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

Gloria in all his glory ... but as your Dad would say, "He could do with a bloody hair-cut!"

Visit Report

Visit Number: 73 (visit 2 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 Apr 2006
Cost per head: £26.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.5 6.4 6.5 7.5 6.4 6.8 7.3 6.6 6.6 6.90
Dave 6 7 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 6.7 See Dave's comments
Tim 7 6 5 8 7 7 8 7 6 7.0 See Tim's comments
Graeme 8 6 6 7 5 7 8 8 7 7.0 See Graeme's comments
Mark 7 5 6 7 5 7 6 6 6.2 See Mark's comments
Brian 7 6 6 7 7 6 5 5 5 6.0 See Brian's comments
Alex 8 7 7 8 7 7 7 7 7.3 See Alex's comments
Dominic 8 8 9 8 7 6 9 6 8 7.8 See Dominic's comments
Jon 8 7 7 9 7 7 7 7 6 7.3 See Jon's comments
Dave J. (Guest) 8 6 6 4 8 8 7 6.7 See Dave J.'s comments
Jeff 8 5 7 9 6 8 6 7 7.2 See Jeff's comments

All Comments

Dave - Duck Tikka was nice and the curry OK. Overall I do not think it was up to the standard of its nearby neighbour, the Philpott and I would not expect a top six finish. The intervening Bank holiday weekend spent celebrating back to back premiership titles has dulled my memory on any other highlights/lowlights of the evening.

Tim - This was a pleasant restaurant, with plenty of space between tables (apart from one awkward pillar). I had reshmi kebab to start - this was nice, and pretty large; it was basically an omelette with a couple of mini burgers inside, and some salad. I followed this with duck chilli masala. This had lots of good quality meat and a tasty sauce. It was quite expensive though at £12+. The meal was finished off nicely with a free round of liqueurs/spirits. The service was efficient, and the value for money fairly typical for the City. The only downside was the disappointing selection of beer/lager - the bottled Cobra was adequate, though it seemed a bit tasteless after the real ale in the pub. There was no Kingfisher, and although Tiger beer was on the menu, none was available.

Graeme - This place is about 20ft from the Philpot Tandoori (where we went last month) and I wouldn't be surprised if the two restaurants are run by the same manager and share a kitchen. They are both basement restaurants, with clean but plain décor, no draft Indian beer, good service, very good food, dodgy Peshwari Nan (but this one was better than the Philpot's) and at a reasonable price. I would certainly go back again. After a quiet start in the pub, there was a reasonable turn-out, eight members plus a guest (I think). I was sitting next to Griff and, strangely, cannot recall any Griff-isms, just sensible conversation - maybe I should increase my beer mark! The New Griff was elsewhere, although he did put in a token appearance in the pub (with Mrs New Griff - not allowed out on his own any more?) to remind us what he looks like.

Mark - Having had a few drinks with a couple of female acquaintances prior to the meal I missed out on all the usual pre-meal banter and ended up sitting there for 10 minutes on my own with a Cobra for company. It gave me time to observe how quiet it was before the arrival of 9 well oiled friends! Spice Trader served a good solid meal, popadums were served with plentiful accompaniments, my starter & main were nothing to complain about and the rice was very good. Overall though the place did not excite or stimulate me enough to recommend it over it's near compatriate. Tim provided the Robin-esque moment with his handful of change, Graeme just smiled! Amazing what you can notice when sober.

Brian - The lamb in my main dish was a bit tough, the pillau rice was not great, and my brinjal bhajee was a bit too finely chopped. The restaurant itself and the service were fine, but no draft Indian beer and food that was below par ensure that this is not on my list of favourites.

Alex - Good food, esp starter. Service and location good.

Dominic - It was an interesting experience to step into this eatery only to be greeted by our illustrious President propping up the rather long bar! But notwithstanding, the restaurant is nicely laid out and had a very comfortable feel to it. My starter of King Prawn Butterfly was good but also helped with the remaining condiments, my main of Rogan Josht very tasty and plentiful and all the sides were enjoyable though none were a stand out. Normal service was resumed with the Mateus (yes alone!) but it was refreshing that it was moderately priced - well relatively speaking. Service marks were once again helped by a free round digestifs without too much fuss. And after trying this venue only a few months back "off piste" with Jeff I was very happy to see that my initial assessment remained - this is a very good eatery and good value for money.

Jon - Another solid performance from a Philpot Lane restaurant - obviously the close competition has driven up standards. Like its near neighbour, everything was good. My Reshmi starter was one of the best I've had and the Duck Chilli Masala was a welcome change to the standard curry house menu and was good. The service was polite and efficient and the now expected round of liquers on the house was very welcome. Not as good value as the place next door, but definitely worth a revisit in my opinion.

Dave J. - It was a bit too bright inside and the beer was on the pricey side. My Chicken Tikka Starter was a bit bland but my main dish had a good flavour.

Jeff - Deja vu this month with the meet in the Lamb and a 2 minute walk to Philpot Lane. The Spice Trader suffers really only on ambience, as it was quite empty (as on the other 2 occasions I've been), but at least they could fit in all 10 of us with loads of elbow room. There was a draft beer, but not Indian, and only one type of bottled beer. Service was pleasant and unobtrusive. Good poppadom selection and good portion sizes all round: my mixed starter brought a comment that I'd got my main course early! I tried chicken shashlik for a change as main and there was loads of very tasty chicken, rice and vegetables were average however. Yet another free liqueur, Dom just has to click his fingers it seems. Apologies for the stick Graeme received over his mug shot in the Non League Paper, of which someone had mischievously printed out many copies. Altogether a solid performance, better than I expected, and could make the top 6. Is Philpot Lane the new Brick Lane?

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