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

They're a bit shy, bless 'em.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 168 (visit 2 of 3 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 Mar 2014
Cost per head: £31.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.4 6.1 7.3 5.9 6.3 6.5 6.3 6.4 5.8 6.28
Jon 6 5 7 6 7 6 4 7 6 5.8 See Jon's comments
Jeff 5 4 9 5 8 6 6 7 5 6.0 See Jeff's comments
Robin 7 7 7 9 6 8 10 8 9 8.1 See Robin's comments
Graeme 7 7 8 6 6 6 7 7 5 6.6 See Graeme's comments
Mark 8 6 7 6 6 6 5 4 6.0 See Mark's comments
Neil 7 7 6 6 8 8 7 7 7 7.0 See Neil's comments
Richard 4 7 5 5 4 5 4 4 5 4.7 See Richard's comments
Tim 7 6 9 4 5 7 6 6 5 6.0 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Jon - An unspectacular performance from the Red Chilli.  It didn't really float my boat last time and on this occasion, my main course was disappointing.  I went for a Lamb Tikka Dansak and, while the sauce and flavour was good, the lamb was a little tough and it spoiled the overall impression.  The mixed kebab starter was no better than average, but veg and naan were pretty good.  There weren't many others in the restaurant, which evidently impacted on the ambience, but we more than made up for it and it was a good night as always.

Jeff - I was disappointed with the ambience as, although the restaurant was a quite interesting series of rooms, it was library-quiet and some of the staff were rather glum. Service was at least efficient and we were done and dusted in two hours. Good choice of two draft Indian beers was a highlight. My menu choices were experimental - Pani Puri street food pastry parcels - very plentiful but otherwise not memorable; and a Lamb with Butternut squash - again a large portion but I didn't enjoy the squash which was a bit weird with the curry, and the lamb was a little 'coarse'. A free drink at the end was offered which was a nice touch. Altogether, not a bad place, perhaps I should have made a more traditional selection.

Robin - I wasn't that keen on this place on our first visit, but I'm very glad that it made the top 6 because last night's meal was excellent. I had the chicken moricha to start, which was plentiful and very tasty, in a beautiful sweet and sour sauce. My main course was king prawn (something) rezalla, which was truly superb. Three giant prawns (with tails on - not really a problem), butterflied and grilled and served in a sumptuous, thick, slightly sour red sauce (tamarind?). Fantastic. The special rice was pretty special and the mushroom bhaji was also very good. Not quite a maximum for VFM but pretty close as far as I'm concerned. I'll be delighted if it stays in the top 6.

Graeme - This was a bit disappointing after our successful first visit. It all seemed a bit ordinary this time, and it was a fiver per head more expensive. On the plus side, they have 2 draft Indian beers as well as the usual bottled choice - I had the draft Bangla which made a nice change. The service was efficient although not particularly friendly and they didn't listen when we tried to give a precise order for plain and spicy poppadoms. My Mixed Tandoori Platter starter (it was actually called something else) was small and uninspiring. For main I had Garlic Chilli Chicken which, while being nice, did not hit the spot like last time. I don't know whether we caught them on a particularly good night before or whether this was just an 'off' night but I wouldn't rush back there. Still had a good night out with the boys, though!

Mark - Red Chilli was a new venue for me as I had missed the previous outing so I was looking forward to our visit and the varied menu choices. Overall I enjoyed the evening but found the restaurant and food lacked excitement. Service was efficent and offered a digestif, place was a bit empty compared to last few nights out bit it did mean we could sit together and actually talk as a group this time. A choice of beers although fairly expensive, as were the far too numerous veg dishes. My main was something I never heard of at all but could have passed for many other curry dishes. Final cost was more City than East End. Diggers final 'single man' curry - will it break his excellent run of attendance? Good to see Tim still sober at the end of the evening!

Neil - Great to meet in our new Local, The Brown Bear. The price of beer seems to be going up, however. Did they not see the budget? Good time was had by all though before venturing next door to one of the two curry houses in the top six. Left or right, our only decision! Not many people in the venue but it still had a good ambience being laid out with lots of cubby holes rather than the open plan of some of our more recent venues. Food was above average and there wasn't a poor dish or side that I could see. Special rice was great and the bread very tasty (even the plain nan!). Main courses very generous, I even had some left of mine to share with Tim. Free round of drinks at the end which made up for us not getting the now customary 10% discount. VFM was good but not great as we were surprisingly reserved ordering the beer and had a few pounds in the whip.

Richard - The Red Chilli was not as hot as its billing. The look of the place was interesting, with bright red walls more like a bar than a restaurant and a cosy feel. However the service was off-hand and the food was indifferent all round. My main of something that sounded like macca-pacca was a red thick sauce that tasted rather sweet and sour, and didn't work all that well.

Tim - There was a good selection of beer, with Bangla and Kingfisher on draught and various others in bottles. I had a starter of chicken morichi - there was lots of onion and sauce, but not so much chicken and it was rather bland. Main of shatkora mangsho (lamb) was a bit better, but could have done with more meat. The mushroom bhaji had a surprisingly large amount of onion in it. The peshwari nan was rather poor; the filling consisting of little clumps of orange-coloured coconut - rather too sweet and not a great flavour. Service was generally OK, I don't remember having to wait long for the food, but it did take a while at the end to attract a waiter's attention to get the bill; in the end I got up to ask for it at the bar. A free round of liqueurs at the end was nice. The overall price would have been OK, if the food had been better; I struggle to see how they've managed to win all the awards they have framed on the wall - perhaps they've had a change of chef?

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