|Name:||New Taj Mahal|
|Address:||2B White Horse Street|
|London W1J 7LD|
|Phone:||020 7493 0024|
Visits to this restaurant ...
|1. 27 Apr 2017|||||2. 25 Jan 2018|
|Visit Number:||213 (visit 2 of 2 for this restaurant)|
|Date of visit:||25 Jan 2018|
|Cost per head:||£40.00 (1.5 beers)|
|Jon||7||6||5||6||9||7||7||5||6.5||See Jon's comments|
|Mark||7||8||3||7||5||4||5||3||5.2||See Mark's comments|
|John||7||7||7||3||1||6||7||7||4||5.5||See John's comments|
|Dave||6||8||7||5||4||6||5||6||5||5.7||See Dave's comments|
|Alex||7||8||7||8||7||8||8||7||7.6||See Alex's comments|
|Richard||8||9||4||8||4||7||6||5||6||6.4||See Richard's comments|
|Neil||7||8||2||6||10||6||6||4||6.1||See Neil's comments|
|Graeme||8||8||3||7||6||8||8||6||6.9||See Graeme's comments|
|Dominic||6||6||3||6||6||6||7||6||4||5.7||See Dominic's comments|
|Robin||5||7||5||6||3||6||7||7||5||5.8||See Robin's comments|
|Jeff||7||8||3||5||6||4||6||4||5.2||See Jeff's comments|
|Tim||6||6||4||7||7||7||8||7||5||6.5||See Tim's comments|
Jon - Last year's promising debut by the New Taj Mahal may have been a flash in the pan as this time around, it wasn't quite up to scratch. The biggest differences were the seating arrangement and the price. It's a small venue and increase in attendees from 10 to 12 meant that we couldn't be seated on one table, apparently (yes there were only 9 submissions last year, but there was a guest who didn't submit), and the price was hiked from £33 to an eye-watering £40 and it was certainly noticeable that the mediocre wine list was priced significantly higher than last year. Food was largely OK without being spectacular, although the special rice was very good. It was a good night as per usual and it was very nice to be spoiled by Mr Dignum who bought a post-curry round back in the pub.
Mark - Hopefully we will not revisit this Mayfair dive for a while. I was not really impressed last time but the ambience score carried it into the top 6 rather than the food. Even in the West End I would hope for a good meal and nice drink at £40 p/h but NTM is overpriced, tight, too small for us, has bland food and tiny beers. OK, it is cosy and has character but with a voluble Scot sat 6 inches behind my bench and CurryMarks split across 2 tables it was not a great set up. Chicken tandoori was a good start as was the chutney although small pops. Main of Lamb Karai was tasteless as was the rice so instantly forgettable. Congrats to Alex on 100 (where were the leather sandals?) and Graeme on 200. Enjoyable evening but little to do with the food.
John - Surprised on how this place got into top-six. Average at best.
Dave - Good ambience at the New Taj Mahal, but this is largely created through the combination of the small size of the venue and the big size of our group. The popadom relishes were poor, the prawn puri was on a thick doughy base, the nan breads were luke warm and stodgy and the beer massively overpriced as it only came in small bottles. Overall I wouldn't want to rush back here.
Alex - Pretty good again, service might have been slower and, now that Dr Who is a lady, I didn't try the Tardis-loo this time. Starter sheek kebab wasn't itself as memorable but the sauce they provided brought back the necessary zing. Great to finally be a Centurion without having to wear a funny hat and a leather miniskirt!
Richard - This is a small place but it carries its small size well, as it somehow doesn't feel like a small basement room, and they seem to offer a full menu with enough waiters. For a location just off Piccadilly the pricing is good, so long as the food and service warrants it, although I found it didn't quite live up to it this time. Mixed starter was good, but other items were a little disappointing: the main of Chicken Tikka Korai had a flavour of curry powder, peshwari nan was not as puffed as it should be and veg seemed a tad greasy, beer only in small bottles. The VFM is not as bad as it looks, and it would be possible to spend £30-35 per head by not being as extravagant as we were, unless you wished for some odd reason to drink the wine which according to Dom was very pricey. We were lucky enough to be celebrating our first full cohort of centurions and our first double centurion (Pilus Primus, which translates as First Spear, or we felt more accurately, Bigus Dickus). Wikipedia says the deputy to the Pilus Primus is a Pilus Posterior, so we shall have to exercise our Life of Brian Latin to come up with a translation. I need to shake my roots as a mere Pedite (infantryman). Nil Illegitimi Carborundum!
Neil - Wasn't looking forward to the meeting pub (The Kingsman's Arms – did they rename this from King's Arms to cash in on the film?) as incredibly busy last time but all was well and we found a quiet corner. As before, the curry house was an interesting experience. Being a group of 12 we took up most of the space in the 'bunker' style basement thus making for great ambience. Service was reasonable if the food was only average excepting the stuffed paratha which was excellent. Well done Alex for our final 100th appearance and Graeme for the first double ton, both milestones for the club.
Graeme - I like this quirky tiny place, although it was a shame that we had to sit at two separate tables. After speculating about it last time, we discovered the capacity of this restaurant on this visit - it was rammed with 18 (and we took up 12 of these seats). I had Chicken Tikka to start (the menu choices were a bit restricted) and Chicken Tikka Madras for main. The food was very good without being special. I made a mental note that the veg dishes were worthy of mention. The biggest let down was the availability of only small bottles of Indian beer (at (£4.25 each) which I think pushed the overall cost into "lumpy" territory. The wine was ridiculously expensive (e.g. just under £30 for a bottle of Dom's girlie fizz, which he decided to give a miss). I'd like to go back though as I like the area and the restaurant itself.
Dominic - It's nice to have 4 suggestions in our "top 6 revisits" list so no surprise that our first revisit fell on one of mine. While I still like the quirkily small New Taj Mahal it is unfortunately starting to slip somewhat "imho". Almost maximum numbers meant we had a split in ranks and were placed on 2 tables: the "old guys", resplendent with their own "stenographer", and the "fun-loving, young-uns"!! Service was generally fine as was my mixed starter - though nothing extraordinary. My main of the Chicken Tikka Vindaloo, however, was quite tasty and had a sufficient kick. All the rest was again fine but one of my chief disappointments was the wine list both in coverage and extremely high price meaning for only the second time in 115 visits it was a dry evening for me!! The other is the final bill (and associated VFM) which I couldn't rationalise given it seemed very high for what we had. Alas, it will be interesting to see what the masses decide ... . A very big congratulations to Alex for finally(!) reaching his century ... only for another landmark to occur on the same night: Graeme's 200 ... well done you!! Much banter as per usual but for me the highlights must also include providing "Wanty" with 2 pieces of football trivia ... to be forever known as the "Harry and Jamie" conversation!!
Robin - This was a rather disappointing outing to a "top six" curry house. My king prawn puri starter was distinctly average – 3 prawns on an open, rather doughy piece of bread. My main course of chicken tikka madras was somewhat better but nothing outstanding, and the veg dishes were quite pleasant. The egg fried rice (no "special" rice on the menu) was ok but my half of keema nan was poor, containing a very small, thin layer of overcooked mince. Beer was only available in small bottles (Kingfisher or Cobra) and although the ambience was fine I thought £40 was far too much to pay for a fairly average meal.
Jeff - Disappointing return to the New Taj Mahal, with uninspiring food presented in a very basic way and rip off beer prices, only available in 330ml bottles at nearly a fiver - and not very cold either. The fact that it cannot seat 12 of us together meant that the occasion of Alex's 100th and Graeme's 200th was ruined. At least the service was reasonably quick.
Tim - This is a tiny downstairs venue; so small that they couldn't fit a table for 12 in the room, so we were split across two tables. The drinks selection was similarly tiny, with only small bottles of Cobra/Kingfisher available at a not so small £4.25 each, and the wine list featuring only about five wines around £25. The menu looked like a relic of the 1980s - plastic coated, and featuring the usual array of kormas, dopiazas, birianis, jhalfrezis etc. There were no house or chef's specials at all - I would have thought in a small place like this it would be an ideal opportunity to introduce a shorter but more varied menu - perhaps they're just going with what they've found to be popular. The starter of king prawn dhall puri had the prawns and sauce served on the puri, like a pizza. I found the base a bit thick and doughy, and there was one tail left on a prawn, but the taste was good and it was of a reasonable size. The main of chicken muglai was well-flavoured, and the sides etc. were fine if unexciting. There was no free round of liqueurs; apparently the place is too small for them to even stock any bottles of them. The overall VFM was a bit poor, though probably not too bad considering the area. However without having anything particularly unique in the meal, I'm in no great rush to return.