Name: Spice Trader
Previous name: Moved into Philpot Tandoori!
Area: Monument
Address: 9-10 Philpot Lane
London EC3M 8AA
Phone: 020 7929 2229

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 27 Dec 2001|2. 27 Apr 2006|3. 31 May 2007|4. 27 Nov 2014|5. 26 Nov 2015
6. 31 Oct 2019

Wot, no draft Indian beer?
(Inspired by Chad - for those of you old enough to remember.)

Visit Report

Visit Number: 86 (visit 3 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 31 May 2007
Cost per head: £29.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 6.9 6.8 6.9 6.3 5.4 6.5 5.9 6.8 5.5 6.26
Brian 6 7 6 6 6 6 5 6 6 5.9 See Brian's comments
Jon 6 7 7 4 7 7 5 7 4 5.8 See Jon's comments
Graeme 7 6 6 8 3 6 8 7 6 6.6 See Graeme's comments
Mark 6 7 6 5 3 8 7 5 5 5.9 See Mark's comments
Jeff 7 4 7 5 5 3 8 4 5.1 See Jeff's comments
Tim 8 7 7 8 6 6 6 6 6 6.7 See Tim's comments
Robin 7 7 7 7 6 7 5 6 4 6.1 See Robin's comments
Dominic 8 9 9 7 7 7 8 9 9 8.0 See Dominic's comments

All Comments

Brian - I was warned off the lamb as apparently I did not rate it previously. It was a mystery how everyone but me knew about this, and then the penny dropped - I need to look on that interweb thingy to see what I said last time! The company was excellent, the restaurant and meal were distinctly average, with nothing of enough significance to come to mind 4 days on.

Jon - This was a disappointing performance from the Spice Trader. Nothing was particularly wrong with it, but for the price paid, I expect better. My reshmi kebab was overcooked but otherwise fine, and the chicken madras was fairly ordinary and not that spicy. Rice, veg and nan were all good.

Graeme - A nice clean place with efficient (if soulless) service. The food was generally very good, especially my Reshmee Kebab (which a couple of the others weren't so keen on but I really liked) and the Chicken Vindaloo (which was HOT) - I must admit that I left a couple of pieces of chicken to save my lips from further punishment. The only disappointment, other than the all-too-common lack of any draft Indian beer, was the Peshwari Nan which had very little coconut or taste. It was another good night for banter although we plumbed the depths by discussing some very deviant sexual practices in far too much detail (having been given some unsavoury dictionary definitions by Google Boy) ... they made Suzie's alleged antics seem rather tame by comparison.

Mark - Nothing much wrong with the place except the Peshwari Nan and the price. However it did not excite which was just as well considering the conversation. Bring back the football season so that we can talk more (?) sense. I had a biryani rather than anything too hot in deference to a 12 hour flight the nexy day and the MAE was certainly low. Nice to see Dom there early so that he ould ensure a seat with a wall behind him! Cost seemed a bit lumpy despite the now traditional 'one for the road'.

Jeff - The Spice Trader was quiet as usual; on this performance I know why. There was a draft beer, but chutneys were meagre. Service was quite quick I thought. I ordered starter of reshmi kebab (which I'd never had before) after Jon's description of it as 'egg burger' - it was ok. Uninspiring menu led me to order chicken balti, but I was given chicken tikka balti. Now if I want tikka I'll ask for it and anyway the meal was more like chicken dupiaza without the onions - not good. Side dishes were pleasant and rice ok. Altogether food average at best, at an above average price, in an undistinguished basement. I expect its top 6 place to be lost, and I'll not be sorry.

Tim - This is a spacious basement restaurant which became quite busy as the evening progressed. The beer selection had improved since the last visit - both Cobra and Kingfisher were available. The starter of chicken chat was tasty and a good size. Main of sag gosht had lots of good quality meat, but wasn't as spicy as I was expecting. The sundries including a keema nan were OK, but nothing really stood out. Service was efficient. A free round of liqueurs at the end of the meal was welcome. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the fascinating conversation about gerbils...

Robin - Having missed both previous outings I was look forward to visiting the Spice Trader, but was a bit disappointed with the outcome. The service was quite good, the ambiance was fine, the bottled Cobra was nice and cold and the king prawn puri and special rice were nice but not outstanding. However, my main dish of balti chicken was actually balti chicken tikka and not very spicy, the vegetable dishes were okay but rather greasy, and the prices were outrageously high for food that wasn't vastly above average in any category. I hope it isn't still in the top six next year!

Dominic - This is a venue that I quite like - a long, modern bar, nice decor and attentive staff. My starter of King Prawn Puri was good without being extraordinary while the main of Rogan Josht was tasty and plentiful. And while the rest of the dishes were also good the standout was the Sag Aloo which was the tastiest I have ever had - reminded me of how Italian restaurants serve creamed spinach!  And it was refreshing to see that Mateus was still on offer at a reasonable (relatively speaking!) price. Once again I found this to be a very good eatery and good value for money.

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