Name: The Shampan
Status: Closed
Area: Brick Lane
Address: 79 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL
Phone: 020 7375 0475

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 30 Oct 2003|2. 27 May 2004|3. 28 Jul 2005|4. 28 Feb 2008|5. 26 Apr 2012
6. 28 Mar 2013|7. 29 May 2014|8. 30 Jul 2015|9. 28 Jan 2016

A blast from the past ...
Some of the old-timers in Brick Lane.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 145 (visit 5 of 9 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 26 Apr 2012
Cost per head: £26.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.9 6.7 7.9 6.2 6.0 6.9 7.3 6.5 7.8 6.93
Graeme 8 8 9 5 7 7 9 7 9 7.7 See Graeme's comments
Jeff 8 5 10 3 5 6 7 8 6.4 See Jeff's comments
Alex 8 8 7 6 7 8 7 8 7.4 See Alex's comments
John 8 9 8 7 7 8 9 9 9 8.2 See John's comments
Robin 6 6 8 6 5 7 8 6 9 6.9 See Robin's comments
Dave 6 6 9 4 6 6 7 6 8 6.4 See Dave's comments
Dominic 7 8 9 9 7 8 6 9 7.9 See Dominic's comments
Neil 7 7 7 7 7 9 9 7 9 7.8 See Neil's comments
Brian 8 7 7 7 4 6 4 7 7 6.1 See Brian's comments
Paul A. (Guest) 5 7 6 9 6 7 6 5 7 6.5 See Paul A.'s comments
Richard 6 4 8 6 6 6 6 5 6 5.9 See Richard's comments
Tim 6 5 7 5 7 7 6 5 6.1 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Graeme - The Shampan is one of my favourite curry houses. It's got a bit of a 'lived-in' charm, a friendly atmosphere, good food, 2 Indian beers on draft and is reasonably priced. In fact, it's a throwback to the good old days of Brick Lane. This was another good meal for me, albeit (partially) let down by my starter. I had the King Prawn Puree which was very tasty but there were just not enough prawns. The service was good and friendly but I stopped short of giving it a 9 or 10 as when the waiters brought the food to the table they asked "Who ordered the ...". They should know that! For main I had the Sylheti Jalfrezi Chicken which was pretty damn good, quite garlicky, the chicken very tender. Another plus point for the Shampan is that it doesn't follow the rest of the Brick Lane restaurants which have pimps outside offering tempting discounts on previously inflated prices. WYSIWYG!

Jeff - Still a choice of 2 draft indian beers - Cobra and Kingfisher - which is the best thing about this restaurant really. The food was of mostly average quality, particular lows being the oily spicy poppadoms and a weird king prawn puri. The room was a bit shabby, but the service was likeable, and the price reasonable.

Alex - Good value and chunky portions. Busy place but not too noisy. Starter was cooler and chewier than it should be but flavour good. Main was an interesting minor variation on a Jalfrezi.

John - Excellent - best place on Brick Lane. Superb Chicken Tikka Bhuna.

Robin - Service wasn't that great and I had to mark the ambience down a bit because there was another table squashed against the back of my chair, but the food was pleasant enough without being exceptional. I had the King Prawn Puri to start: 3 medium sized prawns, nowhere near enough; 6 would have done the job nicely, but quite tasty, then the Sylheti Chicken Jalfrezi, which was as good as last time (a little over 4 years ago!) and there was plenty of it. The veg dishes were a bit on the greasy side and the Keema Nan, although very tasty, could have been assembled by a 5 year old (actually my 3 year old granddaughter would have done a better job) and half the meat fell out as soon as I cut it in half. The Special Rice was nice enough (no bits of meat though - just peas and egg), but the price was right; £2 less than our last visit, hence the high VFM score.

Dave - Good points – Draught Kingfisher + £25 a head price tag.  Bad Points – bit rundown, pathetic hot towels, rubbish Prawn Puri (served in a tin bowl!).

Dominic - Although I have visited this eatery off-piste a few times it was my first visit as an official member on a Curry night. And it was once again an enjoyable experience with quite a lively atmosphere in what was a very full house. The service was a tad slow at first (they hadn't set up our table despite booking and we were waiting a little while for our orders to be taken) but overall was good. I decided on the Lamb Chop starter and given my "microscopic" experience at the Anokha last month asked for an extra chop – I needn't have worried as all three were plentiful and tasty! My main of King Prawn Sag didn't appear very "Kingy" but very tasty and quite a bit of it nonetheless. Rice and sides were fine with the St Emilion red being excellent and very good value. A free round of drinks without much fuss was also a nice touch. Not sure why there always seems to be a "plethora of poonanee" but always appreciated! And good to see my guest doing what he does best in social situations: annoying everyone! All in all a very enjoyable night and fingers crossed that this is also a shared view.

Neil - I get the feeling this venue is slightly hit and miss on the food front given the comments on our journey there. That said, my main course (lamb rogan) and rice (special) were exceptionally good and the now relatively low price makes this hard to beat. Stay off the specials maybe? Starter (mixed tikka) had one chewy piece but made up for it by the novel coconut fifth(!) poppadom chutney, lovely! Pre-curry drinks included a discussion about the Higgs boson and the nature of mass, probably the most intelligent conversation ever had in that pub. I think Tim and Alex even understood what they were talking about, Richard and I bluffed it out. Top night all round, even if I lose a tenner on the best film/album bet with Paul.

Brian - I've learnt (finally) not to order anything "unusual" at this restaurant. Previously, my spring chicken was the stuff of legend.  At this outing, I went for a fish main, which whilst reasonably tasty, was too small and full of bones, which were difficult to locate due to the thick sauce. Next time, I will do a Griff, and go for a chicken curry. My chapati was far too crisp in places.  Starter of a potato ball mixed with minced lamb was OK, as were the veg dishes. Service was good - I asked for a pint of water, which took less than a minute to arrive.

Paul A. - Started off in a very underwhelming boozer - The Williams in Artillery Lane. Don't go there. It's an old-school, dull boozer with few redeeming features. Walking past The Ten Bells on the way to The Shampan reminded us of what could have been... The Shampan is like a lot of other restaurants in Brick Lane. Very little seems to separate them. You could go to any one and not notice the difference in food, premises, booze, etc. Here, however, my starter of Lamb Aloo Chop was really very, very good. We'd booked a table, which wasn't ready, so some tables were put together in a not totally satisfactory way at my end. My Kingfisher was cold and kept on flowing well throughout the evening, but seemed lacking in any real taste – perhaps I just haven't noticed before! Apart from my starter, the food - including chicken jalfrezi - was very average. The restaurant was busy with a good buzzy atmosphere and the bill seemed smaller than I'd expected. The discussion around film recommendations was interesting and I will certainly be watching "The Departed" on LoveFilm. This was my second time with the CurryMarks Club and the banter and hospitality was even better than my first time at the Lahore Kebab House.

Richard - An average performance, but it is good to have even that level on Brick Lane these days. A typical cramped and shabby place with sticky plastic menus, but then again a choice of Kingfisher or Cobra and it seems to be very popular. My Nawabi Chicken Chat followed by Meat Thali were fine, as were side dishes, at a mid-market price. All-in-all nothing to complain about but nothing to stand out either.

Tim - The Shampan is not a large restaurant, and our table for 12 proved difficult to accommodate; it ended up with one person stuck on the end slightly awkwardly in front of the fridge. It was nice to see something a little different with the beer, where both Kingfisher and Cobra were available on draught. However, they tasted quite different from their bottled versions; I don't know if this is intentional. I was pleased to see they are still doing the an extra accompaniment with the poppadoms (a tasty, though quite sweet, coconut-based one). I was less impressed with the mixed kebab starter; there didn't appear to be a lot of meat, although it wasn't immediately apparent, as what there was, was buried under a pile of onion in a red sauce. The main of chicken Thatul Tanga Bujon was OK, but the veg seemed slightly disappointing, although I'm not sure why. The final bill was not too bad and the service seemed pretty good, but I'm not in a big hurry to go back.

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