Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tandoori Palace - Histon Road.

After a heavy weekend dining at The Sultan in St Ives and The Regency Club in London, we decided to make it a weekend trio by hitting one of the most overlooked Indian restaurants in Cambridge - The Tandoori Palace.

Located on Histon Road, surrounded by some of the cream of Cambridge Indian dining, the Tandoori Palace is often forgotten about as it lacks the usual gimmick or neon sign which seems to be necessary to get noticed now days.  

We decided to head in on a Sunday afternoon, still full from my trip to The Regency Club. We were greeted and shown to a table. The place was empty at the time but the place looked nice. It felt like a very text book, all round, Indian restaurant - A theme which I noticed would continue through the entire dining experience. 

A good old fashioned Indian restaurant - They seem to be few and far between now days.

We were given our menus and ordered some papadums. The first thing I noticed by looking at the menu is the very average amount of choice. All the things you would expect, all the curries, tandoori chicken and a few chef specials. I also noticed that the price was very competitive though, with a chicken vindaloo being £4.95! 


The plates and cutlery were really nice here. 

Text book side sauces in the textbook spinning metal container!

Once our papadums came out, they came with the usual four side sauces. Mango chutney, lime pickle, onion salad and red onion chutney. Each presented in the text book metal container which you can spin around the table for sharing. All the portion sizes were decent and very few complaints from the lads while eating it, though nothing jumped out as excellent. 

My heart always bursts with excitement when I see this little cart come out!

The food came out in good time, presented on the little cart you used to always see back in the day. Everything looked well prepared and fairy decent. Some of our dishes looked a bit oily but everything tasted great. My chicken tikka vindaloo was done well and it had a good kick to it. My onion rice was decent and had a nice texture and my saag aloo was excellent. There were no complaints from my friends on their dishes. 
It seems to me like Tandoori Palace does a good curry and for a good price.  Nothing blew us away, except perhaps the saag aloo, but it seems to be of an acceptable standard here at a minimum. This might be a place to avoid if you do not like your food very oily however.

The place continued to be empty besides a family sat behind us. The staff generally stayed out the way despite there being nothing to do. They came back to make sure everything was ok with our food, which it was. 

Our food went down well and everyone seemed in high spirits. Once we asked for our bill we were presented with hot towels and a few chocolates, but most importantly we were presented with a very small bill. The place seems to be very competitive and does everything to a good standard. I can see why this place is often over looked but at the same time I am surprised it is empty too. 

Everyone left fond of Tandoori Palace but the place didn't blow anyone away either. It seems to me that Tandoori Palace is just as it looks from the outside - A good all round text book Indian restaurant. 
It offers great value, average quality, average service and a basic selection on the menu. For the average curry goer the Tandoori Palace will have the basic curry and papadums most people come for, but you will not find the diverse selection of cuisine like you would at, say, Zahza Grill or The Rang Mohol

I can see this place being a local favourite but for people coming from out of town this being very low on the list considering the options around. I think most people would rather pay a few pounds more for a little higher quality and atmosphere. 

I really enjoyed my time here as it seems that every Indian now days seems to need a gimmick or some sort of flashy interior or fusion food. Sometimes I just want spicy slop in a bucket and a hot towel and this place offers this well and for good value.

Now if you will excuse me, after three Indian meals in three days, I am going to buy myself a girdle!  


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Regency Club - London.

When I say that a place has been well over due for a visit, The Regency Club REALLY has been one of those places which has been well over due for a visit. Mainly down to its slightly awkward location in north west London, in the suburb of Queensbury, the place is a bit of a mission to get too from Cambridge.

The Regency Club, for mainly that reason, has eluded me for well over a year...That is, until now. 

Recommended to me by numerous people from The Cambridge Curry Crew Facebook groupTwitter (@CurryCrew) and many different online reviews, The Regency Club is a place which seems to have a sensational reputation for choice, style, customer service and quality. I have been foaming at the mouth to try The Regency Club, and for good reason. 

At last, I made it! 

The Regency Club stands out like a sore thumb in the streets of Queensbury. Located on a nice little green in the midsts of numerous phone shops and off licences. Here it stands proud with its golden sign and marble walls. 

Upon entering we were warmly greeted by the man at the door. We were struck by the beautiful stain glass ceiling which seems to be the trade mark for The Regency Club. The bar too looked fantastic, you could see across into the open kitchen at the chefs cooking away, something I always find very reassuring. I also noticed that they had a selection of their own beers - The Regency Club FOUR and The Regency Club PILS. 

A light beer which works well with their food...and for £3 a pint!

While we were all being shown to our table I was blown away by how friendly and warm the place was. Every waiter I walked past shook my hand. I even had a gentleman who came to greet me and to wish me a happy birthday.

I felt like a celebrity.

I had no idea how he knew it was my birthday. I put this down to their fantastic online presence through Facebook and Twitter where I sometimes communicate with them, so I might have mentioned that it was my birthday a few days prior. Either way, this goes to show the level of communication and attention to detail they take with their customers. Please check out their profile on The Regency Club Twitter page, their Facebook page and The Regency Club website, you will not regret it. 

Once we sat down we were put at a small table at the back of the restaurant which seemed a little small for 7 people. In fact, I noticed that the area took a very sharp turn from classy stain glass ceilings and open plan kitchens to very average pub like surroundings. We had a TV with the cricket on above our heads and the tables were basic and a little cramped. Either way, we made it work but it was hardly the glamour of the Regency Club promotional video.

Once we were settled we looked at the menu and was incredibly pleased with the diverse selection of food available. 
There were a few chef specials on today including something they only have on the menu once a month - The pulled lamb naan, which just so happened to be TODAY!
So naturally I couldn't control myself and decided there and then what I wanted. There were a few things which has been recommended to me by friends which I felt obliged to try, so I ordered the mixed grill, their famous lamb chops and the garlic mogo (garlic and chilli wedges). I ordered a bit of a mix of food to get more of a diverse idea about what The Regency Club was about.

There was something for everyone here! The usual Indian food most people come to expect from standard Indian restaurants now days, such as curries and tandoori chicken. They also do a fantastic selection of grilled meats, pan fried fish, vegetarian food and spring lamb. I really couldn't see anyone leaving here
unfulfilled, there was so much choice!

While we waited for our food we ordered some beer. We went for a few pints of The Regency Club's PILS. I was incredibly impressed with the cost of their beer, coming to little over £3 each. I really didn't feel like I was in London at all! 
The beer itself hardly blew me away, it came across as a little watery, but a part of me thought that this went well with the type of cuisine they serve. Being mostly heavy and spicy meat, a nice light, watery beer might be just right for the occasion. Either way, for £3, I can hardly complain. 

The food all came out in fantastic time. This was one of my favourite things about The Regency Club. The staff were never a bother but there was always someone lurking around if you needed anything. They were incredibly attentive and efficient. As you can see by the photo, we ordered a lot of food and had to resort to stacking empty plates on top of each other to make things work.
I felt from the start that they had put us on a small table for 7 of us, but again, we made it work and the staff were quick to take things away which were no longer of use. 

Garlic mogo! 

The garlic mogo was one of the stars of the show for me. Such bold flavour and crispy on the outside, yet soft texture on the inside. I have been thinking about their garlic mogo for days since visiting and really couldn't recommend these enough to anyone. £5.20 might seem a little steep for chips but I assure you they are well worth it and great to share.

Lamb chops!

The lamb chops were incredibly decent and not too dry. The portions were good and they were presented well. They had a great flavour and my girlfriend, who is not a big eater, made quick work of them - Which speaks for itself!

I keep thinking about the pulled lamb naan!

The pulled lamb naan was my favourite dish of the evening. At first I thought paying over £9 for a naan was steep, but that was until I saw the amount of lamb they put on this monster!  The naan itself was huge and covered in a yoghurt sauce which made the texture incredible. The lamb was succulent and very juicy. You could tell the naan was made fresh as it was so soft. The yoghurt really brought it all together too, which created a divine dish big enough to share between all 7 of us! I really hope they find a way of introducing this on to the menu every day because it pains me to know people are missing out on this!

My mixed grill was great. It consisted of chicken tikka, kebab and Mushkaki. The meat was bursting with flavour and the portions were generous. The meat might have been a little dry but it was all easily forgiven. There were some Regency Club sauces on the table to help me with that anyway.

Regency Club chutney and mint chutney. 

Upon finishing...well, maybe not finishing, I had ordered way too much to ever finish...but when I was done, the staff took our food away. 
Again, they were very on the ball here. They were really good at making sure drink were flowing, empty plates and glasses were taken, yet at the same time it didn't feel like they were getting in the way. They really had it down to an art form. 

Damn you mother!

My family thought it was be a great idea to embarrass me with a birthday cake, so sadly I didn't get to try any dessert here. 

When we got the bill we were surprised about how reasonable it all was. Especially when quantity, choice and quality was considered. As promised, the beer was still only £3 too. 

Bravo guys!

Thumbs up with a food full of garlic mogo!

The Regency Club takes customer service and revolutionises it. They made us feel like a star walking in and made us feel like pigs walking out! Their staff were fantastic at what they do and were able to keep a small table between 7 reasonably spacious and were always around when we looked up to get attention. They were polite, friendly and professional. It really made their service feel like an art form. Their social media activity is second to none and I highly recommend you check them out on Twitter and Facebook. 

The food was incredible. I can safely say that if this place was any closer, I would be an obese man in a mobility scooter by now! The choice, the quality, the way it was prepared. It was reassuring to see their chefs doing what they did, and doing it so well in a spotless kitchen. The food came out quickly and didn't let quality suffer because of it! All the meat was bursting with flavour, especially the pulled lamb. I really couldn't recommend the pulled lamb naan and garlic mogo enough.  These two dishes were the stars of the show for me. I have been thinking about both dishes every day since dining her, and I trust you will do the same.

Their beer was average by its own merit, but it was fantastic value. The style of the beer worked with the spicy food served so you can see why it was made in that way.  Being quite light and watery was a good balance but not something I would ever order while at the pub or at home. They have obviously thought about this well. I don't think a Czech beer would have mixed well with heavy Indian food so they got it spot on.

The place is incredibly classy upon entering. The stain glass ceiling was beautiful, I loved the fish tanks too. Their bar was long and being able to see through to their open kitchen was incredibly reassuring, it was a nice touch and made the place feel very lively. I was a little disappointed by the very pub-like location where we were seated, with the small table and TV above our heads. I really hope it isn't like that in the rest of the restaurant.  

There is no doubt in my mind that I will be coming back soon and when I do I will be exploring the many many more things left on their incredibly diverse menu which I want to try. 


Thanks for reading!

As I was going to St Ives (part 3).... The Sultan.

As part of my St Ives tour I decided to hit the local favourite, The Sultan. 

Located just off the London Road bridge near the centre of town, The Sultan has a very popular reputation in the area and is a place I have looked back at fondly from my visit some 5 years ago. That being said, my memory is pretty rusty so a quick visit to refresh my memory was just what I needed to give a clear review. 

The place is hardly glamorous, but by no means cheap either. They have gone for an unorthodox yellow colour scheme (Gold maybe?) with some marble pillars which seem to give it a different look from what most of us are used too. 

They have a TV in the top corner and some old style lamps for display purposes. They do light up but I am sad to say they are not fire, but electric. Sorry to disappoint! 

As you can see the restaurant was more than capable of holding us all and would be able to cater for any number of people you are looking for. 

Looking at the menu, I wouldnt say there was a wealth of choice to choose from. They had all the basics and classics like you would expect. I would think most people will come here and find what they are looking for, but don't expect anything too experimental.
The menu was presented very well. It was easy to understand and laid out in a clear and concise way. Prices were about average, on par with PR Masala down the road, so it was competitive. 

 Papadums and side sauces.

We decided to order some papadums (as you do!) while we thought about what we wanted for our mains.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that they brought out the 4 main sides you come to expect now days. Mango chutney, yoghurt, lime pickle and onion salad.
They were brought out in nice china pots and were very generous with their portions. Everything looked great! 

The sauces probably weren't up to normal standard, which was disappointing. The mango chutney was a little watery and the lime pickle was lacking its sour sharpness but nothing was horrible. 

 Chicken tikka masala and chicken tikka vindaloo.

Naturally I went for the chicken tikka vindaloo, onion rice and some saag aloo - my favourite dish!
Everything came out in good time and nobody had any complications with our order, which was impressive considering how many people there were. 

The onion rice tasted great and had a good flavour and texture to it, as was the saag aloo, I was impressed. However, the chicken tikka vindaloo was disappointing.

First of, my chicken was not tikka'd, at all. The curry tasted like it had been rushed also, which might explain why it all came out in good time. I could tell this as the vegetables in the curry were crunchy and the vindaloo didn't have its famous smoky taste. It was a little watery too. There was no kick to it, my usual trade mark hiccups were non existent, which is a sure way of telling if the curry is hot enough. 

Like with Montaz in the town centre, they had done so much right here but messed up  with the main course. Which is the worst thing to do during a dining experience!

 That being said, it didn't spoil our evening. The staff here was very friendly, helpful and attentive. The company was great and we had lots of laughs. The surroundings and food were decent enough and it was a very good time. 

I didn't get to try out the desserts as I was embarrassed with a birthday cake! Happy birthday to me! 

When we were finished they brought us out the bill, served in a green leather book with some chocolates. No hot towels I am afraid, not that they were needed with the mild curry. 

The bill came to about what you would expect from an average Indian restaurant in St Ives. 

Conclusion: This text book, no thrills Indian restaurant is a warm and welcoming  place. Everything was reasonably priced and I can see how it serves the locals well. There was a great customer service and any average Indian diner should be able to find everything they are looking for during their visit.
Most of their portions are generous and presented well. Its just a shame that they don't seem to quite get everything right, especially their main courses. None the less, my family and I enjoyed ourselves and people left feeling fond of The Sultan and look forward to coming back.

I would have liked to see a few Indian beers on tap and preferred to wait an extra few minutes for a curry with more attention paid to it.

The Sultan just scrapes a 7 out of 10 for me, mainly because I had so much fun here and I cannot seem to find a reason why it wouldnt score less or more than PR Masala around the corner which got the same score.


Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vote in our poll for "Best Indian In Cambridge".

Don't forget to vote in our Cambridge Curry Crew Facebook Poll!

Currently we have The Curry Queen on Mill Road sitting comfortably at the no1 spot. 
Closely followed by Zara of Great Shelford at no2 and Pipasha in Cambridge at no3.

Which one do you think deserves the crown of the best Indian in Cambridge?

You will need to join the group to be able to vote.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

The List!

It seems that no matter how many Indian restaurants I manage to try these days there are always many more which seem pop up and make it on to my list. It's a never ending journey with over 9000 Indian, Bangladeshi, or Pakistani establishments in the UK. I have to face facts, I will never get to try them all - but I do want to try the best! 

The more I learn, experience and write about Indian food, the more places I keep hearing about that I simply must try! Here are some of the top places in my list which I am absolutely ITCHING to get stuck in too! 

The Regency Club - London. 

Open since 1991, this family run business has been around for over 20 years and has a absolutely sterling reputation from everyone I know. Located in the heart of Queensbury, this place is a little awkward to get too on the public transport line from Cambridge, so it has put me off many times when places like Brick Lane are just on the other end of the train line (criminal, I know!), but I shall be breaking that bad habit soon with a table already booked for my 30th birthday next week! 

Watch this space!

Why? As well as being very modern, traditional and classy, the place is just a very exciting concept as a whole. They fuse Kenyan cooking with Indian cuisine which makes The Regency Club a little different. They even make their own Pilsner which is something I have been longing to try for some time now! All their meat and poultry is marinaded for 24 hours and cooked in an open kitchen you can see from your own table for that added excitement and reassurance. 

Dishoom's - Kings Cross/Shoreditch.

When I am told I cant have something, I want it more! 

That has always been the way I have been since the day I was born! While catching up with an old friend a few months ago she suggested that we try this new place just off Kings Cross Station called Dishoom's. Upon entering we were turned away due to a huge queue outside. 

That will teach us for not booking ahead!

Upon reading further about this place it seems that this was not just another Indian restaurant conveniently located next to a famous transport hub but also a very respected Indian restaurant with rave reviews everywhere I read, which explains the queues outside (way to rub salt in the wound, huh?).

Why? Other than being told I couldn't eat here, the place just seems to come across well in every single review I have read. They seem to be reviving an old Irani/Bombay cafe style which has long gone these days and set it out in a very modern and open plan London style restaurant. The place may not be as cheap as the usual "Slop-in-a-bucket" Indian you find down say, Brick Lane, but that just adds to the modern class of the place and just another reason why I must try it!

The Curry Mile - Manchester

Yes, though not a singular Indian restaurant in itself, "The Curry Mile" has long been at the top of my list in places to experience for some time. Heck, I have only just began to explore Brick Lane, which is just down the road from me, so getting my butt up to Manchester has again been one of those places which has eluded me. 

Why? Row after row after row of none stop, Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani restaurants...for a mile! (apparently!). The choice, diversity and sheer atmosphere of this place is staggering. There are going to be so many interesting, unusual and out right sensational places to experience, with awards, reputations and institutions every where I turn!

 I am going to need to take a week off and stay up there and eat nothing but Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner to fully appreciate this place! Anyone up for sharing a hotel room with me? Didn't think so!

This is the only place on the list which I have already been too.

Rated by The Guardian as one of the best places to eat in the WHOLE OF LONDON. Quite a statement!

I was here like a shot when I first found out about this place. Popular for not only for its good quality, but also for its phenomenally cheap prices - with things like sheek kebabs for under £1!!!
I can see why there is always huge queue going all the way down the street every night with deals like that!

My experience was quite different however. I found the many many reviews, all singing its praises, and the queues of people going down the street, with the numerous recommendations from friends on the Cambridge Curry Crew Facebook group were...over hyped? 
The interior was ugly, the staff were constantly rushed off their feet and there was no customer service to speak of. Getting hold of anyone took bloody ages, and when you finally did, it felt like a massive bother for them. Granted the grilled food was great (and for a fantastic price) but that's where it ended. Anything off the grill menu was average at best. 
I can see why this place is so popular. A lot of people only think of good food and value, but for me, in order to get this manic hype and the reputation it has, it needs the full package. Tayyabs simply lacked in so many key areas for me that it certainly didn't deserve the crown of being "one of the best restaurants in London", which is one hell of a bold statement as it is!

Why? I keep telling myself that maybe I went on an off night. Perhaps I missed something, maybe I got it wrong?  All I know is that I am flying in the face of a lot of opinions...I need to check Tayyabs out again!

So many people laugh at me when I say that I am itching to spend a weekend up in Bradford (especially my friends from Leeds!). However, they do not see the place like I do - through the eyes of a curry fiend!

Why? Bradford has won the Curry Capital Of Britain 4 times now. So for me, that is simply a must - The end. 

Like "The Curry Mile" in Manchester, I am going to have to spend a good long time up there to even scratch the surface of this place with so much choice. Imagine the gems I am going to find while exploring this place?

Choice, diversity and value. Its going to have it all! What else is there to say?

Brick Lane is still an unfinished job for me. Ever since Liverpool Street Station has lowered its prices from Cambridge (£6-8 each way if you book in advance), I have been coming here a whole lot more lately. All I have to do is jump on the train and boom, Brick Lane is ten minutes away. 

It seems like a never ending journey for me as the more times I go down Brick Lane, there more places I spot that I "MUST TRY!". Cinnamon now being one of them. 

Why? Cinnamon for me has always jumped out from the rest, especially after my nasty shock in Sheba the other night (£40+ for two people? Oww!). Cinnamon offer fantastic set menus for only £8.50 and seem to have a decent and consistent reputation. This often resonates with me as one of my favourite things about Indian restaurants is that they offer fantastic service and brilliant food for a much cheaper price than, say, Chinese.

They have won Best In Brick Lane 2013 from Tripadvisor but have also won praise from Tandoori Magazine, claiming their lemon grass chicken is "the best they have ever tasted", not to mention nods from Michelin rated Chefs and the Cobra Food Guide. So a nice healthy mix of diverse praise and opinions there which reassures me I will be getting quality and value at a convenient location.

Kaz's Indian Restaurant - Sawston.

Back in the days when I briefly lived in Sawston I used to dine here all the time. Back when it was Redfort Garden they offered a fantastic customer service and always did a blinding vindaloo. The place looked incredibly dated back then which let the restaurant down. Things have changed however!

Redfort Gardens is now Kaz's Indian Restaurant and has gone under huge modernisation, they have even decided to show rival Indian restaurants in the country how it is done with this unique quote on their website.

"There are thousands of 'Indian' restaurants in the UK, many run by Bangladeshi expatriates serving traditional 'Curry'. However, that word is almost as misleading as the term 'Chop Suey' was to Chinese cuisine!
We wish to correct that misnomer, with a single minded vision of creating an exotic restaurant, delivering high quality cuisine, with some of our KAZ special dishes, having never been served in Cambridgeshire before."
Why: Quite a bold and confident attitude from a small village Indian restaurant. For me this intrigues me and I really want to see what all this is about. Coupled with my already fond memories of Redfort Gardens, this makes the place very desirable for me!

The place has had some popular feed back from friends in Sawston and from The Cambridge Curry Crew Facebook group too, which adds fuel to my desires. Not to mention that Kaz's is one of the very few Indian restaurants I have yet to try in Cambridgeshire.

I hope you enjoyed my list. Have I missed any out which you feel deserve to be on my list? Please, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sheba - Brick Lane!

With the weekend here, the sun shining, and a long list of Indian restaurants still yet to try, we decided to pop down to the famous Brick Lane and tick off another Indian restaurant on my long long list.  
We decided to go with one of the most sought after restaurants down Brick Lane - the legendary, Sheba. A place which pops up in articles left right and centre in the London Indian restaurant scene. It has won a ton of awards in its time too, so I was very excited to try it!
Sheba boasts a huge resume of awards from the Indian restaurant community which includes "Master Chef Of The Year 2006, 2007, 2008", the "Cobra Good Curry Guide 2015" and "The Best Curry House In The UK 2015", and many more. 
So it has a lot to shout about, especially considering the stiff competition in the area. Shebas is a place which needless to say has been top of my list for a long time so I was dying to see what all the fuss was about!

Upon entering we were warmly greeted by the staff and shown to our seat. The place was empty at the time so we had our pick of tables. The place is small but nicely laid out and quite modern. Don't get me wrong, the place is hardly glamorous but it still had its own atmospheric charm which I quite enjoyed.

One thing I immediately noticed was the staff to customer ratio. There were at least 5 waiters running around tending to customers during our time there. Considering the size of the place I was incredibly impressed and well looked after.

When we were asked for a drink order I noticed that they only had Cobra beer on tap. 
There is nothing wrong with Cobra beer, in fact I quite enjoy it, but I am used to having a selection to choose from.  Considering how competitive it is in this part of London you would expect at least a choice of two!
Looking at the menu I saw a good selection of cuisine. There was a fantastic choice of fish, a decent choice of curries, and lots of authentic Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes too.
I also noticed they had dishes to cater for the lager louts who often flock to Brick Lane to have their socks blown off, such as the Naga's and the very tacky (and dangerous) sounding Bollywood Blast. 

There really is something for everyone here. There shouldn't be anyone turning up to Sheba's and being unable to find something to cater for their needs. 
I must admit, the Bollywood Blast did tempt me!

We ordered some Butterfly King Prawns for starters while we decided to read through the tonnes of choice on the menu. The Butterfly King Prawns are essentially prawns cooked in lightly spiced crispy batter. They sounded far too good to resist and were under a fiver, so why not?
Papadums - Onion salad, yoghurt, mango chutney and lime pickle.

We ordered some papadums along side the prawns while we decided on what we wanted. The papadums came out immediately which came with a selection of side sauces - Onion salad, mango chutney, lime pickle and yoghurt. 
Each one was prepared excellently and didn't disappoint in the slightest. I was particularly fond of the lime pickle which came across as incredibly fresh, though it did lack its trade mark bitterness. The onion salad was crudely chopped but otherwise I had no complaints. Both the yoghurt and mango chutney were fantastic
Butterfly prawns and spicy batter.

Our butterfly prawns came out soon after the papadums.
It certainly wasn't what I expected from the description on the menu, but I was by no means unfulfilled by the dish. It made a great appetiser for a reasonable price.
Pilau Rice. 
Chana Gohst Bhuna. 

I eventually decided to go for the chef's speciality, the Chana Gohst Bhuna, which consists of lamb pieces slow cooked, with lentils, chilli, garlic and chef’s special sauce. I went for the pilau rice as a side portion which made a great combination with the Chana Gohst Bhuna. The food came out promptly and looked great once on the plate. The lamb was incredibly tender and the sauce had a great kick to it. It was about vindaloo heat which was great for me. No complaints all round! 

My girlfriend had a traditional dish off the fish menu called the Macher Tanga Fish Curry, which is tilapia fillets cooked with tomato sauce. The dish was received well and was considered an very nice dish by her critical pallet.

Chana Gohst Bhuna with Pilau rice. 

The dishes were both chef specials so it came to a staggering £13 each, which made me feel like Sheba was on the expensive side. 

 I noticed regular curry too was much more than you would usually expect to pay down Brick Lane...or any establishment really. Rivals next door such as Aladins, which come to around £7 for a standard curry, were dwarfed by the prices in Sheba, starting at £9.95 upwards.  In fact, I don't think I have ever seen a basic chicken curry sold for ten pounds.
The rice was a little on the steep side with mushroom rice tipping over £4! 

Once we had finished our meals the staff took our plates away and we were awarded a hot wet wipe. They had the courtesy of opening the pack and presenting it for us to take. We were incredibly pleased to receive them on a hot day like this after a spicy dish as we were sweating all over the place. So many places seem to be phasing out the wet wipe, which I am glad to see Sheba is ignoring! Keep the tradition alive fellas!

When we asked for our bill we were presented with the paper bill and two chocolates. The bill came to more than I expected and well over £40 for two of us. This was to be expected after looking back at the steep prices on the menu, and though the quality was all there, I still couldn't help but feel that I was not getting value for money. 

Conclusion:  My girlfriend and I both enjoyed Shebas...a lot. Its certainly a place which I feel confident that anybody can turn up and find something they like on its diverse menu and will leave feeling satisfied.

The staff were helpful, polite and numerous. They really couldn't do enough for you and there was always someone close by if you needed them, which is something many bustling places struggle with on a Saturday night down Brick Lane. I couldn't fault the service in here at all and I feel that this was probably their strongest point. 

 The establishment itself was well presented, clean and quite modern, though might be a little dark and dim for some.

The cuisine was excellent and there was so much to chose from. You could really tell the quality was there just by tasting the food. The lamb especially was very succulent and full of flavour.

The problem I had was that it was all undermined by the prices, which again, get exacerbated by the the fact that so many places of equal quality in the area that are much more competitive, offering more style and novelty to their dining experience.

I had no regrets to coming to Sheba's tonight. The papadums, lamb and fish were all of a very high standard, and there are still some great things on the menu I am tempted to come back to try, such as their fish menu, their famous Shashlik special or even their terrifying Bollywood Blast. The thing which puts me off is that I could easily dine out at neighbouring Monsoon, Aladins or Tayyabs for half the price and probably get the same quality, and for that I have to say that Sheba struggles to find anything which makes it stand out from the very crowded and competitive Brick Lane restaurant scene. However, it should be noted that Shebas has been here for generations now so its clearly doing something right!

8/10 - Good food, good choice and good service, just be prepared to pay for it! 

Thanks for reading!