointing, particularly compared with previous visits.

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