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

It was very nice to have rock-legend Chris as our official guest, but ...

Visit Report

Visit Number: 187 (visit 5 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 26 Nov 2015
Cost per head: £34.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.8 6.0 6.5 7.1 6.4 6.4 7.3 6.5 6.2 6.63
Richard 7 6 6 5 7 7 8 8 7 6.8 See Richard's comments
Graeme 8 6 6 8 7 9 7 7 7.5 See Graeme's comments
Neil 7 7 2 9 6 6 7 6 7 6.5 See Neil's comments
Dominic 6 6 6 7 5 7 6 6 6.3 See Dominic's comments
John 5 2 7 5 6 5 5 7 4 5.1 See John's comments
Jeff 9 5 6 7 7 6 7 6 7 6.7 See Jeff's comments
Jon 7 7 7 8 8 7 8 7 7 7.4 See Jon's comments
Robin 7 7 9 8 6 7 8 7 7 7.4 See Robin's comments
Dave 7 8 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 6.5 See Dave's comments
Chris (Guest) 5 6 8 8 5 8 8 5 4 6.1 See Chris's comments

All Comments

Richard - The Spice Trader was good overall but not outstanding and not cheap, so I'm not convinced it's a top 6 pick. My lamb chop starter was fine. The main of Chicken Korai was very good, with big chunks of marinated chicken and tasty veg and sauce, as was the Vegetable Korai ordered by Chris. Mongoose beer was decent but not Cobra. Pricing was a bit lumpy, despite Robin's self-sacrifice in having the lowly prawns to go with his special rice rather than his usual king prawns. I wish Griff would go on a verbal diet!

Graeme - A very nice meal with good service. Maybe the décor is a bit plain and the price a bit on the high side but this does not detract too much from the overall 'package'. I had the Mixed Starter (which included a very nice onion bhaji) then an off-menu (thanks for the suggestion, Dom) Garlic Chilli Chicken - lovely! This was a very enjoyable evening which started in The Ship (my first visit to this 17th century pub).

Neil - Never been a fan of The Ship pub as far too cramped but we did have the pleasure of two rock stars that evening, all the excitement of which caused me to spill my drink over Jeff. Strangely, we left quite late which is very unlike Mr Dom who was cc'ing. The Spice Trader was friendly as always and represented a nice change being a sort of 'open plan' restaurant, which I think Griff enjoyed as he took the opportunity to sing to the other guests. Food was great especially the Mixed Starter. The main (Lamb Rogan) hotter than normal restaurants but again, good for a change. We also got a free round of drinks at the end. Only downsides were the Cobra tasted like mothballs and the Mongoose like water, also poppadom order was 'assumed' by the waiter.

Dominic - This month saw us return to the venue where Jeff and Griff performed their reenactment of "Deliverance"!! ... more on "performances" later. We weren't quite sure this place was open as the entrance looked like it was part of a construction site but once we descended we found ourselves on a makeshift long table tucked into a corner. The service wasn't too bad and helped by a free round of unsolicited drinks but marked down by jumping the gun on the popadoms. My starter was the Mixed Starter which was plentiful and included the largest onion bhaji I've seen ... but some of the meat pieces were a little overlooked and therefore hard. My main was the Garlic Chilli Chicken which again wasn't too bad but was brought out as another dish which then "became" the one I ordered ... something that always makes me a bit suspicious. The rest were all fine without being anything special. However, with Griff bringing along Sally, he felt the need to serenade her most of the evening with an out of key rendition of any song that came to mind ... something that the table alongside needed to drown out by themselves belting out "Jerusalem"!!! A memorable night by virtue of the comedic serenading only ...

John - Nothing special!

Jeff - Very good location right in the heart of the City. I still find the ambience a bit lacking here, the room is quite bare. Although I was facing the wall, on this occasion I have no complaints about my view! Enjoyed the food, which is better than average, and the service was very good considering there were a lot of us. They ought to serve a better beer range, although I must confess I enjoyed the mongoose very much - it was light and refreshing.

Jon - Good all round performance from the Spice Trader spoiled only by some Gloria Hunniford look-a-like wailing at the end of the table.  Off-menu reshmi kebab and my standard lamb dansak both of good quality – nothing outstanding but all pretty good.  Surprisingly good VFM despite the lack of discount.

Robin - I had the same meal as on our previous visit since it was very good last time. The king prawn puri was again excellent as was the (regular) prawn pathia main course, although something fought back a bit the next morning. Having been disappointed by the special rice last time on this occasion I ordered mushroom rice, which was pretty good and certainly plentiful. Might try the special rice again next time. The veg dishes were good and my half keema nan was above average, although perhaps a little light on meat. The draught Mongoose beer was the highlight – tasty stuff exactly cold enough.

Dave - From what I can remember (following a large "pre-loading" session before the meal) a very enjoyable evening at the Spice Trader. My unofficial guest Sally also seemed to enjoy the evening, the highlight of which had to be  clearing the whole restaurant at the end of the night with our curryoke rendition of bohemian rhapsody. As for the food, I would say pretty average - not sure this is top six standard. Note to self - don't book a blood test at 8am the morning after curry night - I dread to think what my doctor will make of the results!

Chris - Service felt rushed and I was accused of ordering poppadoms which I absolutely know is Graeme's job. Ambience was just a typical city curry, lots of suits. It was nice to have Mongoose for a change to the usual Cobra / Kingfisher. Can't remember what I had for starter but don't remember any problems. Bread is bread and as you would expect, rice fluffy and light while veg is veg!. Again, went off piste a bit for main and ordered something I'd never heard of and can't remember what it was called but it was very tasty. Getting close to £35 per head with only two beers is a bit lumpy! I think we appreciated Griff's singing more than our fellow diners.

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