Name: Sheba
Area: Brick Lane
Address: 136 Brick Lane
London E1 6RU
Phone: 020 7247 7824

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 29 Jun 2000|2. 25 Jan 2001|3. 26 Sep 2002|4. 31 Jul 2003|5. 25 Mar 2004
6. 29 Jun 2006|7. 25 Feb 2010

Very dodgy Cobra.
"Do you want a Flake with that, Luv?"

Visit Report

Visit Number: 75 (visit 6 of 7 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 29 Jun 2006
Cost per head: £23.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 4.0 3.5 4.1 5.7 4.9 6.3 5.7 5.1 5.0 5.04
Mark 4 6 5 6 4 8 6 4 5.5 See Mark's comments
Graeme 3 3 5 6 5 6 6 4 3 4.8 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 5 4 5 5 4 5 4 4 8 4.8 See Dominic's comments
Tim 5 5 5 5 4 6 6 4 4 5.0 See Tim's comments
John 3 1 2 3 1 3 3 3 2 2.4 See John's comments
Jon 2 6 7 7 7 6 7 6 5 6.0 See Jon's comments
Alex 5 4 5 7 6 7 6 6 7 6.0 See Alex's comments
Robin 5 3 0 6 6 8 7 6 4 5.2 See Robin's comments
Brian 4 1 2 7 7 7 6 7 7 5.5 See Brian's comments
Pam (Guest) 4 3 6 6 6 5 5.2 See Pam's comments
Jeff 4 3 3 5 7 6 6 6 5.1 See Jeff's comments

All Comments

Mark - Bring back the Flock. The new look Sheba is at the same location and still has the unique toilet but everything else seems to have changed and not a lot for the better in my opinion. It seems to have sold out and joined the numerous other nouveau Curry House's that are spreading along Brick Lane. Losing the traditional décor and wonderful chicken and replacing them with the seemingly standard look of bright colours & indistinguishable dishes. The Totti count was high and obviously not a penalty (one for you Aussies!) but this meant a long time to be served. Highlight was the good mushroom rice, low points were the unmemorable Kebab Cocktail (!) and the low chicken to spinach ratio in the Sag main meal.

Graeme - I suspect this was the last last-chance for Sheba. A former favourite, it is now very poor. My main complaints were ... Service: no plates for poppadoms, 1 hour wait for starter, some people's meals 'forgotten', all the food was warm (not hot). Ambience: we were put in a basement 'overflow' room - the only ambience came from the lively youngsters who were down there too. Beer: they couldn't decide whether the Cobra was draught or bottled - I suspect the 'draft' was actually bottled but poured at the bar. Veg: minute portions - esp. the Sag Aloo. Our guest this month was Mrs. S (it was the only way I could get a curry pass after our day at Wimbledon!) - I think she enjoyed her evening even though she had to endure a very disappointing restaurant and had to join Mark and me for our usual sprint through Kings Cross station to just catch the train home.

Dominic - An interesting venue with 2 distinct levels: the top floor appearing quite lively and the bottom floor being an overcrowded, hot room .... and yes, we were on the bottom floor! The service was also not the best meaning it was not going to be a pleasant evening. All dishes were rather forgettable and I am still trying to understand whether it was my main dish being lamb and mango that was the problem or myself for having chosen it ... what was I thinking! The wine was a mix with one being mediocre and the red being not too bad. The one saving grace though was the cost - definitely a great VFM venue.

Tim - The restaurant was very busy, and hot, when we arrived. They managed to squeeze all (11) of us in, down in the basement, although one person ended up stuck on the end of the table, which meant much manoeuvring when other people required the toilet. Talking of which, having only two toilets for the whole restaurant meant there was often a queue. Curiously, one of them was labelled "Gentlemen" and the other "Toilet". Service was slow, particularly waiting for the first round of drinks. The menu would have benefitted from being proofread, e.g. "Remy Martini", Cointrean, Matenus (Mateus), Apperitife, "Sparking water". Choice of beer was limited, and expensive. They only had Carlsberg and Cobra, and the half Cobra was £3, although a pint was better value at £4. Popadoms and chutneys eventually arrived, although there was then a further wait for side plates. Disappointingly, the usual lime pickle had been replaced with a (presumably cheaper) deep red, onion pickle. The starter of mixed kebab was OK though quite small. The main course of Modhucash Murgh (chicken with cashew nuts and honey) was fairly pleasant, but could have done with more chicken and less sauce. The Peshwari nan tasted a bit plain, and the portion of sag aloo was one of the smallest I've seen. Overall, apart from free rounds of half a cobra and a small whisky, there was nothing particular to commend it, and it's no longer as cheap as it once was.

John - The Sheba is definitely not what it used to be. Ordinary food, warm beer, slow service, dingy surroundings. I hope Mrs Legend understands the hardship that we have to go through in our quest for curry excellence!

Jon - Other than horribly slow service and one of my courses being forgotten, it wasn't too bad at the Sheba. The food was generally good and the atmosphere was not too bad in spite of being put in the basement. Then again, I guess we created our own atmosphere. The reshmi starter was good once again, and the chicken main course with chillis (can't remember the name) was pretty good too. Nonetheless, the Sheba still has some way to go befotre it reaches its former heights at the top of the list.

Alex - Slow service, room too hot and dark. Warmish beer of dubious provenance. Food OK, reasonably inexpensive.

Robin - How things have changed at the Sheba since their former days of glory! I had the usual King Prawn Puri to start, which wasn't bad although the wrapper was rather stodgy. The Balti Chicken Tikka main course was okay but rather unexciting. The veg was about average and the special rice was actually pretty good. And those were the highlights! The service was dire (in particular the long wait for plates after the popadoms had been delivered), the ambiance was poor (we were in the "potting shed" room downstairs - no air conditioning apart from a huge fan blowing right into my ear), and the beer was downright diabolical; the draught Cobra had apparently "just run out" and we had to make do with warm bottled Cobra instead. I think the prices were a bit lower than our last visit but it'll be a cold day in Hell before I ever go back.

Brian - Marked down for Service, which was too fawning for my liking, the beer, which apparently was draught and bottled at the same time, tasted awful and was too warm, and ambience, which was dreadful as we were in a dimly lit basement. Food was up to the Sheba's usual good standard, as was the company, especially as I was sat next to Mrs Legend.

Pam - I was a bit concerned that the Sheba had been chosen after the lads (aka the Grumpy Old Men) found out that I had been foisted on them as a guest. The reason? I could be hidden in the basement away from public view! Actually I was made to feel very welcome and I had a very enjoyable evening. My marks reflect the ambience or lack of it. However I was tempted to add on a bonus point, as I was very impressed by the infamous forward-facing u-bend loo. Robin's watch will also be a fond memory. It provided much entertainment whilst waiting (and waiting) for plates to go with the poppadoms and rice to go with the main course, etc.

Jeff - The evening started with a trip to the Bull and its surly Scottish barman, then onto Brick Lane which was incredibly busy on a pleasant evening. Ignoring all the other touts, we made it to Sheba and negotiated a free half plus 20% off the food. Sheba was packed also, and smaller than I thought it would be, we were shoved downstairs into a hot basement with a cooling fan. Very slow service especially of beer, the promised draft Cobra was off very quickly and was replaced by luke warm yellow stuff which may, or may not, have been bottled cobra. Poppadoms and beer arrived slowly as did all the other courses, the food was of average quality and portion sizes of main and veg were small. A cheaper than expected final bill slightly made up for it, but I don't expect this to come anywhere near the top 6.

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