Name: The Golden Oven
Area: Soho
Address: 22 Bateman Street
London W1D 3AL
Phone: 020 7287 2800

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 25 Oct 2012

Brian rues getting stuck between these two old gits!

Visit Report

Visit Number: 151 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 25 Oct 2012
Cost per head: £31.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.1 6.3 6.2 6.3 6.5 6.2 6.1 5.3 5.3 6.14
Dominic 5 3 7 4 4 3 4 2 3.9 See Dominic's comments
Mark 7 8 6 5 6 6 6 4 6 6.0 See Mark's comments
Robin 7 4 5 7 6 7 6 4 5 5.8 See Robin's comments
Neil 8 8 9 5 5 5 5 5 5 6.0 See Neil's comments
Jon 8 8 5 10 8 7 8 5 7 7.5 See Jon's comments
Graeme 7 6 6 6 6 5 5 7 3 5.6 See Graeme's comments
Richard 8 7 5 6 8 8 7 6 7 6.9 See Richard's comments
Tim 7 6 6 7 7 7 8 6 6 6.8 See Tim's comments
Brian 7 7 7 7 6 7 7 7 7 6.9 See Brian's comments

All Comments

Dominic - Another new part of town for the Club this month, however, more of a night to forget for me. The eatery is quite small and we were wedged in which made it rather an uncomfortable experience. And the waiter kept trying to dictate our meals. My mixed meat starter was dry and seemed to contain an onion bhaji (not part of the "meat family" the last time I looked!). My main of Chicken Jalfrezi was sloppy and didn't contain too much chicken and resembled something from the supermarket fast food section. The rest were also pretty ordinary with the only shining light being an affordable decent Rioja. A forgettable evening food wise but another cracking evening with much banter flowing ... and the return of my "regular neighbour"!!

Mark - For me the Golden Oven was only so-so in Soho. While it was a friendly little place, about twice the size of the old H&S, our table was laid out for us although a bit of a squeeze at the back - although tight I found it added to the ambience of an old style curry house rather than the posh nosh bright lights that seem to be popular elsewhere. Menu a fine choice of traditional with a few extra dishes. Chicken chat to start had some good bite but parts of the meat were tough and seemed seared. Pilau race was rather bland but decent size while my lamb main was tasty but not the best portion ever. BTW - 70's music was wonderful, birth of punk, Saturday Night Fever, Dark Side of the Moon, Bruce, Elton, David Soul, etc. How can you not be moved by the beat?

Robin - The service was fairly reasonable: a fraction slow but they kept pretty good track of who had ordered what, but despite booking in advance we were shoehorned into a very small space that made eating quite a challenge and definitely lowered the ambience mark for me. My king prawn puri starter was tasty and contained a decent number of prawns, but the bread wrapper was a bit on the doughy side. I had the Arkarb-e Chicken main course; it was rather sour but otherwise pleasant enough, but the two veg dishes I tried (mushroom and aubergine bhajis) were swimming in oil. The special rice was ok without being outstanding, but the plain poppadoms deserve a mention: the first I had was not even remotely crisp and seemed to have been cooked the previous day - almost soggy, whereas the second seemed fresh and crisp enough - perhaps I was just unlucky. The beer, whatever it was (not one of the common brands) wasn't that great; I should have stuck to Kingfisher or Cobra. Overall I would rate this as a very average restaurant and not one to which I'd be particularly keen to return.

Neil - A small restaurant in the West End, very close to 'The Carlisle Arms' pub (strange smell in there though so best avoided!). All meals acceptable but very plain and reminded me of the famous 'Going for an English' comedy sketch.  On the positive side the house beer, Tikka Gold, was excellent even if it did come from Belgium! The service was very good and there was a great atmosphere when it filled up. Probably will only go back if passing that way but a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Thanks Rich for hunting this out, we need to go west more often.

Jon - Although I'm not a fan of going "Up West" away from our traditional City stomping ground, the Golden Oven did a pretty good job, and was conveniently located across the road from a decent pub.  I went off-menu and ordered a reshmi kebab for starter, and a good choice it was too.  It was excellent.  For my main, I went for a fairly pricey prawn dish that I can't remember the name of – it was off the "chef's recommendations" list and marked as "hot" - it didn't disappoint.  The accompaniments were generally good although the tarka dal was more like a soup than a veg dish, and it was disappointing that the usual Kingfisher/Cobra beers were only served in small bottles and the one beer they did have in large bottles wasn't all that.  It was a good night, no doubt helped by the copious amount of London Pride consumed beforehand, and I enjoyed debating the merits of the Euro with Tim although I was surprised to find someone who still thought it was a good idea!

Graeme - A big thank you to Richard for taking us to a new area of London (for us), an interesting pub (Carlisle Arms) and a small (quirky?) restaurant. I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, while the evening was very enjoyable, the food was disappointing. My starter of Sheek Kebab was acceptable but boring. For main I had a Piri-Piri prawn dish which the waiter warned me was very spicy. It actually wasn't that spicy and the prawns were very small, tasteless and a bit too firm - I was pleased not to wake up to a touch of "Delhi belly". The sundries were generally uninspiring. They did have an unusual bottled Indian beer which was quite pleasant but I can't remember what it was called! At £31 p/h it was too expensive for what was served up. A shame because it looked like it might have been a good 'find'.

Richard - I stumbled across the Golden Oven while out for a beer in Soho in the summer. Not expecting much given the location, I was surprised at the quality of price and food. On the re-visit the price was higher – the club obviously eat and drink more luxuriously – but otherwise the Golden Oven did well. It's good to have a curry house in the West End you can recommend, and the Carlisle Arms across the road is a good place for a beer before and/or after. The mixed starter was good, and the house special king prawn main was fiery but tasty, with a good showing from side orders. It deserves to do well for its location, but not quite a top 6 showing.

Tim - We met at the pleasant Carlisle Arms, and then popped over the road to a friendly welcome at the quite small Golden Oven. Only small bottles of Cobra and Kingfisher were available, though there was also a third beer available in 500ml bottles. The wine list was one of the smallest I've seen; only 5 reds including the house wine. Poppadoms weren't quite as crispy as they might have been, and there was no lime pickle accompaniment (sadly quite a few places don't seem to provide this anymore). Starter of chicken chat featured small pieces of chicken in a tangy sauce; it was pretty good. I don't remember the name of the lamb main dish (something unusual I hadn't seen before); it was good quality tender meat in a tasty sauce. Rice, nan and veg were all fine, though I was slightly disappointed with the mixed fried vegetable dish; I think I was expecting something crispier. Service was attentive, water came straight away, though some waiters had the annoying habit of pouring half-full bottles of beer into whichever random glass had space available. Overall a pleasant meal, and it was nice to get out of the City / East End for a change.

Brian - It made a nice change to head up west, and certainly a speedier journey home.  Unfortunately a week abroad has dimmed my memory, but I recall my curry being very palatable, there being sufficient veg and rice, and there was beer which I recall was bottled and cold.  Malta is a nice place to visit, with plenty of historical interest.

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