Name: Red Chilli
Area: Whitechapel
Address: 137 Leman Street
London E1 8EY
Phone: 020 7481 3300

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 27 Jun 2013|2. 27 Mar 2014|3. 27 Jun 2019

I don't fancy yours much.
(Or mine, actually.)

Visit Report

Visit Number: 159 (visit 1 of 3 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 Jun 2013
Cost per head: £26.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.4 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.0 8.1 7.4 7.7 7.31
Alex 5 7 6 8 7 8 7 7 7.1 See Alex's comments
Dave 7 9 9 8 8 7 9 9 8 8.3 See Dave's comments
Jon 6 7 5 5 7 7 8 8 7 6.7 See Jon's comments
Brian 8 7 8 10 7 8 10 9 9 8.7 See Brian's comments
Neil 6 7 7 6 8 7 10 7 9 7.6 See Neil's comments
Dominic 6 9 7 8 6 7 6 8 7.2 See Dominic's comments
Tim 6 5 9 9 7 7 8 7 7.3 See Tim's comments
Graeme 8 6 7 9 6 6 9 7 8 7.6 See Graeme's comments
Robin 6 7 5 1 7 8 5 6 6 5.4 See Robin's comments

All Comments

Alex - Bigger portions and good flavours. Service was good apart for the disagreements on discounts… The Bangla beer was a bit sub-Kingfisher/Cobra. Generally nice meal.

Dave - I really liked the Red Chilli – a good ambience, draught Kingfisher, excellent Chicken Curry, great Veg dishes and Nan all contributed to another excellent evening in Leman Street (the new Philpott Lane?).  The only slight black mark was the refusal at the end by the staff to accept my 10% discount card, despite assuring us several times they would.  Overall an excellent evening (and superbly co-ordinated - who was CC again?!). Will hope to be returning in 2014 for the Red Chilli v Empress "battle of Leman Street".

Jon - The reshmi kebab starter was very disappointing and the Bangla beer that I started on was a bit watery and lacking in taste but everything else was pretty good.  I can't remember the name of the main course, something like murgh sawa, but it was very tasty and suitably spicy.  There was a good amount of meat in the keema nan and I did like the sag aloo - just the right amount of spinach.  All in all, I wouldn't be disappointed to see it in the top six, but neither am I desperate to go back!

Brian - Starter of garlic mussels was excellent - loads of mussels, no bits of shell, plenty of veg.  Main course of Salmon and Monkfish Karahi (I think!) was also excellent.  Sag Aloo, mushroom bhaji and brinjal bhaji (although called something else) were all very good, as was my pillau rice.  Unusual to see draft Indian and Bangladeshi beers: I had the Bangla which I thought acceptable, and there were no complaints from the beer connoisseurs that we were being served something sub-standard in its place. My only complaint about the evening was that the Brown Bear had dismantled its garden (it was just inside the door, on top of a stool).

Neil - Slightly off the beaten track, Robin tells me it's the curry house furthest from any bus or tube route we've been to so far. That said, only a five minute walk, if you go in the right direction, which I didn't (!) from Aldgate East Station. Meeting pub, The Brown Bear, was good but I'm sure it was more expensive than the last time we visited only a few months ago, this time much nearer to City prices. The food was excellent. My main course was a fantastic Lamb Rogan, with very lean meat and very little oil in the sauce, well deserving of a maximum mark in my book. My starter, the mixed tandoori, was a tad small but the sides, breads and rice were of a high standard. All in all a favourite for me, I hope this makes it into the top six so we can revisit next year.

Dominic - This place was always on the cards when it was spotted a couple of months back after a successful evening at its neighbour. I liked the decor which was quite wooden and very, very red but also very comfortable. The service was good without being obtrusive but has had a mark deducted given Griff's issue at the end of the meal. Despite this, a free round of drinks was also much appreciated. My mixed starter was very good with three tender items although I was a bit puzzled as to why it had a small saucer of ketchup within! My main of the Beef Jalfrezi was different given it was the first time I had seen beef on a similar menu but quite tasty although not very hot. The rest were ok without being anything special and the wine good and reasonably well priced. Overall, I found it to be very good VFM. Lots of good banter as usual and special thanks to Graeme for a very generous donation. And also marks to Jon who was the only one following Graeme's and my conversation when we were in fact talking about two entirely different comedians without realising it!!

Tim - An interesting menu - nice to see a decent selection of beers, both bottled and draught (including draught Bangla); a reasonably-priced wine list; and some interesting starters and house specialities. The Bangla was pleasant, and so was the St Emilion. Starter of monkfish tikka was tender and tasty. I wasn't quite so enamoured of the main course - a house special, featuring chicken on the bone, though there was nothing actually wrong with it. I enjoyed an interesting selection of vegetables, including aubergine, but cooked differently from the usual brinjal bahji. Service was mostly good - water arrived promptly, dishes delivered to the correct person; but there were some hiccoughs - a small spillage from one of the waiters on my shirt (they were quick with some hot towels though), a bit of a wait for the starters, and a dispute over the 10% discount, even though this had been discussed and agreed earlier (they had substituted free poppadoms and a round of liqueurs at the end, but didn't explain this until they provided the bill).

Graeme - A first visit for us to this (self-professed?) multi-award-winning curry house which had a bit of an old-fashioned look from the outside. All-in-all, it was a very good meal. My starter (???) and main (Garlic Chilli Chicken) were both excellent. Both were quite garlicky (who would have thought it?) and I like garlic! They had Bangla on draught - maybe not as nice as bottled Cobra but I have given an extra mark for effort. Sundries were ordinary. My Nan mark is based on the plain Nan that I ordered and shared. A Peshwari Nan was mistakenly delivered - it is just as well I didn't mark that because it looked disgusting, nothing like any Peshwari I have seen before. There was a bit of shenanigans at the end as they tried to off-set the promised 10% discount against the free poppadoms and liqueurs that they had subsequently offered (& provided). It was a disappointing finish to the evening but all it meant was that we didnt leave a tip so net-net we were square.

Robin - I made a big mistake by ordering a reshmi kebab to start (not on the menu), which turned out to be 2 small beef burgers sprinkled with a little spice cloaked by an omelette. I can see why they don't put this on the menu – truly dreadful. My main course of lamb tikka pathia was a bit better, but some of the lamb was rather chewy. Nice sauce though. I had a very unusual Malai nan, stuffed with soft cheese and spring onions – quite good actually. The veg dishes were good, but the first beer I tried (can't remember its name) wasn't very cold and had a rather musty flavour (note to self – stick to Cobra/Kingfisher if you've never heard the beer's name before). The best dish of the lot was the special rice, which was very good indeed. Overall a disappointing meal and I'll be amazed if this gets anywhere near our top six.

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