Red Chilli, London, E1
“Didn’t you tip him?”
“Yes, I added it to the card.”
“Oh,” indeed. The question had been prompted because at the end of the meal at Red Chilli my credit card had been push-flicked towards me on to the table by the waiter from the plastic holder thing it’s always presented in along with the receipt. Had I imagined it? Sadly not. It had followed a couple of sharp comments from staff earlier which I had chosen to ignore (well, I had a curry to eat after all).
It’s pretty easy to keep me happy when it comes to curry. Give me a seat, a table and food that is spicy and a curry house has pretty much cracked it. Upmarket or downmarket, old-school or contemporary, cheap or pricey, hey, it’s all curry in the end. I’m not against that complimentary brandy when the curry is finished but it’s not crucial. But I think I’ll skip the bit where my credit card gets flicked towards me thanks.
Red Chilli had come highly recommended and its walls are covered in certificates celebrating various awards. The menu is extensive and, as well as the usual dishes there are two speciality sections – Red Chilli specialities and more unusually Vegetable House specialities with no fewer than 19 dishes listed. The word ‘Signature’ dots the menu indicating the restaurant’s special dishes.
Sadly, as well as the main waiters being off on holiday (I’m assuming), it seems the main chef had the night off too. My taste buds must have though I’d stumbled into a Chinese. The Chicken Shashlik (£7.50) came with fried tomatoes, peppers and onions as you’d expect. I suppose even the stir-fry style of the Mushroom Bhaji (£3.25) in a thick sauce could be enjoyed as ‘something different’. But there was a theme emerging and the Chicken Pathia (£6.50) stayed true to form. There was certainly sweet but where was the sour and hot? I quickly check the rice to see if it’s egg-fried.
Red Chilli, 137 Leman Street, London, E18EY. Tel: 020 7481 3300. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Chilli snapshot
Food ① ② ③
Decor ① ② ③ ④
Value ① ② ③
Atmosphere (Thursday night) ① ② ③
Service and friendliness ①