Name: Kasturi
Area: Aldgate
Address: 57 Aldgate High Street
London EC3N 1AL
Phone: 020 7480 7402

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 24 Apr 2003|2. 25 Nov 2004|3. 29 Sep 2005|4. 27 Jul 2006|5. 27 Aug 2009
6. 31 May 2012

"Refreshing Wet Towel" it says on the label but Griff is not impressed. It's his pet hate - don't get him started!

Visit Report

Visit Number: 76 (visit 4 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 27 Jul 2006
Cost per head: £31.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 3.0 6.2 6.4 6.3 7.1 6.1 7.9 6.7 4.4 6.17
Dave 1 5 6 7 7 4 8 7 2 5.6 See Dave's comments
Graeme 1 6 6 7 5 7 8 5 3 5.7 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 8 9 8 9 8 8 9 7 9 8.3 See Dominic's comments
John 2 7 8 6 7 6 8 7 5 6.4 See John's comments
Richard 5 5 6 7 7 8 7 5 6 6.3 See Richard's comments
Jon 2 6 7 3 8 7 7 6 4 5.6 See Jon's comments
Jeff 1 6 5 10 4 8 8 5 6.3 See Jeff's comments
Robin 3 6 6 2 7 5 7 6 2 5.0 See Robin's comments
Tim 4 6 6 6 8 6 9 9 4 6.4 See Tim's comments

All Comments

Dave - Memories of the evening include :- No draught beer, long waits for the nan bread, No pink bits in the Pilau (causing me to send it back to the kitchen), waiter not knowing what a chicken curry looked like, the most pathetic plastic luke warm towels I have ever seen, whisky snobs berating my order for "Famous Grouse" (and then boring me with what I should have ordered); A very lumpy bill at the end and a 2 1/2 hour train journey home. All in all - an evening to forget (although the Chicken curry was good!).

Graeme - Very good food let down by poor service (especially in my case) and too high a price. My service 'experience' was almost comical … everyone had finished their starter (except Dom who kindly waited) before mine and Jeff's came and then, for the main course, I was on my own as I had to wait at least 10 minutes for mine after everybody else got theirs. The most damning thing was that the waiters didn't seem to notice and required endless 'prodding' to get them to sort it out. At £31 per head, it was just too expensive, especially given the location of the restaurant - it's hardly Kensington (or should I say "Islington" nowadays). However, my food was very good: a ginger-coated grilled lamb chop starter (although it was small) followed by Chicken Jalfrezi. Also, contrary to Griff, I like the Pilau Rice without the red and green dyed grains - it's much more sophisticated! A good evening for banter but no guest tonight, although El Presidente did drop in for a beer after his earlier conflicting engagement elsewhere - I hesitate to question his commitment, but ...).

Dominic - Never having been to this eatery before I was looking forward to the experience - and I was not let down in the least. This was one of the best evenings so far with everything on offer being of top quality. My Crab Massala starter was delicious and followed by a stuffed Chicken dish that was not only tasty but also plentiful - further supported by my neighbour, Mr Jon, who "upped stumps" mid way through the same meal! All the accompaniments were first rate with the briefest of criticisms being the lack of the beloved Mateus! All in all a superb eatery that should definitely be tried.

John - Over-priced (especially the starters) with erratic service. However, quality of food was good (I had shami kebab followed by Chicken Bhuna Hyberabadi) and the beer (Cobra) was nice and cold.

Richard - Not sure about Kasturi: food was good but pricy, atmosphere and service not as good as it could be. I had a shared kabab starter and Chicken Bhuna Hyderabadi main, both of which were good but not exceptional. The peshwari nan was roti style. Veg was a bit bland- even the aubergine with peanut sauce. Price was bumped up by Griff who filled up on beer, having been on Pimms earlier (although not sneakily this time).

Jon - It may be a result of the huge group of 20+ that were also in the restaurant, but the Kasturi struggled from the off due to very poor service. This was exacerbated by them not knowing what a Reshmi Kebab was (actually taking an order for one and producing something completely different). On the plus side, the keema nan was excellent and the main (Murgh Shahjahni) was tasty and the chicken very tender. The lumpy price tag didn't help, though, and the poor service reflected poorly on the entire experience. I suspect that its top six status will be lost.

Jeff - Having been here twice before, I expected good things again, but was disappointed by the service. There was a large (and very quiet) party of 20 or so behind us, but that is no excuse for bringing food late, not at all, or the wrong dishes. When the food did arrive, it was up to usual Kasturi standards. My starter was a very tasty fresh veg samosa, the best I've ever had. Main course of lamb was only slightly chewy, and vegetables were fresh - but the pilao rice was uncoloured and slightly bland. Only bottles of beer, but they were at least cold (Sheba take note). There was obviously a fair bit of disgruntlement at the service but maybe we caught them on a bad night. It will be interesting to see how much the service detracts from the excellent food - will it retain its top 6? Especially considering the £31 price tag - £1 more than last time (I've checked).

Robin - Dreadful service, awful popadom accompaniments and a totally misrepresented starter (a chicken reshmi kebab that looked and tasted exactly like chicken tikka - no egg involved) really marred this outing. The special rice was average and not really "special", the veg dishes were okay if a bit greasy but my main dish (murgh pathiala or something like that) was actually fairly good, as was the (very garlicky) paratha. Only bottled beer available, but at least it was cold. The prices were even higher than last time and utterly unjustifiable in my view. I'll be amazed if the Kasturi keeps its top six rating after this performance. Without doubt the highlight of the evening was Griff's statement "I'm going to the toilet to do piles". Of course there is a simple explanation - Griff is simple.

Tim - This is a smart restaurant, with subdued lighting and well-spaced tables. Unfortunately, when we arrived there was a large party (at least 30 people) behind us, and this seems to have affected our service throughout the evening, even after the other party left - delays in getting popadoms and starters, some orders missed altogether, some incorrect dishes etc. The popadoms were a bit disappointing: they arrived with the smallest portions of chutneys that I've ever seen, and, unusually, they were on the bill at the end as well. The starter of sheek kebab was good, but considering it was £6, they were a bit stingy with the salad, and there was no mint riata to go with it. The main course was better, murgh shahjahani was excellent, and the brinjal (aubergine) in peanut sauce was also very good. Overall, the food here is very good, but the delays and mistakes with the ordering made the whole experience a bit disappointing. This, coupled with the relatively high cost (£4 for vegetables, £5-6 for starters, £9 for mains), means I would be surprised if this remains in the top 6.

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