Name: The Empress
Area: Whitechapel
Address: 141 Leman Street
London E1 8EY
Phone: 020 7265 0745

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 25 Apr 2013|2. 30 Jan 2014|3. 24 Sep 2015|4. 24 Nov 2016|5. 25 May 2017
6. 31 May 2018|7. 28 Nov 2019|8. 30 Sep 2021

The first bearded Aussie wino to reach his century, Dom (right) is presented with his commemorative engraved glass.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 205 (visit 5 of 8 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 25 May 2017
Cost per head: £26.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 8.6 7.5 7.2 8.2 6.6 7.1 8.4 7.6 8.9 7.89
Jeff 10 8 6 9 5 8 8 6 8 7.7 See Jeff's comments
Neil 7 7 6 7 3 6 7 9 6.6 See Neil's comments
Brian 9 8 8 10 8 8 10 9 10 9.0 See Brian's comments
Alex 9 8 7 9 8 8 8 9 8.3 See Alex's comments
Dominic 10 8 9 9 7 6 8 6 10 8.1 See Dominic's comments
Robin 7 7 6 6 6 7 9 8 9 7.3 See Robin's comments
Tim 9 7 7 8 7 9 7 8 7.9 See Tim's comments
Graeme 8 6 6 7 6 9 7 8 7.3 See Graeme's comments
Richard 10 9 10 8 9 8 9 9 9 9.0 See Richard's comments
Jon 7 7 7 9 7 8 7 8 9 7.7 See Jon's comments

All Comments

Jeff - The Empress impressed again, with excellent treatment by the manager and staff including free champagne all round for Dom's 100th trip. Very good food, only slight let-downs being the choice of beer and my plain nan coming up as a keema. And a good price too, probably due to its slightly out of the way location. Deserves its high placing.

Neil - Started with a really nice touch in that they gave a free glass of champagne when we sat down to celebrate Mr Dom's hundredth birthday. Also great that they remembered us from that last few visits and were very attentive as usual. That said, a fairly normal meal with nothing too special apart from a new beer (Goa) that Tim was brave enough to try out. Good price though, utilising the very flashy 'Empress Discount Card'.

Brian - Yet another superb outing to the Empress.  Mussels starter scores top marks – the mussels were among the largest I've had, and the taste was excellent.  Talapia main course was impossible to fault – plenty of fish in a lovely, spicy sauce, but not so hot that it over-powered the fish.  Rice and veggies were all good, and it was refreshing to be allowed chick peas!  Tried a new Indian beer – Goa – which was very pleasant.  Staff were their usual attentive selves. Can't see any reason why this restaurant should not maintain its top spot.

Alex - Very attentive service, no surprise this place stays high in the list. Food was good and very reasonably priced considering. 'Hotness' markers in the menu are a little misleading but small matter.

Dominic - I was so glad that this happened to be the venue of my 100th member-outing of the club as not only did I introduce this place to currymarks but it also is a personal favourite! Right from the start we were treated to a celebratory glass of "bubbly" (by our engaging owner!) to mark the occasion  which cemented the service marks for me especially given the attentive nature of our waiters. And our table was away from the door which also helped. I went for the Nazacat chicken starter which was as tasty as last year's; then a King Prawn Vindaloo which was very flavoursome and plentiful ... trying the sauce beforehand was also a nice touch! The rest was quite good but the wine was a particular standout giving an excellent VFM in my opinion. All in all a fantastic night of curry and reverie that kicked on at a Kings X boozer and a very worthy performance to retain an upper top 6 standing. Thank you once again to all that celebrated my milestone and also those that couldn't make it - I've enjoyed every minute! Only one more to go ... c'mon Alex!!

Robin - Although the place was pretty full the service was quite good. I had khadom phool to start, which could have done with a bit more minced lamb and spices - it was very bland but pleasant enough. My main course of tandoori king prawn madras was superb. It's not on the menu but when I ordered king prawn madras I was offered the tandoori option by the waiter, and it was so definitely worth it! Even through the lovely and quite spicy madras sauce you could clearly taste tandoori king prawns and it was a beautiful combination. The veg dishes were good and the price was low, so I'd be very happy to return next year.

Tim - A first for currymarks - champagne to start, to celebrate Dom's 100th official Currymarks appearance. Somehow Dom had managed to negotiate this "on the house". No Kingfisher available, but they did have Goa beer; there was some confusion from the waiter as to the size of the bottle, but it turned out to be full-size (650ml). It was a bit empty of flavour, and I wouldn't choose it again, but it was nice to see something different. The Pinotage was good value though. For starters I had house special chat. It was pleasant, with lots of sauce, but seemed to have rather more chick pea than chicken, and I think I prefer their normal chicken chat. Main of khala lamb bhuna had well-cooked meat in a thick and rich sauce, but lacked a bit of heat and spice compared with Alex's duck main. The manager must have noticed something, as he came over to ask how I was finding it. After I explained, he took it away and brought it back after a few minutes - he'd added some chillies, spices and pickles and it was now very good. Rice and veg were fine, and I didn't try any bread. As an aside, the manager explained why they bring out the rice after the sauce - because the rice cools down more quickly - it's still not very convenient though. So, service was excellent, the overall meal and VFM was good, and I expect this to remain in the top six.

Graeme - As always, the manager tried very hard to look after us. Some might say too hard - he can be on the edge of being irritating but I will give him the benefit of the doubt. It was a very good meal overall. I had the Sheek Kebab to start (I was hungry and needed some meat!). For main, I went for the North Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken (the full-on version this time, Dom!). It was excellent and pushed my spicy-but-still-enjoyable boundary to the limit. A good night out as always. I was proud to present our Bearded Aussie Wino with his 'century' glass. It only seems like yesterday that we first met (a considerably larger version of) Jon's mate.

Richard - How nice to return to the Empress. There is a nice feel to the place, with a genuine warm welcome from the proprietor with chilled champers, apparently on the house in honour of Dom's century. Once again I started with a fine peppers stuffed with lamb, followed by a delicious tandoori bhuna, with all sides top quality and a very reasonable price. The only thing missing was our dear leader, who was sampling the culinary delights of Orlando (wot no curry?). This place deserves to be top of our leaderboard if you ask me.

Jon - A welcome return to the Empress having missed it the last two years and it was another solid performance.   I really enjoyed the mixed starter which was a pleasant change from the usual inclusions with nazakat, pancake kebab and khadam phool.  I was a tiny bit disappointed with my main, which was a combination of a lamb and chicken in a dansak sauce – the chicken was stuffed inside which made it a tad dry, but it was otherwise great.  Veg and other accompaniments were to the required standard as usual and, at Ł26 a head, it was definitely good value.

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