London Restaurants

Cafe Spice

Tel : 020 7488 9242 | 16 Prescot Street, London, E1 8AZ | last visit : September 2005

cafe spiceMy first visit to Cafe Spice back in 1998 was such a fine quality experience that it's propelled me back there several times since.  Unfortunately, this initial high point has also blinded me to the gradual decline of this former star of the london scene.  The welcome is still warm, the authenticity of the dishes still beyond reproach, there's not really a fault to pick.  The place just needs to get up off its laurels, fling some fresh paint on the walls and relaunch itself as the curry king it deserves to be.  Competition at this end of the market is dense now, there's a posh indian at every turn in the city and across the river as well.  This means that Cyrus Todiwala's great reputation is no longer enough on its own.  Ignoring the comparisons though and reviewing Cafe Spice purely on its merits results in some fond memories and happy diners.  The chilli shellfish were a touch unsubtle but the Dhansak in its true form is always a winner.  Over the years the vege selection has improved massively as has the wine list.  The only aspect that hasn't changed at all is the punter demographic.  Proximity to the east side of the square mile makes this a prime location for corporate IT sales jollies which thickens the air with bad suits and false joviality.  Fortunately the tables are just spaced enough to lessen the impact of the shouting boys.
Go there for the service and the real dishes but don't look too closely at the cracks in the make-up.

Food 8/10
Service 9/10
Atmo 7/10
Vege 8/10
Alco 7/10
Total 78%