Name: Bengal Trader
Area: Spitalfields
Address: 1 Parliament Court
London E1 7NA
Phone: 020 7375 0072

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 30 Nov 2000|2. 28 Mar 2002|3. 31 Aug 2006|4. 29 Mar 2007

Goodness, gracious, me - a comedy waiter.
Actually, he was very funny and efficient.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 77 (visit 3 of 4 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 31 Aug 2006
Cost per head: £30.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.6 6.4 6.8 6.9 7.4 7.1 7.1 6.5 6.1 6.89
Jeff 6 4 5 6 6 8 7 5 6.1 See Jeff's comments
John 8 7 8 6 7 7 5 7 6 6.6 See John's comments
Graeme 8 5 6 8 6 7 7 6 6 6.7 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 8 8 6 6 6 8 7 6 7 6.9 See Dominic's comments
Brian 8 8 7 6 8 7 6 5 5 6.6 See Brian's comments
Alex 8 7 7 7 8 7 7 7 6 7.1 See Alex's comments
Robin 7 7 7 9 9 8 9 8 8 8.1 See Robin's comments
Jon 8 5 8 7 8 7 8 6 6 7.1 See Jon's comments

All Comments

Jeff - Started at William's bar where we stayed later than usual due to Graeme's late arrival and a bout of indecision in the absence of El Presidente. The Bengal Trader place was very quiet - I think we were the only people there when we arrived, and only a few other punters turned up during the evening. The service was slightly quirky, but once we had got use to the guy he was quite funny. Only bottled cobra - no draft beer. Usual poppadom accompaniments, my starter was rather small - but tender. Main was ok, but fairly unmemorable and again quite small - I recall looking around for other people's food to eat when I'd finished mine. In the main, the food, and in fact the whole experience, was I'd say slightly above average. At £30 the VFM is questionable - the prices on the menu didn't lead me to expect a bill so high, perhaps Robin's starter pushed it up.

John - An OK performance by the Bengal Trader. I started with sheek kebab which was rather small but quite tasty. I had the Trader Chicken Curry for the main course which was a bit runny for my liking. Sundries and beer were good. There was some interesting talk about new ideas for celebrity reality tv shows. I liked the idea for CCS hosted by SP although it did put me off my free Baileys which Dom managed to negotiate.

Graeme - The Bengal Trader dropped out of our top 10 following a mediocre performance in 2002. However, this was a good meal. The place itself is a little uninspiring but it does have possibly the best toilets of any curry house that I've been to. Our waiter was a bit of a caricature with his "It Ain't Half Hot, Mum" exaggerated accent but he turned out to be very funny, helpful and efficient. This was one of our best nights for banter, the highlight of which was our suggestion for a new Saturday night TV show to be hosted by Suzy Perry and Dale Winton - in the interests of politeness, I won't mention the name of the program here. I can't finish without mentioning my Mushroom Lollipop starter - it was really good and I'm sure Dale Winton would have had fun with it too!

Dominic - Quite a modern restaurant with the very non-traditional characteristic of lots of space between the tables! And although we were put at the furthermost table downstairs (obviously a reaction to the motley crew that was representing the club this night!) it was still quite comfortable and enjoyable. I selected an ornate Prawn starter and although quite artistic I think it needed some kind of sauce. The chicken main was fine without being spectacular as were the accompaniments with the special fried rice being the pick of the rest. The wine was also OK but not really VFM. Perhaps the standout of the evening was the discussion (as per usual!) .... now what was that TV show concept that Griff # 2 came up with .....

Brian - Not a very impressive showing from the Bengal Trader. My lollipop starter arrived embellished with some tissue paper and a hair, although the good service was illustrated by the quick and effective resolution of my complaint. My main course was a bit too saucy for my liking - Griff would have loved it as it could easily accommodate 2 or 3 nan breads, although I only had half of a garlic nan that seemed not to have sufficient garlic. We either seriously under-ordered on the veggies, or the portions were very small, as I only got about half a mushroom and the offer of some chick peas. A bit pricey too, which is not an issue if the food is top notch, and this time it wasn't.

Alex - Quite jolly service. Starters a bit small. My main was a bit too cold but flavour was ok.

Robin - An excellent meal worth the fairly high price. The service, ambiance and bottled Cobra beer were good but nothing exceptional. My starter was outstanding (three wonderfully tasty tiger prawns on a skewer) as was the unusual Xacula chicken main dish - very aromatic and spicy, and also fairly hot. The veg dishes were very good and not too greasy (the special rice was by special request) and the paratha was one of the nicest I've ever had. In my opinion a return to the top six would be entirely justified by this first-rate performance. I hope Dominic also enjoyed his meal while he washed it down with two bottles of rosé wine. Given that Graeme used to be a "legend" it might be appropriate to observe that Dominic has become a "fairy tale".

Jon - Pretty impressive performance from the Bengal Trader all round. It was very quiet, I think we were the only table downstairs, so it's perhaps no surprise that the service was very attentive - moreover, the waiters themselves were friendly and helpful. The choice of starters was perhaps a little short, but my shish kebab was good. My stuffed chicken tikka main course was unusual, well cooked and very tasty. The keema nan was very good and the only slight slur on the food was the size of the veg dishes. It was a bit on the lumpy side, but an all round good evening.

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