Name: Spice Trader
Previous name: Moved into Philpot Tandoori!
Area: Monument
Address: 9-10 Philpot Lane
London EC3M 8AA
Phone: 020 7929 2229

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 27 Dec 2001|2. 27 Apr 2006|3. 31 May 2007|4. 27 Nov 2014|5. 26 Nov 2015
6. 31 Oct 2019

At last, Jeff has found someone who listens to what he is saying.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 176 (visit 4 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 Nov 2014
Cost per head: £34.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 8.0 6.7 7.5 7.7 6.8 6.0 6.9 6.8 6.5 7.03
Robin 7 7 9 8 6 6 9 7 7 7.5 See Robin's comments
John 7 6 7 2 6 6 7 7 5 5.8 See John's comments
Dave 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8.0 See Dave's comments
Jeff 10 5 7 7 5 7 6 7 6.8 See Jeff's comments
Alex 8 7 7 8 7 7 7 7 7.3 See Alex's comments
Brian 8 8 9 9 8 7 7 7 7 7.8 See Brian's comments
Jon 9 7 7 9 6 6 4 7 5 6.5 See Jon's comments
Mark 8 6 8 9 6 7 6 5 7.0 See Mark's comments
Graeme 7 6 6 9 7 7 8 7 7 7.3 See Graeme's comments
Neil 6 7 7 9 3 3 5 6 5 5.8 See Neil's comments
Claire (Guest) 10 7 7 7 10 6 7 8 7.6 See Claire's comments

All Comments

Robin - It was nice to return to The Spice Trader after a 7 year absence. They didn't have any draught beers on our last visit, but now draught Cobra and Mongoose are available - the latter being excellent. The service and the ambience were good but the food varied a bit. My King prawn puri starter was really nice, with a good dose of nice, meaty prawns. My main course of prawn pathia (*not* king prawns!) was really superb - plenty of it in a lovely spicy sauce. The veg dishes were also pretty good and the only real let down was the "special" rice, having just a few peas, a little egg and a couple of cardamom seeds to distinguish it from the plain variety. If they could improve on that this place could be a real contender. VFM was pretty good too, the price having only risen by £5 per head since our visit in 2007. I'd quite like to give this place another go next year.

John - Average.

Dave - Enjoyed my meal at the spice trader – the standard Griff set meal of PP and CC was of a good standard – service was good and finished off with a complimentary large Baileys & ice.

Jeff - An unexpected but very pleasant trip back to Philpot Lane. I don't think anyone else mentioned this, but was this not the premises of the old 'Philpot Tandoori'? The Spice Trader has  moved to it from next door! I always suspected they shared the same kitchen. Anyway, I still find the ambience a bit lacking here, no pictures on the wall and a pile of cobra boxes near the bar.  This is my only complaint though as otherwise the Spice Trader delivered a really good evening.  The service was excellent, 15 or so of us in and out in 2 hours 20 minutes, and the waiters were good humoured and engaging. The meal was above average, and I'm told the bread was outstanding, although regrettably I didn't have any.  No wine meant that more beer was drunk, so I think that may have pushed the price up a couple of notches.

Alex - Service pretty good despite big group. Duck tikka was a nice change for a starter. Otherwise good but not remarkable.

Brian - Prawn Puri starter was lovely, really enjoyed that. Sag Ghosht main could have done with a bit more lamb, but otherwise very good indeed.  I managed (just) to clear my plate, so we probably didn't over order on the veg, which makes a nice change.  Lovely "Janice" at the end, although I've no idea whether it was a freebie, or who negotiated it in Dom's absence. Jon raised a good point about the criteria for describing a dish as "Meat" as opposed to "Lamb" - it all seems a bit random, and I don't think Spice Trader is alone there. Draft something or other that wasn't Cobra or Kingfisher was also rather enjoyable.

Jon - An unplanned visit to the Spice Trader started off well with an excellent off-menu reshmi kebab but was sadly let down by an unusually sweet balti lamb tikka which just didn't work for me at all.  Everything else was unspectacular but the service was excellent and we even got our free round of liqueurs after a little prodding from Dom's understudy.  He didn't treat us to a glass of wine like the man himself, though, so I doubt he will last too long!

Mark - Last minute replacement saw us revisit the Spice Trader after a 7 year absence. Overall I thought it was a good evening even if a larger gathering than normal plus late working meant that I did not get to socialise with half the attendees even in the New Moon which was not too crowded. The waiter soon cottoned on to the fingers routine to some amusement. My Chicken Tandoori starter turned out to be a whole quarter rather than the 1 skewer I expected - fairly large for a man of lesser appitite than some - while my meat sag main was good and apparently lots of garlic. Why no wine? Ah yes, no Dom! Well done to Tim(?) for arranging a post meal snifter and note to Jeff - don't expect guests in high heals to navigate cobbled streets.

Graeme - Our first return to the Spice Trader / Philpot Tandoori for about 6 years proved to be better than expected. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. My Mixed Starter was really well-cooked & tasty and my Chicken Jalfrezi main was delicious. The sundries were all good too so, all-in-all, a very enjoyable meal. The price was a touch more than I thought it might have been but probably reflects the (edge of) City location. It was nice to meet Geoff's guest Claire. We are in a rich vein of form with female guests at the moment and long may it continue.

Neil - A last minute booking due to being bounced by one of the top six. Do they not know we are TV stars?! All started well, with a large turn-out and two guests meeting at a rather busy New Moon, everyone got there reasonably early as well. My conversation moved between lower league football to chemical bonding processes just by moving from Graeme & Griff to Alex & Tim, we are a diverse lot! Restaurant is at the bottom of the Walkie Talkie. Underground though, so no fear of being torched. Ambience was surprisingly good considering it was just a bright, square room with a kitchen attached. Food was a game of two halves with an excellent mixed starter, nice poppadum sauces and quickly served beer. However, that was followed by a very average main with 'students special rice' and a keema nan that may have been used as a dish cloth, limp! We did get a free drink though which made the VFM a bit more acceptable. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening but I'm guessing we won't be back for another few years. Final note, I think I got it wrong with the New Moon being the location of the bar brawl in John Wayne's best ever film Brannigan (1975), looks like it may have been next door! I'll save the sugar glass for next time.

Claire - I had a lovely time due to the excellent company.  Thanks to all for making me so welcome.  I thought the venue was a bit sparsely decorated and it was odd that the cloakroom was in the dining room!  (My scarf smelt of curry for 2 days!) The service was very good and I was impressed that so many different dishes were successfully served up hot at the same time.  The portion sizes were good and the quality of the food was high.  You can't beat a freshly baked naan bread!  Yum. The free drinkie at the end was a nice touch too I thought.

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