Name: Chawol
Status: Closed
Area: Clerkenwell
Address: 5 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1M 5PA
Phone: 020 7490 4468

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 28 Oct 2010

"You're fired!"
Alan Sugar was not impressed with this restaurant.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 127 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 28 Oct 2010
Cost per head: £30.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.4 6.3 6.7 7.1 6.8 6.9 6.4 6.1 5.9 6.54
Mark 7 7 6 8 8 7 6 5 6.8 See Mark's comments
Jon 8 5 7 8 7 7 8 8 8 7.4 See Jon's comments
Jeff 8 7 6 10 8 6 6 7 7.3 See Jeff's comments
Graeme 5 6 6 3 6 6 6 6 3 5.2 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 6 7 8 6 5 4 5 4 5 5.5 See Dominic's comments
Tim 5 6 7 8 7 7 7 7 7 6.9 See Tim's comments
Alex 6 7 6 5 7 5 6 5 5.7 See Alex's comments
Neil 6 6 6 7 7 8 5 4 5 6.0 See Neil's comments
Ed (Guest) 7 6 8 9 7 9 9 8 8 8.0 See Ed's comments

All Comments

Mark - Having cycled across from Whitechapel on a Boris bike I was certainly up for a few beers and a good curry and glad to say I was not dissappointed. The Sutton Arms was a good old boozer with some lovely Tiger on special and our first visit to the Chawol was positive. Starter of Chicken Chilliry was plentiful and spicy, a pleasent new dish to try. Main of Lamb Tikka with mushroom rice did not have the normal look as the meat was very big lumps and looked more stewed but the end result was reasonably tender and tasted good as well. Rice was above average and not soggy or oily. Glad to see Jon making full use of his camera to capture Graeme's new style look. Overall a bit pricey - must have been the King Prawn dishes even if the usual consumer was absent?

Jon - First impressions are often misleading. The restaurant being empty wasn't a good start and the first sight of my main course was less than appetising, but both turned out to be very good. The ambience may have been lacking due to the absence of any other patrons until well into our visit, but the service was good, the menu interesting and the food generally impressive. I had a very nice King Prawn Butterfly to start followed by the Murgh Pura (I think). The sauce was an uninviting shade of camouflage greeny brown, but it was very tasty and the chicken, served as a whole breast, was very nicely done. All the accompaniments were good, and I did enjoy a few pints of Everard's Tiger in the Sutton Arms beforehand.

Jeff - Pre-curry the Sutton featured a proper 'Yes Guv' landlord who greeted you with a smile as he took £3.70 for a pint of Pride. Brief walk to smart but quiet restaurant. We had a nice view over the busy junction outside. Service was friendly.  Usual beers, no draft.  I had starter of Chat Potti 'Bangladeshi Street Food' and really nice it was too - a mixture of noodles, chick peas, rice, nuts, and other tasty stuff.  A bit like a cooked bombay mix.  In contrast I went for a more traditional main of rogan josh which was quite good - the lamb was tasty and not at all chewy.  I didn't get much vegetables so I won't mark those - I shared a garlic nan with Alex and it was also good.  So not a bad evening at all - the bill at £30 is an average price these days and I will be interested to see how others mark it.

Graeme - Although I enjoyed my meal and (of course) the company, I thought that Chawol was not as good as many of the places we have been to so far this year. My Gouvan Crab (spicy minced crab) starter was too 'wet', not particularly tasty and not hot enough - being served on a very cold plate didn't help. My Chicken Pathia main was really just a chicken curry. This is normally one of my favourite Indian dishes but it did not live up to my expectations here. The service was a bit slow considering how quiet the restaurant was. Everything else was average-to-OK but nothing to get excited about. It was good to see Ed again - judging by his expanded waistline, life in NY is treating him well!

Dominic - The Chawol is a modern eatery very near the Barbican. However, the service was a little "hot and cold" with delays one moment and attentive waiters the next. My starter of King Prawn Puree was plentiful but not all that flavoursome and certainly didn't contain large prawns. My main of Crab Massala was somewhat runny as if only a sauce with the sides just being OK. Pick of the evening was the reasonably priced wine and of course the conversation though I am afraid VFM this is not! Good to see Ed once more although not sure about the Danish–American accent! Also not sure that the after-dinner "carry on" will be a regular event – ahem, Tim and Ed!

Tim - Chawol is smart, new-looking restaurant, which was mostly empty when we arrived. For starter I had chicken chilli fry - it was a good size (as, looking round the table, were most others' starters), and it was tasty, though there wasn't much evidence of chilli. For the main, I had green chilli chicken, which, when it arrived was a disconcerting dark brown colour. It tasted fine, though again there was again a distinct lack of chilli. No complaints about rice, veg or nan. Service was generally OK, although the waiter who brought my water looked somewhat annoyed and plonked the water down in a rather ungracious manner. Overall cost was quite reasonable.

Alex - Not impressed by that restaurant. Not sure how they managed to achieve cold food when it wasn't so busy. Flavour for main not bad but should have been above room temperature…

Neil - Below average curry house. Under cooked potatoes in Sag Aloo and over cooked lamb in Rogan, yuck! All this could have been forgotten, however, if the advertised Elvis impersonator had bothered to show.

Ed - Having been out of the UK for a few months the chance to get a great British Curry with great company was too good to pass up! Although a surfeit of lager tempered my memory somewhat; this really did not disappoint, especially the Chicken Madras. The Madras' subtlety of flavour was a refreshing change from the pale imitations obtained in Copenhagen and New York. Very good.

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