Name: City Raj
Status: Closed
Area: Farringdon
Address: 41 Farringdon Street
London EC4A 4AN

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 27 Jun 2002|2. 27 Nov 2003|3. 30 Nov 2006|4. 29 Nov 2007

"Just close your eyes and think of England, darling."
(Robin pays for some 'hand relief' in the Lord Raglan.)

Visit Report

Visit Number: 80 (visit 3 of 4 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 30 Nov 2006
Cost per head: £28.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.3 7.2 6.6 6.5 6.5 6.7 6.7 6.6 6.7 6.72
Dave 10 9 8 6 7 7 6 7 6 7.1 See Dave's comments
Graeme 8 7 6 7 7 7 8 6 7 7.1 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 8 8 7 6 5 5 6 5 5 6.1 See Dominic's comments
Mark 7 5 6 7 5 6 7 8 6.5 See Mark's comments
John 9 9 8 7 6 7 8 7 7 7.6 See John's comments
Jon 6 7 7 8 7 7 6 7 6 6.8 See Jon's comments
Alex 8 8 7 7 7 8 8 8 7.6 See Alex's comments
Robin 6 7 6 8 8 8 6 6 7 6.9 See Robin's comments
Brian 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6.0 See Brian's comments
Tim 5 5 6 5 7 7 7 7 5 6.0 See Tim's comments
Richard 8 6 6 5 7 7 7 7 8 6.6 See Richard's comments
Pete (Guest) 7 9 6 6 7 6 5 7 7 6.4 See Pete's comments

All Comments

Dave - I thought that the City Raj had a very warm and welcoming atmosphere (and proper hot towels at the end!!!). The food was generally good but let down by one factor, namely the Chicken which was delivered in uniform square blocks and tasted very bland (as though it had been added at the last minute as an afterthought rather than cooked with the sauce it accompanied). b.t.w. I ate at the Mehek the other night and had a fantastic meal - still justifying its no1 status - the new Herb&spice? (although roll on February for H&S to launch a challenge for top spot).

Graeme - The City Raj is a bit quirky and I like it - quite small with an additional 'mezzanine' area which seats 6-8 people plus the toilets are reached via a spiral staircase (which is not to be attempted after too many Cobras). The waiters quickly made up a table to seat 11 of us and then had to increase it to 12 (a club record, I think) when Richard arrived late. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal of a mixed tandoori starter (although it was a bit on the small side) and a chilli chicken main course and the price was reasonable at £27 per head. Pete made a second appearance as Mark's guest - he's another Stevenage supporter so there was plenty of Boro talk - marvellous!

Dominic - Another first time visit for yours truly although a return for all other members to this rather intimate eatery. Although the cosy venue didn't really lend itself to a large table the surrounds were nonetheless enjoyable with the waiters hovering from the adjoining stairwell depositing and removing dishes providing the entertainment. The food was somewhat disappointing as my mixed starter was nice without being special and my lamb main was quite ordinary. The special rice was not too bad with the vegetables and nan also being mediocre. Once again it was great to see Mateus on the wine list although the bulk of the wines were a little pricey. Overall an average VFM night out.

Mark - Normally do my return the day after the curry but due to holiday, weekend and working in another building, my recollection is now slightly dimmed. The City Raj did very well to fit 11 of us in at short notice and then add another at the last minute when Richard joined us. Place was very very full and I'm sure we made it even noisier. The meal was good and the company was lively particularly Griff with his hate of divorced parents. Chicken Jalfraizi was not as hot as some that I've had but was still tasty. MAE was very high causing me to rush out of one shop while doing my Xmas shopping and quickly go to one with a loo - could have been the port & flaming zambuca to blame. Even watched some cricket when I got home as we put the Aussies to the sword. Shame it did not continue!

John - Back to basics in terms of food - I went for the prawn purree and chicken jalfrezi which were both good although the chicken had a processed feel to it. Good sized portions though. The keema nan could of had a bit more keema in it. The restaurant itself was cosy and atmospheric and the staff were very accommodating considering the size of our party (12 - is that a record?). Bring on the Black Country curry!

Jon - Having enlarged the table to accommodate our large numbers, the City Raj produced a reasonable performance. The off-menu Reshmi Kebab was excellent, but the special lamb dish I had for main was a little disappointing. It was tasty but the meat was a little tough. Accompaniments were all good and the service OK. There were a few heated discussions in various parts of the table but hopefully everybody will remain friends.....

Alex - [None]

Robin - The service has gone a little downhill since our last visit, but the overall experience was about the same. Had a (special order) reshmi kebab to start that was very nice, followed by a slightly disappointing chicken madras (the chicken had probably been cooked separately and then had the sauce added just before it was served) with very good special rice. The vegetables weren't that great and there wasn't enough to go round either, but the paratha bread was nice. I felt a bit like an agony aunt towards the end after Dom had managed to insult Rats and Jon had apparently questioned Tim's parenting skills, sitting as I was between Tim and Dom. Think I'll take a long weekend soon somewhere more relaxing - Afghanistan perhaps?

Brian - I think it was all rather average.

Tim - The City Raj is not a large restaurant, and some of our party of 12 were squeezed in rather awkwardly (this might have been partly our fault; I'm not sure that we booked). For the starter I had Capsi Kebab which was described as whole green pepper stuffed with keema. I can't fault the description; but I wouldn't choose it again. The (spicy) Chicken Mirchi Methi was tasty, though I don't remember the menu mentioning anything about chillis. Rice, vegatables and nan were all OK. The meal was pleasantly finished off with a couple of rounds of complimentary spirits/liqueurs. Overall, a reasonable meal, however the Service has been marked down a little due to having to wait a long time for the food; and the Ambience reduced due to being squashed in. It wasn't particularly cheap either, and for the money, I think there are better places.

Richard - Starter of tandoori chicken was rather ordinary, but the special lamb dish was good, along with the side dishes. The place was small, and the full turnout meant we were jammed in, so book ahead if more than 4 people. Evidently the warmup beers were potent, as we had rantings from Griff over ticket allocations for the school play, and more unusually from Tim over Santa!

Pete - I'd already met up with some friends at lunchtime for a few beers, so by the time we got to the City Raj I was certainly up for a curry. The restaurant itself seemed in the middle of nowhere but once inside it had that typical Indian feel. There was obviously an upstairs and basement part to the establishment but a table was put together in the ground floor section to accommodate the 12 of us. It definitely felt like we were a bit wedged in, but it did improve the ambience. A fairly tasty prawn starter was followed my a perfectly acceptable but not outstanding chicken jalfrezi. Having said that, the rice, naan and sag aloo were pretty good, and service was slick. Don't remember there being any draft Indian beer, but all in all, a pretty good meal and service, but perhaps a tad cosy!

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