|Name:||Herb & Spice|
|Address:||11 White's Row|
|London E1 7NF|
|Phone:||020 7247 4050|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 24 Feb 2000|||||2. 29 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|
|Visit Number:||139 (visit 9 of 10 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||27 Oct 2011|
|Cost per head:||£25.00 (1.5 beers)|
|Jeff||8||8||4||4||8||8||6||7||8||6.6||See Jeff's comments|
|Jon||7||9||7||8||7||7||8||8||8||7.7||See Jon's comments|
|Mark||6||7||6||7||8||4||5||6||7||6.1||See Mark's comments|
|Neil||4||6||5||7||3||8||7||8||8||6.3||See Neil's comments|
|Graeme||7||4||6||2||5||6||4||6||2||4.5||See Graeme's comments|
|Tim||5||3||6||7||8||7||8||7||8||6.7||See Tim's comments|
|Dave||6||7||6||9||9||8||10||8||8||8.1||See Dave's comments|
Jeff - Our first visit to the H & S for a while. A slight odour of paint greeted us along with a rather empty restaurant, to which we brought our own ambience, and much fun we had too. Lucky it didn't get busy, as there was only one waiter, a very nice man who has been with the restaurant for many years. We took advantage of the offer on the door of a free cobra each plus free poppadom and chutney, which must have helped keep the price down by say £5 a head to a very acceptable £25. These all arrived quickly. However, I was a little disappointed by the quality of some of the food. My king prawn butterfly was mostly breadcrumbs, and my Shabzi lamb main a little chewy, and not particularly either herby or spicy. But rice and nan were pretty good, and the vegetables fresh, even if the aubergine looked like mushroom! I am still surprised that Cobra is their only beer on offer. Overall it is always a pleasure to go to the Herb(s) for its quirkiness, but quality and delivery-wise I think it may be being left behind by some of the swankier restaurants around now.
Jon - A return to an old favourite and it turned in a very good performance. Being seated in the old part of the restaurant (albeit refurbished) definitely improves the ambience and, consequently, the overall experience. It was good to see a traditional menu, and I was impressed with the reshmi kebab starter (not on the menu) and my kali mirch murgh main course. Both very tasty with the chicken main course having a nice kick to it. The accompaniments were all good with a special mention due for the excellent veg dishes. And all this for a reasonable price, no doubt helped by the free beer offer!
Mark - What is the difference between herbs or spice? Does Graeme pop more pills than Pete Docherty and didn't Jon (LOTL) used to be a 'football' fan? Lively and enjoyable session in the pub where we all failed to pull any bird to fill our 8th seat was followed by a pleasant but unmemorable meal. Smell of paint was not a great start but the 'feature wall' of mock flock looked good. Mixed kebab starter was nice and chunky but chicken was a bit tough. Main of plain old chicken curry was very runny and rice was a bit dry. Suprised at the overall price as H&S used to be a bargin but must have raised prices to pay for the extra S that seems to have been added to the name. Bread (Nan) was good but overall H&S did not do enough for me to justify top 6 return.
Neil - Back to the old school! Meeting in the King's Stores and wandering over to The Herb & Spice, now called The Herbs and Spice. Seems only one herb is now used. The waiter was, as normal, uninterested and even went outside half way through ordering to talk to his friend for a bit. Food generally very good, except the keema naan which had no filling, was very nice as a plain naan but not what I was expecting. Only one choice of beer but it was Cobra so no issue and the first one was free, excellent stuff! It was good to sit in the old part of the restaurant which now has very nice feature wallpaper.
Graeme - Oh dear. This could have been a triumphant return but, for me at least, it was another slide down the slippery slope for the H&S. The worst thing was the food (which is fairly important really). My starter (I can't remember its name) was 2 pieces of on-the-bone chicken. The taste was OK but there was so little meat that it wouldn't have filled a desert spoon. There was nothing else on the plate, and it cost £4.50! The chicken in my Jalfrezi was so chewy that it spoilt the dish for me. The service was effective, although there were a couple of noticable delays. The ambience, even in the original part of the restaurant, has lost some of its cosiness with the very recent (judging by the smell) re-decoration. It wasn't even particularly cheap given the free large Cobra and poppadoms deal. In spite of all of this, it was a cracking night - plenty of reminiscing about TV programs that we grew up with, esp. Monty Python, Morecambe & Wise and Benny Hill. Marvellous!
Tim - After previous complaints about lack of atmosphere in the new part of the restaurant, this time we had a table booked in the original, low-ceilinged part. It had been recently redecorated (we could still smell the paint), and while clean and smart, it didn't feel especially cosy and inviting, particularly with the rather bright lighting. There's still no choice of beer (only Cobra), but as a large bottle was included free with the meal, I can't complain too much. Poppadoms were fine, and it was good to see generous portions of accompaniments, including lime pickle, which seems to be getting rarer these days. For the starter, I had prawn puri, which was OK, but nothing special. Main of chicken achari was generous and quite tasty, though rather salty. Peshwari nan was good. Service was a bit mixed. The one person "front of house" was helpful and friendly, but was trying to do everything at once: in the middle of taking an order, he stopped to answer the phone, and on another occasion, stopped to show someone out. Also, the food took quite a while to arrive. Overall the value for money was good, but I don't think the overall experience was quite as good as it used to be.
Dave - Enjoyable outing to the Herbs and spice. As always the Murg Curry and Prawn Puree were top drawer and the one-waiter service managed to just about keep pace (however I do think he would have struggled with any more customers). Deserves to return to the top six fold. Would be number one if they a) employed more staff b) bought back proper hot towels c) introduced some draught beer options 4) shut down the extension.