Name: Cafe Taj
Status: Closed
Area: Aldgate
Address: 80 Fenchurch Street
London EC3M 4BT

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 26 Oct 2006

Jon gets himself in the mood as he prepares to tell the Suzi story just one more time.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 79 (visit 1 of 1 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 26 Oct 2006
Cost per head: £30.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.0 6.9 6.4 5.4 6.4 6.5 6.9 5.7 4.3 6.19
Dave 6 7 7 6 8 6 9 5 4 6.7 See Dave's comments
Graeme 7 6 6 5 6 6 9 6 5 6.4 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 6 6 7 5 6 7 5 5 5 5.7 See Dominic's comments
Mark 8 7 7 6 5 7 7 6 4 6.4 See Mark's comments
John 8 8 7 1 6 6 5 3 2 4.9 See John's comments
Jon 7 7 7 5 7 7 9 7 6 7.0 See Jon's comments
Alex 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 5 7.0 See Alex's comments
Robin 5 7 7 5 6 7 5 5 3 5.5 See Robin's comments
Brian 8 7 7 8 7 7 8 7 5 7.2 See Brian's comments
Tim 6 6 5 8 7 6 6 5 6.2 See Tim's comments
Jeff 8 7 3 3 5 6 6 3 5.1 See Jeff's comments

All Comments

Dave - Chicken MoMo starter was average, main course was tasty but veg was very bland. All of the portions seemed to be a bit undersized, so had to go "grazing" around the table to fill up. Overall £30 a head seemed very lumpy for an average meal. Alarmed that all three Griffs turned up - it doesn't help our reputation to all be seen out at once.

Graeme - With 5 pints of Guinness in the pub beforehand, 2 large bottles of Cobra, a complimentary Tia Maria and my own 'set menu' of Prawn Puree and Chicken Jalfrezi, it was a classic curry night for me. It was a steady all-round performance from the City Taj - the experience was generally good without being special. The only exception was my Chicken Jalfrezi which was exceptional. I thought the price was a little on the high side but I would be happy to go back. There was a 'blast from the past' with "Mr Dead" joining us for a drink in the pub - he was making an effort to be early for work this week - it was only Thursday!

Dominic - Overall I found this evening to be one of the more disappointing nights since joining the club. The venue was adequate and the service OK but the disappointment came with the food. My King Prawn Puri was anything but Regal in its offering being very small prawns. And the main of stuffed lamb was more like one would get at a Barbecue rather than an Indian eatery. The special rice was in fact the stand-out with the vegetables being a little lacklustre. Perhaps the other saving grace was the Mateus on the menu but this was not enough to consider the evening anything but average VFM.

Mark - The Cafe Taj looks fairly small from the outside but opens up once inside. The plethora of smartly attired waiters attended to our needs in an efficient and friendly manner as well as providing a nice drink to finish. My Chicken Tikka starter was about 3 times the size of last months effort meaning it was just about average. Chicken Biryani main was good with light rice and good taste but could have had more meat. Good to have my own beer and it was cold! Good to see Mr Dead and a prial of Griff's as well as a misty eyed Aussie glad to be back in a civilized country.

John - Another night out with the curry marks lightweights. A good choice of pub (East India Arms) followed by an average restaurant, followed by an early night. I had a starter called a Prawn Sukka which was a couple of prawns drowned in the some BBQ sauce. Very disappointing. The main course was an average chicken tikka bhuna. All the portions seemed to be very small. Griff obviously thought so too as he decided to go for a third course (two less than he normally has at lunchtime though).

Jon - Very enjoyable meal at a new venue, but a little pricey. My chicken something starter was fairly uninspiring but the main course lamb shank was superb, although not on a par with the Mehek. The accompaniments were all pretty good making it an all round good experience.

Alex - Place was nice but food was unremarkable. Overall OK but rather too expensive for the quality.

Robin - The food was all rather greasy, which was a shame since it otherwise might have tasted a lot better. The king prawn puri was unexceptional, the chicken balti ditto (although it arrived in an amusing little bucket rather than the traditional bowl), and the vegetables were quite oily. The special rice wasn't bad, but not that great either, and I've certainly had nicer paratha bread.  The service was fairly slow, and as is often the case only bottled beer was on offer. Overall not a very impressive establishment charging pretty high prices, hence the poor VFM mark. Don't think this one will make the top 6 any time soon.

Brian - A good first showing from the Cafe Taj. My starter - a garlic king prawn, really was a good-sized prawn, unlike the very small prawns that are normally served up in a King Prawn Puri. The meat in my lamb and spinach main was tender, with just about the right amount of kick for me in the sauce. Beer was bottled and therefore standard - at least it was cold, unlike some other places we've been to recently. Veg dishes were fine, and sufficiently plentiful to ensure that I got some this time around. Only down side was the price, which I thought was a bit steep at £30 per person.

Tim - Popadoms were OK, though there were only 3 of the usual 4 accompaniments - no lime pickle. Chicken Momo starter was good - chicken wrapped in thin pancake with ginger, herbs etc. Main course of chicken sag was OK, though not particularly memorable. Peshwari nan was fine. Overall price seemed a bit high, though there was a "free" round of drinks at the end.

Jeff - I quite liked the restaurant which was bright but not harsh, comfortable, and quite busy. I liked the service and the waiters were quite friendly despite the almighty racket that the 11 of us were making. The food however was disappointing, my starter of tandoori lamb chops was tougher than old boots; the main course of Karahi chicken was quite good, but along with the rice and vegetables came in such a small portion that my 'main course' was more like a quick snack. After polishing that off I was looking round desperately for anything anyone had left, small bits of naan, crumbs from the floor etc. The price at £30 was very lumpy (for £3 more you could go for a top meal). To sum up, a Brick Lane experience at City prices.

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