Name: Gulshan
Area: Spitalfields
Address: 11 Sandy's Row
London E1 7HW
Phone: 020 7247 2818

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 27 Jan 2000|2. 8 Jan 2004|3. 14 Jan 2010|4. 27 May 2010|5. 31 Mar 2011

Ever the perfectionist, John practices his drinking technique.
Just look at that high elbow - you can't teach that.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 122 (visit 4 of 5 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 May 2010
Cost per head: £25.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.0 5.8 7.6 7.6 6.0 7.3 7.1 7.3 7.7 7.09
Jeff 7 6 8 8 5 6 6 7 7 6.7 See Jeff's comments
Robin 7 7 8 8 6 9 7 7 9 7.5 See Robin's comments
John 4 3 7 6 5 6 5 7 6 5.4 See John's comments
NicknEd (Guest) 8 7 7 10 8 8 9 9 9 8.5 See NicknEd's comments
Graeme 9 4 7 8 3 7 8 7 6 6.8 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 5 6 8 7 5 8 6 5 7 6.3 See Dominic's comments
Mark 7 5 7 8 8 7 7 8 7.2 See Mark's comments
Dave 7 8 9 9 8 7 8 8 9 8.1 See Dave's comments
Jon 8 7 7 7 7 7 8 7 9 7.5 See Jon's comments
Alex 8 7 7 8 7 8 8 8 7.7 See Alex's comments
Tim 7 4 8 5 7 6 8 7 6.4 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Jeff - I'd managed to miss all our previous visits to this place, somehow, so a new experience for me.  It was bigger than I imagined, and with it being a series of connected areas it was hard to se if anyone else was there or not. Service was pretty efficient and friendly.  The whole place and experience was unpretentious with no fancy-shaped plates, jus, strange menu choices, and so on - to be honest this made a nice change.  Draft Kingfisher - nice. Mixed kebab starter was pleasantly meaty, but the chicken jeera was less hot than I thought it would be and featured chicken cut up so small I though it was prawns, so that was a disappointment.  Still plenty of it though.  My chapati was a bit doughy and came up cold as I think they forgot to bring it out, but with 12 of us that was not surprising.  Altogether a basic sort of place, worth going to if in the vicinity, and streets ahead of the nearby Dil Chad, but nothing special.

Robin - Good service despite there being a dozen of us; attentive but not overbearing. Nice to see that they still have draught Kingfisher available. My King Prawn Puree starter was pretty good, but my main of Lamb Tikka Korai was slightly let down by a couple of chewy bits of lamb and the rest seemed ever so slightly undercooked; if the meat had been uniformly tender I would probably have scored this a 10 because the sauce was superb. Nice vegetable dishes, although rather greasy, and the Keema nan was pleasant enough although a little dry. The special rice was excellent. I hope this stays in our top 6 but maybe next time I'll go back to the rather good Kali Mirch Chicken.

John - Not as good as last time. Fairly good kp purree but the Chicken Jerra was average - a bit over-cooked. I knocked a point from the service mark as they were too tight to give us a round a freebie drinks at the end.

NicknEd - NICK: I had the Lamb kebab for a starter. It was spicy! Nothing to make you start tearing up, but enough to numb your mouth and breathe fire. I love spicy food and they had this one just right. The spices did not overwhelm the taste of the meat at all, which was thoroughly cooked to my liking (sufficiently moist, tender, and not too dry). My main course was the lamb Lamb jezebel (excuse my terrible spelling). Very good dish in my opinion. The meat was amazing. Coming from the States, I've always complained about British beef but after having this dish, I'm willing to praise British lamb (if there's such a thing). The meat was tender and the curry surrounding it went excellent with nan and rice. This place puts many of the Indian places around Angel, where I live, to shame. As for value for the money, it is definitely a hit. I can't wait to go back here again. ED: The restaurant was pretty low-key.  Without a large patronage last night, the waiters did a good job tending to us - although this also meant not a lot of ambience.  The King Prawn Puri was simply excellent.  It had the perfect combination of texture and flavor, sweet and spicy.  The nan and rice were good and standard.  The chicken tikka masala was good, but its sauce was strangely similar to marinara sauce.  More chicken to sauce would have been preferred.  Thanks all for a great first curry night out.

Graeme - The Gulshan undersells itself with its lack of ambience. It was, at least, clean but lacking in any decorative features. However, the food was pretty good. My mixed Tandoori starter was tender & tasty and there was a decent quantity. For the first time in my curry-eating history (I think), I had a King Prawn main course - a Madras. It was actually quite reasonably priced (£7.50?) but I got clearance from El Presidente first as I didn't want to be thought of as being too extravagant! Unfortunately, the Peshwari Nan was a bit dry and didn't have enough coconut. The service was excellent: quick, efficient and effective. All-in-all, a very good experience although not quite as good as our previous visit. Many thanks to Jeff for helping me with my menu selections - my glasses being 'unavailable' (in my rucksack and buried under a pile of bags)!

Dominic - Unlike our last visit we were in one of the main rooms which was comfortable but that was about it. And the service seemed less attentive though this may have been more about the reluctance for a round of drinks. The Tikka platter was fine without being extraordinary which also summed up my Chicken Xacuti main. The special rice was the pick of the rest especially as it was plentiful. The wine was nicely priced as well. But while the conversation was as enjoyable as ever the evening all in all wasn't as good as our January visit.

Mark - The Gulshan turned in another solid 2010 performance only a few months after our last outing. Although we were the only customers at 7.45pm the dozen of us usually results in delays to serve. However, all seemed fine at my end of the table. Starter was a good mix as before and my main of plain lamb curry was good if a bit lacking in kick. Mushroom rice was very good as it was not oily like some. Considering how near it is to the City I was again surprised at the low cost. It shows you do not need fancy decor and high prices to deliver. Nothing fancy, but I enjoyed it.

Dave - I was impressed with my revisit to the birthplace of Currymarks, although as a founder father of the Curry club I was upset not to see a blue plaque above the original table where we met for the first time in Jan 2000.  The Prawn Puri and draught Kingfisher were particular highlights as was the more reasonable price tag in comparison to recent visits to other establishments.

Jon - A solid performance from the Gulshan at a very reasonable price given its City location. I enjoyed a decent mixed starter followed by a very good Chilli/Kalli(?) Mirch Chicken; extremely tasty with a decent kick. The presence of a couple of our former colonial cousins made for an interesting evening's conversation.

Alex - Good food and good value.

Tim - The Gulshan feels awkwardly laid out, as though a couple of buildings have been knocked together. The plain decor, and paucity of other customers, meant the place rather lacked ambience. Service however was efficient, and it was nice to see draft Kingfisher, and a reasonably-priced wine list. Starter of chicken pakora consisted of thin disks of chicken covered in some sort of crispy coating, served with lettuce and raita. It was a reasonable size, but unfortunately the chicken was rather chewy and dry. Main course of chicken imli was quite unusual - small pieces of chicken in a thick, dark, and rather sweet sauce. It was described as medium hot, but I thought it was rather mild. I liked the bhindi (okra) side dish. The overall cost was quite reasonable, and although the food was nothing special, I think a different selection may have been better.

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