This is a very suspicious comment. The same review has been posted on other review sites under different names. I suspect that this person isn't an actual customer. The food in Spices is excellent.
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First Indian ... show more
First Indian Restaurant in Islington for HOME STYLE COOKING, try once to believe it.
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9 reviews of Spices N1 in English
When you met the manager (he's the only one who takes the orders, in person or over the phone), he will ask you, "what taste do you want in your mouth?" Forget the tikka masals, or kormas, he will guide you on a savoury journey to find your perfect meal. He will encourage you, and heck, everyone else around you, to taste your sauces when they arrive and if you don't like it, you can send it back. We have never once sent back a recommendation. Instead, we keep going back for it! I have now tried something different everytime and can never decide which I like best.
A lot of locals know about Spices, which is a testament to how inviting the place is. The fact that it's BYOB makes it even more affordable. The place has a great atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights, as most times it's groups of friends having fun over a great meal.
Try the mita jal saag ... so delicious, although I'm sure the manager will find you something to your own taste!
It always seems to be full of locals when we go which is testament to the great food. The manager is really helpful and clearly enjoys his job, always educating and explaining about the different dishes.
Its bring your own booze which makes it a cheap meal and they're happy to keep your drinks cool in their fridge, no corkage charge either.
It's up a slightly dodgy looking street but only 3 mins from the tube. Forget about any of the curry houses on upper street, Spices is the best!
Good, tasty food, attentive, friendly service and you can take your own booze.
Reasonable prices - be sure to book on a Saturday night, or you'll only get an hour. They'll be nice about it tho!
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I lived in Islington for 3 years without knowing this place existed before being told about it by a friend. I consider this 3 wasted years of my life. The food is sensational - delicate and fragrant, with some dishes combining 5 different flavours in one mouthful. I recommed the Lamb Rajastani starter followed by the Tok Jal Misti (sp?). Food heaven. The owner is one of the most charismatic and fun people you will meet. I took my parents there twice while they were down in London, and they now request we go back to see him every time they come down. It's BYO and the food is exceptional value.
Have been to this place numerous times and cannot fault it in anyway. I usually go with 2 friends and each of us order something different. The manager is very helpful with an unprecedented amount of customer service and encourages you to try each others meals, making the dining experience increasingly pleasurable. If you are not pleased with the spiciness (if its too hot or not hot enough) he will go out of his way to customise it to your tastebuds, plus he is always quick to offer up any advice or recommendations for the undecided. The food itself is always very good and it is obvious that each one is prepared fresh and personalised if you made any specific requirements. To add to that, its cheap! Plus its a BYO place so if you decide to bring a warm bottle of champagne with you like we did, they are happy to refrigerate it and open it later along with any other alcohol you bring. Sainsburys is around the corner so it adds to the money-saving aspect, since drinks more often than not are the cause for a restaurant bill spiralling out of control.
We visited Spices again last night and took a couple of friends that hadn't been. The place is a little gem and since we first went about 2 years ago, I have rarely been for a curry anywhere else.
It is advisable to book on a friday/sat night because it gets busy - surely testament enough to the place given it is unlikely to get too much passing trade.
It is BYO (an offy is just across the road). We each had a starter, Samosas, spicy chicken tikka, a spicy fish dish and a spinich pastry (can't remember the name). Spicy is spicy but if you ever want to tone a dish down the manager will do so (a sign that each dish is prepared individually i guess).
We each had a 'special' as a main and i can't remember the name of the other guys dishes but my Lamb naga masala was superb as usual. The girls ordered dishes that normally came madras strength but asked for it to be cooked to half strength - not a problem and thoroughly enjoyed. We had a few sides as well as the usual rice and naans. The food is always very good, not hard to tell that it is very fresh and thankfully lacking in the layers of oil found in too many curry places.
I have recommended this place to many friends and have only ever had positive feedback. I have to seriously question whether the previous reviewer actually visited the restaurant and was very surprised to see such a review written here. The only gripe that someone may have could be the service, the manager is always very busy and lacking in help from his staff.
Very good and if you're looking for a curry in the Islington area, you won't be disappointed with this choice.
I made the big mistake of trying this restaurant, for what should have been a pleasurable dining experience.
Big, big mistake.
The starter was congealed (King Prawn Butterfly), and arrived congealed, like a big blob of fat, beached on the plate.
My main course, the so called special,Mix Tok Jal Jul (Balti), was tepid, missing half the ingredients.
When I mentioned this to the manager, I was subjected to a tirade of abuse. The meal was not particularly cheap, the service was outrageous, and humiliating.
Quite frankly there are countless other restaurants in this area, that seem to value custom - the first and last time for me.
Comment 1 comment on this review
andrewmcdonough, 20 June 2010:
If you’re heading for a night out in Islington and want a cheap curry to line your stomach, then Spices is the place to go. Nice and central in Islington this is a Indian you don’t find too often anymore. Half take-out and half sit-down, you can take your pick depending on how much of a hurry you’re in. Well priced, with quick service - the food is good and easy. Just remember to take your own beer or wine as they only serve cooldrinks.
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