Name: Temple Bar Restaurant
Status: Closed
Area: Fleet Street
Address: 8 Crane Court
London EC4A 2EJ
Phone: 020 7353 2898

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 26 Feb 2004

The Temple Bar restaurant is not in the busiest part of town!

Visit Report

Visit Number: 48 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 26 Feb 2004
Cost per head: £27.00 (2.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 5.3 7.1 7.0 5.0 6.6 6.4 7.2 5.8 6.1 6.33
Dave 6 6 6 2 6 6 5 3 4 4.8 See Dave's comments
Graeme 4 6 7 7 6 7 8 6 7 6.6 See Graeme's comments
Jeff (Guest) 5 8 6 3 6 7 6 8 6.1 See Jeff's comments
John 6 8 8 6 6 4 7 7 7 6.6 See John's comments
Mark 6 8 8 5 8 8 8 5 7 7.0 See Mark's comments
Neil 1 4 7 2 6 7 9 7 2 5.2 See Neil's comments
Richard 8 8 7 7 7 7 9 6 8 7.6 See Richard's comments
Robin 5 8 7 6 7 5 5 6 6 6.0 See Robin's comments
Tim 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 7.1 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Dave - Evening started off well with a nice choice of pub, free drinks from Robin and on arrival at the restaurant some complimentary poppadums with an excellent relish tray. From here on in everything went downhill - the mushroom and cheese starter thing was completely tasteless, there was no chicken curry, the vegetable curry was a disappointment, the beer was flat and the cost was high. To cap the evening off, John tried to convince me that East was West and we nearly ended up on a No 11 bus heading towards Stamford Bridge!

Graeme - A difficult place to categorise - modern, I suppose (certainly not trad) - it was downstairs (so no windows), large, open with plain walls and an interesting-looking balcony that we didn't get to see properly - plenty of well-heeled clientele. Both my Prawn Puree starter and Chicken Jalfrezi main course were very good and I thought we received good VFM. The only downside was the speed of the service which was very, very slow - I marked it up from 3 to 4 as we were given a free drink at the end of the meal (which was made all the more enjoyable as the curry-lites had already left the restaurant by then!). By the way, don't have a port after a curry - they don't go together! Two drink related items to note: 1. Robin very generously bought all the beers in the pub beforehand on account of his impending 50th birthday. 2. Tim managed to upset the waiter with his somewhat ungracious acceptance of the free drink that was offered. Not content with the suggested Brandy, he insisted on a Cognac and when asked how it was by the by the clearly-peeved waiter, he replied "It's alright" - the waiter's face was a picture.

Jeff - Good welcome and accommodated the 9 of us as we wished, and poppadums arrived without even asking - but slow to take order, in fact if I hadn't caught the waiter's eye we could still be there now. I'm going to give it back to him later. Also slow to bring food out but there were 9 of us. Neil's main didn't arrive until asked for. None of those heated metal trays that keep the food warm, although I'm not sure if that ever really works. A very nice setting, if there was music it didn't intrude. The clientele were very classy (barring us of course), with a sprinkling of good-looking women (although less thong on display than in the Old Bell). Griff was still the blondest though. My mushroom bora (I can't remember the precise name, maybe that's a VW?), supposedly a mushroom stuffed with cheese and onion, was like a scotch egg, but with less flavour, and no mushroom. Griff I know felt the same. However others who tried it seemed to like it. Rice average, portion sizes not over generous. My Lamb Korahi was pretty good, I always think that a mark of a good curry house is the tenderness of the lamb. Could have done with being a bit spicier though. I didn't try any other peoples' mains (I wasn't offered). There was a good choice of Veg, although I felt that they were chopped too small and lost a bit of their own flavour. £27 was, I thought, pretty reasonable; there was more than enough food, and without the Nan mountain and beer lake left over it could have been £25 or under. I wonder how much the Temple Bar Tandoori would have been. Altogether, I would go again, and order a different starter.

John - Prawn puree (average) followed by Chicken Chat Massalla (good - but tasted just like the standard Chicken Tikka Massalla) washed down with three pints of draught Kingfisher (on top of the four pints generously bought by Robin to celebrate his old age). I don't think this place will make the top six but not a bad performance. Service slow but the place was packed and lively which added to the ambience. Interesting lecture from Graeme on the ins and outs of male fertility.

Mark - Robin buying all the drinks (50 up), sitting down in the pub, Griff in a school jumper, a guest appearance and thongs on display. All this prior to trying to find a curry house that no longer existed. However, good planning by the chairman meant that a contingency site was available. Unfussy interior gave this a classy look that matched the clientele. My mushroom pori was OK while the Chicken Chilli Massala was abundant with meat and taste accompanied by a large portion of rice. Nans were big and fluffy leading to large portions of left overs. Complimentary port at the end was also well enjoyed.

Neil - Weird one this, poor service and a terrible starter (at least mine wasn't as bad as Griff & Jeff's tasteless veggie scotch eggs), but a superb main course and the poppadoms were really good as well. My advice: go straight for the main and bring a paper to read. On a different note, the crew were slightly unfair regarding Griff's choice of beer especially since he drank more than most. Also Robin's 'free' meal? Why not? You're not a codger every day! Maybe I've gone soft since leaving the city.

Richard - A well attended night - it would have been packed if the absentees had realised the OAP was to buy the beer all night. Ambience was good - although it could be the free IPAs followed by brandies on the curry house giving me that warm fuzzy feeling. Despite being in a basement, it was bright and spacious, with high ceilings and grand paintings. Poppadums and beers arrived within seconds of sitting down. The starters and meal took a while, but we were rewarded with very good nosh - my chef's recommended main (I forget the name) was excellent: hot without burning.

Robin - Although the popadoms appeared the instant we sat down (accompanied by two very tasty lime pickles - one red and the other green) the service slowed down considerably after that point, perhaps because the place was full - thereby improving the ambiance mark. The shami kebab starter was nice but unexceptional, but the chicken balti was a disappointment, the chicken and balti sauce appearing to have been prepared separately and combined only when served up. The egg-fried rice (no special rice on this menu) was nothing to rave about and the rest of the veg dishes were fairly average. Not high on the list of places to re-visit in my book.

Tim - We ate in a large, softly-lit basement. The tables were well spaced out, so there was no need to clamber over people to get out, a common problem at many of the more compact Brick Lane restaurants. Complimentary popadoms arrived almost as soon as we had sat down. Pickles were good; as well as the usual four, there was an unidentified spicy green pickle. Starter of chicken chat was nice, but I would have preferred some salad with it. Main chicken course was fine, but after having had quite a few popadoms, I was too full to try the vegetable side dishes and nans. A round of drinks on the house was a nice way to finish the meal, and made up for the rather lengthy wait for the main course.

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