Name: Matab's
Status: Closed
Area: Aldgate
Address: 76 Aldgate High Street
London EC3N 1BD

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 29 Aug 2002|2. 29 May 2003|3. 29 Jan 2004

A sharp intake of breath as Mark gets the bill.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 47 (visit 3 of 3 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 29 Jan 2004
Cost per head: £27.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.1 6.6 7.6 7.0 7.6 7.3 7.6 7.0 6.4 7.16
Dave 7 7 7 6 5 6 6 6 4 6.0 See Dave's comments
Jon 7 6 8 6 10 7 9 8 6 7.5 See Jon's comments
Graeme 8 7 8 5 5 8 7 7 7 6.8 See Graeme's comments
Mark 7 6 8 8 6 8 6 7 7 7.0 See Mark's comments
Neil 7 6 7 7 9 5 8 5 6 6.8 See Neil's comments
John 7 7 8 10 8 7 9 8 7 8.1 See John's comments
Robin 7 7 7 7 10 10 8 8 8 8.0 See Robin's comments

All Comments

Dave - Bouyed up by an enthralling AGM and having not been present for the two previous "top-six" Matab visits (2 stars in the griffo star system!) I was looking forward to great things - unfortunately I was sorely disappointed. The first let down was the flourescent green mint-sauce which had a peculiar taste to match its appearance. This disappointment was closely followed by the miniscule amount of chicken on the bone for my Chicken and Lamb Tandoor starter. The nan bread was doughy, no "chicken curry" dish was available and the Chicken Dopiaza I ordered in place of my usual dish appeared in a bowl the size of a small ash tray. The unusual wall paintings upped the ambience mark but the lack of people there on our arrival (0!) bought this down again. The beer and service was acceptable but the price was the final nail in the coffin for Matabs. Overall I would give this one-star under Graeme's new star marking system. On the subject of star marking systems ......

Jon - Matab’s is one of my favourite restaurants and I was not disappointed. Although we were the only guests (at least to start with), the ambiance didn’t suffer too much thanks to the pleasant surroundings and our own lively conversation. I was slightly disappointed with the starter which was not as good as I remembered it, but my main course more than made up for it. The lamb vindaloo was superb, with my only criticism being the usual lack of aloo, although this was tempered by the two aloo dishes that we ordered. The Aloo Bhorta was not quite the mashed potato I was expecting, but it was very tasty all the same. Top marks (my first ever 10) go to the Keema Nan I shared with Rats which was outstanding, and the cheesy nan I had a piece of was good too. Draught Kingfisher was excellent too! Thanks to Griff’s protestations, and some firm chairmanship during the AGM, it was a very early finish (9pm) which a few of us extended with a cheeky pint in the Bull.

Graeme - Unbelievable - a productive and non-fractious AGM! Very well run by the President with good support from the secretary and a more mature attitude from the members than has sometimes been the case. Matab's lived up to its top-6 billing - a smart place with very good food, although not cheap. My choice of starter proved not to be the best, sharing a mixed selection (including a crab 'fishcake') with Mark - it was OK but nothing special. My main course was a duck curry - very tasty but having duck was probably a waste as the curry sauce obscured the taste of the duck. Griff complained about "small portions" but I think he was the only one with this view. Mind you, you could give Griff a bucket-full of curry and he would say "it wasn't a particularly large bucket"!

Mark - No Hutton report required as Diggers joined us from the BBC for a 'proportionally' quiet AGM passed quickly allowing us an earlier start than usual although this meant that Matab's was empty apart from us. However, it was nice & warm, wonderfully decorated and the food was of it's usual high standard. My platter starter was a bit fishy but did include crab cakes. This was followed by Murghi Pistachio which was nutty with a slight kick but lacked a bit on the chicken. Rice was excellent and plentiful while the nan and mushrooms very good. Draught Kingfisher a bonus but did not prevent us grabbing another pint on the way back. Overall a place well worth visiting.

Neil - Unfortunately not the busiest of nights (due to the snow) so not much chance of judging the ambience. Otherwise very good, particularly the main course which was probably the spiciest Rogan ever and the Nans which again are probably the best found in any London curry house. Watch out though for the small portions of rice and side veg.

John - Top nosh from Matabs. Started with prawn puree followed by chicken jalfrezi. Both were excellent, with the jalfrezi having quite a bite. Portion sizes just right (unless you're a complete fat greedy pig). Nice selection of veg - particularly impressed by the mushrooms. Nice to see Diggers out for a change and eating real food rather than that poncy veggie stuff.

Robin - Matab's was very good last year, and even better this year. The special rice and plain nan bread were simply superb, and the chicken dopiazza was flavourful and spicy. The other veg dishes were also very good, and the only "disappointment" was the chicken reshmi starter, which was so finely ground that it tended to disintegrate on its way from plate to mouth and would have been better tackled with a spoon; although quite tasty it felt a bit insubstantial. Sadly the AGM seems still to be dominated by the Fascista (dictionary definition: those promoting right-wing authoritarian views) and my attempt to restore the "one man one vote" policy failed. I then boycotted the rest of the voting to show my disapproval.

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