Name: Herb & Spice
Status: Closed
Area: Spitalfields
Address: 11 White's Row
London E1 7NF
Phone: 020 7247 4050

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 24 Feb 2000|2. 28 Nov 2002|3. 27 Mar 2003|4. 29 Jul 2004|5. 31 Mar 2005
6. 22 Feb 2007|7. 31 Jan 2008|8. 26 Nov 2009|9. 27 Oct 2011|10. 28 Aug 2014

Just like a pig in s**t!

Visit Report

Visit Number: 94 (visit 7 of 10 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 31 Jan 2008
Cost per head: £25.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 7.7 5.3 6.7 7.5 7.7 7.2 8.0 7.1 7.9 7.33
Dave 7 7 9 9 9 8 9 8 9 8.4 See Dave's comments
Robin 7 8 6 8 6 10 8 8 9 7.8 See Robin's comments
Graeme 8 4 6 5 8 7 8 7 6 6.6 See Graeme's comments
Jeff 9 4 6 7 7 7 9 7 9 7.4 See Jeff's comments
Jon 8 6 7 8 10 7 8 7 8 7.7 See Jon's comments
Tim 7 3 4 9 7 7 8 7 8 6.9 See Tim's comments
Alex 8 7 8 8 8 7 8 7.8 See Alex's comments
Dominic 7 5 8 6 8 6 8 5 6 6.7 See Dominic's comments
Mark 8 4 7 6 8 7 7 7 8 6.9 See Mark's comments
Richard 8 5 7 9 6 6 7 8 8 7.2 See Richard's comments

All Comments

Dave - Another excellent meal at the new expanded Herb. The food could not be faulted - the only black marks are the pathetic hot towels (which I don't even bother opening now) and the rather soulless, clinical atmosphere of the new extension (bars on the windows, high ceilings, halogen lighting etc). Anyway, still definitely top six and look forward to returning next year.

Robin - Not quite as exceptional as our last visit but still very, very good. The expansion into the place next door has probably tripled the Herb & Spice’s seating capacity, which is good, but the colour scheme was a rather odd – a bit 1970’s dentist’s waiting room. They hadn’t kept their promise to offer draught Indian beers once they had more space so I reminded them about that – I hope they remember! The king prawn puri starter was great but a bit smaller than last time. I had the jeera gosth main course, and there were a couple of bits of gristle in the otherwise beautifully spicy and tender lamb. Maybe chicken next time? The veg dishes were also good and the special rice was absolutely superb – by far and away the best in the City in my opinion. The paratha was quite dry, which was a shame since the last one I had here was wonderful. Nevertheless value for money was excellent and I look forward to our next visit.

Graeme - The H&S has expanded since our last visit. However, the new part (where we sat this time) is a bit plain and soul-less and I feel that some of the charm of the old place has been lost. The food was generally very good although the prawns in my Prawn Puree starter were a bit small, 'processed' and not particularly tasty. I had Chicken Patia for main - the first time I have had this dish away from my local "Pavilion" restaurant where it is excellent and I have it virtually every time I go. The H&S did not quite match the standard of the Pavilion but it was excellent all the same. Our earlier AGM passed without too many arguments. There was the usual locking of horns on a couple of occasions but nothing too extreme.

Jeff - Our first revisit to the newly extended H & S. I was a little disappointed by the new room in which we were seated - it featured boxes of beer and other bit and pieces half hidden under a tablecloth, and a large grill across the feature window that rather obscured the view of the NCP. We were welcomed as old friends and the service was excellent. Same range of beer as before, although we were promised that Kingfisher would soon be added to the range. I'm glad to report that as far as I'm concerned, the food was still of the previously excellent quality - lamb tikka starter was very tasty, and chicken pathia, billed as hot, sweet, and sour - was exactly that and was probably the best I've had. All accompaniments were of good quality. Pleasantly surprised that the prices were unchanged from last year. Congratulations to Tim and Dom (I think) for securing the liqueurs - my memory becomes hazy around this point. Having said all that, I think the H & S has lost some of the unique atmosphere it had from being so small, and that they need to work on the ambience of the new room. A screen to hide the bits of junk would be a good start.

Jon - Another good performance from the H&S. I think that it has lost some of its character with the extension but the food is still good. The reshmi kebab was a great start and the kali murchi murgh was very tasty, spicy and tender. The keema nan was superb and all the extras up to their usual high standard. Tim took on the mantle of liqueur orderer but fell at the first hurdle by not asking people what they wanted and then ordering a cocktail for everyone rather than a liqueur. But full marks for effort, Tim!

Tim - The Herb and Spice had been expanded since our last visit and is now twice the size. Unfortunately, the new area is not very well proportioned - the room is long and thin and the ceiling is higher than the room is wide. This, coupled with a view of the multi-storey car park across the road, a grille across the window, stark purple walls, stacks of boxes, and rather bright lighting, mean the atmosphere is not very cosy. Disappointingly, the beer selection has not improved since the last visit - just Cobra and Carl(ing/sberg?). Starter of chicken chat was very good - nicely spicy and a good size. Main of chicken jeera was also very pleasant. A couple of free rounds of drinks were very welcome, and the overall cost of £25 was quite reasonable.

Alex - Food was rather tasty, venue quiet but pleasant.

Dominic - This was first look at the expanded restaurant and indeed we were placed in the new area. I can't say that it was overly "friendly" or ambient but comfortable nonetheless and the service was good and friendly. My starter was the King Prawn Puri which was only average both in taste and prawn size. However, my main of Chicken Xacuti was very tasty and the nan was again one of the best I have had. Unfortunately I was let down with the special rice as this time I found it be somewhat soggy. The rest of the meal was average, however, once again the red wine was very good indeed. All in all a disappointing evening given the # 1 spot this eatery had become.

Mark - The CurryMarks crew set off the expanded H&S after the usual lively AGM. (Or 10 grown men talking B*ll*cks as it could be subtitled). We were ushered into the extension that had the look of an unfinished room - Sparse decoration, bars on the door and boxes stacked against the wall. Service was very pleasant and they were almost expecting us. Beer was the usual with a nice variety of Cobra glasses. Meat Samosa to start was OK although mince was a touch bland. Chicken Byriani was plentiful and eventually too much for me. The Peshwari Nan was very good. Post dinner drinks were then served and, although I don't like vodka, Tim should be thanked for his efforts.

Richard - I liked the more spacious Herb, but the toilets are an uncomfortable reminder of how cramped it used to be. Re-decoration has still left it rather ugly inside, and it was mostly empty. The food was good indeed, and my mixed kebab starter (bhaji, sheek and samosa) was excellent. The kali mirch murgh main with black pepper sauce was good with a nice kick, but not as good as Dom's Xacuti which was very good indeed. El presidente has dented his otherwise spotless reputation by appearing very late for the AGM.

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