Name: Sheba
Area: Brick Lane
Address: 136 Brick Lane
London E1 6RU
Phone: 020 7247 7824

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 29 Jun 2000|2. 25 Jan 2001|3. 26 Sep 2002|4. 31 Jul 2003|5. 25 Mar 2004
6. 29 Jun 2006|7. 25 Feb 2010

It's gone 9:30pm and the starters have only just arrived.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 119 (visit 7 of 7 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 25 Feb 2010
Cost per head: £21.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 2.6 5.5 6.0 5.0 6.4 5.6 6.0 6.3 5.3 5.46
Mark 2 6 7 7 5 8 6 6 6.2 See Mark's comments
Jeff 1 1 5 2 5 4 5 1 3.1 See Jeff's comments
John 1 2 3 1 1 3 2 2 2 1.9 See John's comments
Robin 4 7 6 6 7 5 2 7 6 5.2 See Robin's comments
Jon 2 8 7 5 6 8 8 8 8 6.7 See Jon's comments
Dave 5 8 6 5 9 7 9 7 8 7.2 See Dave's comments
Graham (Guest) 3 7 5 7 8 8 7 6.6 See Graham's comments
Graeme 1 4 7 5 7 6 8 7 2 5.5 See Graeme's comments
Tim 3 5 7 6 7 6 4 6 6 5.4 See Tim's comments
Alex 4 7 7 8 7 7 7 7 6.8 See Alex's comments

All Comments

Mark - 4 years since we last visited the Sheba and it felt like that long to get served. No plates with the poppadoms and they finally gave us some saucers! Took so long to deliver that our guest forgot what he ordered (nothing to do with the fact that he was half cut). Food was actually fairly good. Lamb chop starter tasty and reasonable size and my No.43 main was as described, hot and sweet due to the chilli content. Rice not the best and service terrible but marked up a point as I agreed with the "arsey look" that he gave Griff. Price reasonable due to discount but overall disappointing. Roll on 2014.

Jeff - Start in Williams Bar where I thought the beer was flat (it's usually very good). Negotiated the rain to arrive at Sheba's past the touts who were braving the weather to get in our way up Brick Lane. El Presidente had already cannily booked Sheba's with 50% off the food - but as it turned out, 100% off would still not have been enough. The downstairs room has been extended and made more pleasant by the addition of red ribbon lights sellotaped to the bench seats around the walls. Not a bad table, but after that - oh dear. We were given less than one menu between two, were not asked for drinks for 15 minutes, 15 minutes later we asked 'can we order some poppadoms' and then two platefuls of plain ones were dumped onto the table, when we said we wanted 7 spicy the waiter picked up 3 poppadoms and handed then to Graeme! We had to ask for plates and then 5 arrived (there were 10 of us), we had to ask for 5 more and were given saucers. We had one half-filled tray of pickles to start with. The 'spicy' poppadoms were the worst I've ever had. After more than an hour we still hadn't ordered and had forgotten what we'd chosen from the menu. Some of the other tables seemed to be having better luck than we were. It was packed as they obviously divert all their efficient staff to touting rather than waiting. At last the food arrived, but I was still disappointed - my prawn puri had all the spice of a shepherd's pie; my lamb shimla (with green beans) had chewy lamb and the beans had obviously been added right at the end as they were almost luminous. Veg and rice completely unmemorable. Griff complained almost unendingly that members should not say 'this is or is not a top 6 restaurant' in their comments so I'll just say this: this was my 51st currymarks trip and this place is not in my top 50.

John - Usual Brick Lane rubbish. Avoid!

Robin - Very slow service we didnt get our starters until wed been there an hour and of course there was the usual silly wait for side dishes after the poppadoms had been brought out. I had a reasonable king prawn puri to start, although the puri was rather stodgy just like last time. My King Prawn Jalfury main course was very disappointing: it contained at most two prawns (artfully hidden among loads of chopped onions) and was unbelievably salty, although it had a bit of a kick. The veg dishes were okay but my special rice was distinctly average. The only good news was the price, no doubt considerably helped by the 50% discount wed obtained when booking. Even so I can only award a slightly above average VFM score and hope not to be returning soon.

Jon - A second return to an old favourite, and the service aside, it was a much better performance from the Sheba. The King Prawn Puree was no better than average but my Chicken Tikka Korai was good, as were the rice and veg, and the 50% discount negotiated by our President made it very good value for money. But the service on the plus side, I think they got the order right, but boy was it slow. I think it was a good 10 minutes before a drink order was taken, we had to ask for popadums and they then assumed we wanted all plain, and Im sure wed been there for 45 minutes before theyd taken our main order. It was still a good night, though, and I think our guest enjoyed it, although I doubt hell remember it.

Dave - Crowded restaurant led to good ambience but lack of staff to cope with a full restaurant resulted in very poor service. This was only rescued slightly by Graham (with an "H") securing free sambukas for the three us left at the end of the evening. The prawn puri was disappointing but the curry and Nan bread were both excellent overall good VFM and I would like to see the Sheba return to the top-six fold.

Graham - Extremely slow, lack of interest from waiters. Did receive complementary Sambucca on asking at the end of the meal.

Graeme - Sheba has smartened itself up since our last (disappointing) visit but needs to improve its service drastically if it wants people to return. We had to wait an age for drinks then poppadoms then plates for the poppadoms then relishes for the poppadoms then to place our orders. The waiter was not just busy but was disrespectful. He randomly brought two piles of plain poppadoms then, when we told him how many we actually wanted, he took away one pile and topped up the remainder by giving me 2 poppadoms IN MY HAND. When I asked for plates for the poppadoms, I was given a pile of 5 plates (presumably for me to lay the table myself). As there were 10 of us, we had to ask again and eventually the other 5 were brought saucers to use. I have generously marked the service as 1 on the basis that our food was correctly delivered to us when it eventually arrived. The food was actually very good (especially my Garlic Chicken Grill Bhuna main) but it was impossible to overlook the appalling service.

Tim - We had a table for 10 in the basement, which has been expanded somewhat since our last visit (& now has proper air conditioning instead of a floor-standing fan, though not much need for that in February). The place looks quite smart with its technicolour LED lighting, though the plasma TV & lack of pictures make it seem more like a bar than a restaurant. The place was busy, & shortly after arriving all the tables were taken. However it looks like they are not geared-up for this number of people. They ran out of menus - it was fifteen minutes or so before we had a menu each (& the menu is huge - there are 177 items on it). The poppadoms were nice & fresh, but they brought them without asking if people wanted plain or spicy ones, & initially there were no side plates, and just one set of condiments to share between 10 people. Drinks ordering was similarly haphazard - six people got their drinks after ten minutes or so, with the remainder delivered some time later. After further waiting, the starters arrived (over an hour after we arrived). I had "king" prawn puri. Not sure what the definition of king prawn is, but these were pretty small. The puri was rather doughy, perhaps the dough was too thick? I would also have preferred a little salad with it. The main course of kali hari mirch murghi was described as chicken in a bhuna sauce with chillies. Unfortunately it was more than 50% onion; I've had more chicken in a starter, & at 10.95 it's hugely over-priced. Vegetables were unmemorable (despite the huge menu, there were no unusual vegetable dishes), rice & nan were pretty standard. I've marked the service down because of the long waits, and piecemeal delivery, although I think it would have been a lot better if the place were less busy. With the TopTable discount of 50%, the overall price wasn't bad, but without it, this place would be very expensive, & not justified by the quality.

Alex - Service way too slow. Food was decent.

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