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

An expert can tell a lot about a wine by its 'nose'.

Visit Report

Visit Number: 84 (visit 4 of 4 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 29 Mar 2007
Cost per head: £31.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 4.7 6.0 5.8 7.0 6.3 6.9 7.1 6.7 4.8 6.28
Dave 6 7 6 8 9 7 9 8 7 7.6 See Dave's comments
Graeme 3 6 6 7 8 8 8 7 4 6.5 See Graeme's comments
Dominic 7 5 5 6 6 6 6 5 4 5.6 See Dominic's comments
Mark 4 5 6 6 7 6 8 6 3 5.9 See Mark's comments
John 1 3 3 1 4 5 3 5 1 2.8 See John's comments
Jon 3 7 6 8 2 7 6 7 3 5.6 See Jon's comments
Tim 5 7 5 9 5 7 8 8 5 6.8 See Tim's comments
Robin 5 7 7 8 6 8 7 6 6 6.8 See Robin's comments
Brian 5 6 7 8 8 8 9 8 7 7.5 See Brian's comments
Richard 8 7 7 9 8 7 7 7 8 7.6 See Richard's comments

All Comments

Dave - Excellent curry from the Bengal Trader. Nice Chicken special for starter (warning - very hot) followed by an excellent Trader Chicken Curry. My Nan was late arriving but when it did was hot and crispy. Overall - little to fault and hope that it maintains top six status.

Graeme - Excellent food let down by poor service, no draft beer and too expensive. The service was laughable at times - it took ages for our order to be taken and then for the food to come, the waiter leaned over me and my meal a number of times in order to reach other people on the table when he could have just moved round to them, and the waiters tried to pursuade Rats that an unclaimed main dish was what he had ordered when, in fact, it was completely different. My main dish (Chicken X-something) was very tasty and I made a mental note that the rice and Peshwari Nan were particularly good. Griff was wearing a watch and had a mobile phone tonight - is he finally moving into the modern world or, at least, the 1990's?

Dominic - I quite like this modern restaurant but did not enjoy being squeezed on 2 adjoining tables this time round. I went for my ornate Prawn starter and was amused that Brian voiced the need for a sauce (as this was what I mentioned last visit and thought the same again!). My Chicken Xacula was enjoyable without being a stand out which was pretty much the same for all side dishes etc. The wine was pricey so all in all it was a disappointing VFM experience.

Mark - Margin calls in the pub while my Mrs went to watch Menpause the Musical - a most unusual eveing except for the fact that the Bengal Trader yet again was very expensive and failed to deliver. It can be very good but also has poor points. Service was terrible. Shoving 10 of us onto a couple of small tables and serving our main meal 1 1/2 hours later did not help. Food was varied with my Chicken Sag being very good along with the Nan while I found the rice a bit stodgy and veg minimalistic. Very noisy by the end as the place was packed with 'corporate' parties seeming to be the norm which explains the high price.

John - Very disappointing - overpriced, poor service, and average food. Shish kebab (with free waiter's thumb print) followed by a tasteless Trader Chicken Curry (although they did try and fob me off with a jalfrezi which they described as similar!!). I don't know how this place ever got into the top six.

Jon - The Bengal Trader failed to match the high price tag with high quality food - despite being more expensive than either of our visits to the Mehek (widely viewed as the most expensive), it just doesn't compare in terms of quality. The service was little more than a shambles with some dishes missing and some randomly appearing over a 15 minute time period - I fear that they just don't know how to deal with groups of more than four. The keema nan was probably the worst I've ever had - maybe I've been spoiled by the Black Country experience, but it was very small, had hardly any meat and was cold when it arrived. The main, a Chicken Jalfrezi, was tasty although very dry. The one saving grace was the starter, prawns wrapped in spinach and fried on a stick - very tasty although probably not worth the £6.50 price tag. I would be disappointed if the Bengal Trader retained its top six status as I feel there are many restaurants with better food for a more reasonable price.

Tim - This was a bright and spacious basement restaurant. There was a disappointing choice of beer - only Cobra. Fortunately, Dom shared his rather good Nuits St Georges instead. The Chicken Special starter was large, and nicely spicy. The chef's special of lamb-something-beginning-with-S (made with lemon, but not shatkora) was good. Vegetables were nice (aubergine, chick peas) and the lemon rice was OK. The Peshwari nan was small. The service was fine, but has been marked down a bit because of a long wait for the food. No free round of drinks and higher than average bill has reduced the VFM.

Robin - The service was a lot slower than our last visit, but I enjoyed my prawn changri something starter although I was slightly less impressed with the Trader Chicken main dish - not bad but not quite as hot as I'd hoped. The (special order) special rice was pretty good, the vegetables okay but not outstanding but I was definitely disappointed by the paratha since I'd had an excellent one on the previous visit, and this one was rather stodgy and greasy. The bottled Cobra was fine but overall I felt a little let down, especially given the fairly high price.

Brian - Marked down for service, as I'm not keen on the way the main courses were handed out - bit like the old open outcry trading floors as a small army of waiters descended upon us, shouting unintelligibly and waving plates of food at us. The food was excellent - prawn starter followed by a lamb something-or-other, which had loads of tender meat and a superb tasting sauce. Cost a tad on the high side, but you get what you pay for, certainly in terms of quality and quantity of food.

Richard - My starter of special chicken was delicious, strips of chicken coated in a delicious thick sauce. My main King prawn dish, was good but the sauce was a touch bland. All portions were very generous (especially the sizeable starter). It was a bright, smart place with good service, and some of the best toilets in town, but was rather empty when we arrived, although it livened up later. Apologies to Tim & Dom for being nudged (by Griff) into breaking the 7.45 "time gentlemen please" rule.

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