|Address:||41 Farringdon Street|
|London EC4A 4AN|
|Phone:||020 7236 3663|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 28 Feb 2013|
|Visit Number:||155 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||28 Feb 2013|
|Cost per head:||£26.00 (1.5 beers)|
|Alex||7||7||5||6||8||8||7||7||6.9||See Alex's comments|
|Mark||6||8||4||2||8||5||8||7||5.7||See Mark's comments|
|John||5||2||3||2||5||5||6||6||5||4.4||See John's comments|
|Jon||4||7||2||7||7||8||8||8||9||6.8||See Jon's comments|
|Robin||6||8||3||5||3||7||6||7||7||5.8||See Robin's comments|
|Graeme||5||7||0||4||8||7||3||7||3||4.7||See Graeme's comments|
|Dominic||6||7||9||6||6||8||6||8||7.1||See Dominic's comments|
|Tim||2||5||2||8||7||7||4||7||3||5.0||See Tim's comments|
|Neil||7||10||5||8||7||7||7||7||8||7.3||See Neil's comments|
|Brian||7||6||7||7||7||7||5||6||7||6.4||See Brian's comments|
Alex - The nominal Cobra seemed more Cobra-like than the Kingfisher… Starter was a bit bland. Main was quite good without un-balanced heat (hot but not overdone). Barring dubious beer the place was generally pleasant and not expensive after the chunky toptable discount.
Mark - Griff would have liked the fact they served draught cooking larger - shame they sold it as both draught Cobra and bottled Kingfisher - Oh! I forgot he's on the spritzers! Lamb tikka starter was 4 chunks and looked good but was tough and leathery. Main meal was Chicken Bhama (?) which I assume translates as 'Mostly Onion'. It had the promised bite and was tasty but was lacking meat due to the little room left in the dish with the numerous sliced veg. Rice was good as was the spoonful of mushrooms I had and rest of the food looked good. Enjoyable evening and a quick turnaround meant an early finish even without Dom having to ask for a complimentary drink to finish. We are going to miss Jon's friendly banter with the waiters next month. Best dressed award went to Dom in his new coat. Assume his old ones must be too big but he did spoil the look by drinking his favourite tart rosé, made him then look very Only Fools & Horses - "Marleene, pass the mar-tay-us".
John - Chicken Bayang was fairly good – chicken with peppers and onion but without the kick of a jalfrezi. Restaurant smelt a bit damp to me though. I wouldn't rush back to this place.
Jon - I don't mean to make a habit of having heated discussions with waiters, but I felt something had to be said. We were served beer which was advertised as 'draught Cobra' which was about as accurate as that ready meal that was advertised as Findus Frozen Beef Lasagne – there was some similarity, but the key ingredient was something completely different. This was compounded by them also serving what was apparently "Bottled Kingfisher" but without showing the bottle – when we asked for the next drinks to be served from the bottle in our sight, the resulting drink was remarkably different. Obviously, there was no apology or even an admission that there was any fault on their part. But on to the food – it was actually pretty good. The mixed starter was good but not the best I've hard, and the Lamb Dansak main course was pretty good – the lamb was tender and it was very tasty. All the accompaniments were good and the 40% toptable discount made for a pretty good overall experience – apart from the beer, of course.
Robin - A very long wait before any food arrived at all, but after that the service wasn't bad. I had a King Prawn Puree to start and Chicken Pathia as a main. Both were nice enough but not at all outstanding. The special rice was good as was the mushroom bhaji, but my (half) keema nan was a bit disappointing since it hardly contained any meat. The 40% Top Table discount certainly helped, but the beer fiasco did not; until we finally insisted that they bring Kingfisher in bottles to the table there was a strong suspicion shared by many of us that what we had been given pre-poured in pint glasses wasn't Indian beer at all, and was weak to say the least! I won't really be in a hurry to return to this one.
Graeme - Disappointing, to say the least. I used to like this place when it was the City Raj but it is very poor in its new guise. Our experience was over-shadowed by 'beer-gate' … the "draft Cobra" certainly wasn't Cobra and the "bottled Kingfisher" (served without the bottles) was also very suspicious. When we came to order a second round of drinks, there was some dodgy manoeuvring by the head-waiter who at first said he couldn't bring any bottled Kingfisher to the table then miraculously managed to find some when we threatened to not have any more beer. The food was below par too. My mixed Tandoori grill starter (the "Seema Platter") was small and unexciting. My Chicken Pathia main reminded me of a Vesta curry from the 70's with its thick, brown and not particularly spicy sauce - a real let-down. The 'sundries' (Rice, Veg and my Peshwari Nan) were surprisingly good but, at the end of the day, only the 40% (off the food) TT discount prevented it from being a complete disaster.
Dominic - It was interesting going back to a venue we've been to before but this time to see what was different with the change of ownership. The eatery is cosy without being cramped but not sure about the staff's sense of humour. Nevertheless, the service seemed fine throughout the night even volunteering a free round at the end. My starter of the mixed platter was fine without being special but my main of Chicken Jalfrezi was plentiful, tasty and with just the right kick (well, for me at least). The rest were all OK but special mention should be made about the wine list: although very limited it was good value and contained my old favourite – such memories of my first curry night! The VFM was clearly aided by the Top Table discount but did produce a good meal at a very good price. Again, great conversation (as always) and it was good to annoy Brian with the wine ... oh, and we are still waiting for Griff's response to the texting ... some things just never stop being funny.
Tim - Oh dear. Beer in Indian restaurants isn't usually terribly complicated. The choice was bottled Kingfisher or Cobra on draught. Having ascertained the Kingfisher came in the normal large (660ml) bottles, I was surprised to find my bottle had managed somehow to squeeze itself into a pint glass (586ml), and somewhere along the way had in fact turned into a completely different lager. The waiter feigned to not understand what the matter was. A later, actual, bottle of Kingfisher for comparison showed that the imposter lager was less smooth and more gassy - presumably some kind of cheap European substitute. Meanwhile, the (food) menu was interesting; quite a few dishes I hadn't seen before. Starter of liver hazri was the first time I'd tried liver in an Indian restaurant, it made a pleasant change, though I'm not sure I preferred it to some of the more traditional starters. Main course of gosht-e-sikandary was less satisfactory - while the lamb was tender and flavoursome, it was a bit lacking in quantity; the dish had more onion than meat, and also couldn't accurately be described as "medium hot". A round of Ameretto was provided at the end of the meal, which provided a pleasant finish to the evening, but I won't be in a rush to return.
Neil - For some reason the old City Raj is my favourite curry house. I suspect it's due to the 'cavern' nature, being part of Holborn Viaduct. My ambience score may not be that representative but I've been fairly honest elsewhere, in short, the food was better than average, with some beer that wasn't quite Cobra. We did get a free round of spirits though so I haven't hammered the beer score as badly as I should have. Probably won't be back with the curry club for a few years but I still rate it for a 'cosy curry'!
Brian - I thought this place was OK, and nothing more really. Lamb chops as a main were not really an adequate replacement for the lamb shank, which was unavailable. Sides, rice and chapatis were all good, as was the salmon tikka starter, although nothing really stood out as exceptional.