I'm springheeled from Bordon. I've been Qyping since 29-01-2009
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springheeled's Qype profile
13 Brick Lane, London E1 6PU
A couple of friends were visiting from Germany, and my heart sank when it was suggested they try 'a real British curry house in famous Brick Lane’. Surely their trusty Lonely Planet had something to say about the 'free beer and 50% off my friend?’ touts dragging unsuspecting tourists into tacky, tired restaurants?
Persuading myself not to be such a jaded killjoy, I looked up the promising reviews and we all headed to Sheraz Bangla Lounge on Saturday night.
OK so Sheraz doesn’t have touts outside. And the restaurant is clean and contemporary. It might be a bit lacking in atmosphere, but the 'lads night out’ crowd chugging down Cobra and chicken tikka made up for that. The vibes were loud and lively - not ideal for a romantic soiree, but a fun introduction to the British curryhouse experience.
The staff are polite and friendly. Our reserved table was right by the door, amidst the constant traffic of lads going to the loo or converging outside for a fag. But after a polite request, the manager found us a much better table and seemed keen to make us feel at home. This isn’t the Brick Lane customer service experience I remember from the past.
The food is a hit and miss; rice and bread fine, dhansak nice, vegetable balti a bit like Baxters vegetable soup, chicken passanda like babyfood. But at least it was all fresh, and the prices were spot on - poppadoms, two beers, main courses for 4 all came to £46.
So if you really need to eat out in Brick Lane… Sheraz is definitely one of the best options.
6a Sidmouth Parade, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1LG
Cheerful curry house serving the full range of favourite Indian dishes. I’d say that this place relies mostly on take-away trade, but the restaurant is pleasant enough with bright pink interior.
Good sized portions and freshly cooked, although our curries tended to be a bit on the bland side - could have done with a bit more spice. Also tried garlic rice which was pretty to look at but no garlic taste at all.
But prices are very reasonable (£27 for poppadoms, two main meals with rice and bread, veg side dish and two beers). Not bad at all!
4 Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, London W12 8AR
Bamboo House opened for business early in 2009, on the same site as the once-popular Balzac Bistro.
We ate there last night, and were impressed by the huge menu of very authentic and interesting sounding dishes. It’s more like a Chinatown menu than typical high street restaurant offerings.
The staff are friendly and helpful, and the fresh and tasty food arrived quickly. It might be a little too 'authentic’ for some customers… people didn’t seem to be eating much :)
I’m only giving 3 stars because the place felt like it’s still finding its feet. You can detect the friction behind the scenes, and service is a little haphazard.
All in all, an interesting and quirky dinner.
1 The Street, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4PP
Have eaten here a couple of times and always enjoyed the food and vibe. Converted from a pub in 2006, the interior is spacious and contemporary, with the dining area split into two rooms.
The menu features typical Indian favourites, plus a couple of unusual ones (pumpkin curry, for example). The food is really yummy and prices are reasonable. The balti dishes are particularly recommended.
I would have given 5 stars, but last night one of our poppadoms was stale. Harsh reviewer, aren’t I :)
Kottbusser Damm 103a, 10967 Berlin
This is a fab place to eat Turkish food. Probably one of the smarter places around this part of Kreuzberg, with a nice interior and large tables. There’s a nice chilled out atmosphere.
Service is friendly and helpful and the food is fresh and delicious, served in hearty portions. Excellent for vegetarians too. Will definitely be back :)
26 Sussex Place, Paddington, London W2 2TH
Visited last night having seen some very positive reviews online (on other sites sshh!). Apparently this place is regarded as one of the best Indian restaurants in London… so did it live up to its reputation..?
Interior is contemporary and more upmarket that your typical curry house. Prices are also slightly higher, ranging from £7.50 to £14 for a main dish without rice/naan. 'Optional’ 10% service charge is also added to the bill.
One small quibble - like most Indian menus, it says that you can ask for a dish not listed on the menu and they’ll always do their best to make it. There are only 4 vegetarian main dishes on the menu, so my partner asked for paneer jalfrezi. Surely not that weird? It was met with a stern 'no’ and look of exasperation from the waiter. But he did agree on veg jalfrezi, thankfully.
The food certainly doesn’t disappoint - it’s nicely prepared and possibly more subtly spiced than usual. There’s not much room on the tables to the waiters serve everything onto your plate with great diligence to make sure you get all the nice sauce.
The restaurant is clearly very busy and popular, and maximum tables have been squeezed into a fairly small area. This makes it feel a little cramped and hectic, but the food seems to arrive within minutes of ordering so ideal if you are grabbing a quick dinner before moving on somewhere else.
Hasenheide 7, 10967 Berlin
For a quick pizza snack, this place is pretty awesome. Clean, friendly and the pizza slices are delicious. It’s one of those 'wooden board’ pizza joints.
I think the prices recently went up from €2 to something like €2.40 a slice, but you still can’t quibble at the cost :)
Crows Lane, Alton, Hampshire GU34 3ED
Smart, pleasant country pub with lovely back garden backing onto fields. The landlady is friendly and helpful, and the restaurant is obviously popular with locals.
We had a (vegetarian) 3-course lunch and a couple of soft drinks for £50. Portions were smallish but refined, and food generally tasted good.
Menu had a nice range of options, even at Sunday lunchtime.
Grimmstraße 30, 10967 Berlin
I’ve heard some really good things about this place, and it always seems to be packed with customers. I’ve tried to get in before and the queue was just too long, which only added to the appeal…
So I finally ate here this week, and now I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.
Yes there is an atmosphere of detached cool; the graffiti on the walls, the nice Italian punk band posters, the rustic wooden tables. The staff aren’t exactly rude… just nonchalant and frosty.
The pizza is authentic Italian style, but there is still better pizza to be found in Kreuzberg. One of our pizzas was seriously burnt, and our mixed salad was a bowl of lettuce accompanied by two whole tomatoes and half a fennel. I’ve had rustic food in Italy, but this was a little too rustic ;)
So an interesting, different experience, but I won’t bother going back. If the concept of being served pizza by a grumpy guy with a red mohawk excites you, you’ll have some fun here.
Emser Straße 73, Ecke Oderstraße, 12051 Berlin
Would you expect to find delicious, authentic Greek food deep in residential Neukölln? We certainly wouldn’t, but that’s exactly what we discovered at this charming little restaurant near the old Tempelhof airfield.
Impressed by the variety of dishes on the menu, my girlfriend and I enjoyed a full 3-course dinner with plenty of wine for less than 45 euros. Every dish was superb, and had that 'cooked for hours and hours’ taste that you usually only find on Greek holidays.
Yes it’s a bit of a trek (Hermannstrasse station is a 15 minute walk away)... but well worth the effort!
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