Tom wishes he’d chosen vindaloo at Bengal Spice

Thinking of a good excuse to eat curry, I thought, “gosh it’s cold today!” (perhaps different words used) – and with that, headed for Bengal Spice to see what had changed since my last visit some time ago. Recently refurbed, it’s pleasant (and warm) inside, though I do miss the traditional curry house interiors I was brought up on, with those evocative carpets, rugs, traditional music and things.

Accompanied by local “scary food critic” @whampchef, we opted to share a paneer starter which had a sweet and sour element – not something I’m always fond of. What we received was smile-inducing though; delightfully presented, and with nicely-gauged flavours – the sweet and sour element subtle and uplifting. I can’t recall the name of the dish, as both (?) websites and the latest delivery menu don’t seem to list it.

Red wine by the glass was limited to one option only; a simple but drinkable French something-or-other, which gave me a scare by arriving in one of those silly 125ml glasses (pointless things) – fortunately though, it was topped up to (presumably) the 175ml specified.

My wonderfully-named chadni chowki king prawn dish arrived, with a remarkably-coloured sauce; a deep, dark red difficult to describe. For me, a little too sweet, and I felt this camouflaged the array of apparent ingredients (tamarind, curry leaf, mustard seed, garlic and herbs). I happily demolished the dish, but was more impressed with @whampchef’s king prawn vindaloo, which was rich and delicious, with that expanding, growing heat in each mouthful – though not a bead of sweat in sight on hardcore @whampchef’s brow, I might add!

King prawn chadni chowki

King prawn chadni chowki

King prawn vindaloo

King prawn vindaloo

Side dishes of ladies’ fingers, mixed veg, and aloo gobi were fine (and nicely garnished), and the Peshwari naan pretty much perfect – such lovely things to eat straight out of the kitchen (they can deteriorate a little when delivered, can’t they?)

Okra

Okra

Spinach_potatoes

Sag Aloo

 

Overall, good food. With Spice 212 closing a while back, it’s cool to have some traditional curry options to balance with the (excellent) Guglee.

Right – I’m hungry. Perhaps ought to have something different tonight… actually, what am I talking about – where’s my Tiffin Tin menu?!

  • Cathy Beveridge

    I don’t like leaving negative reviews because it takes a mental toll (and I’ll balance it up by saying five nice things about other restaurants) but I ordered a thali takeaway from there and rarely had anyone be as rude to me as the manager of this place. First attempt at delivery was a bag of warm slush as none of the cartons had been sealed properly, second attempt was half an order. Aggression all the way from the restaurant, when I’d have welcomed an apology. I’d show some of the other places on the high street some love instead.

    • Skeleton O’Rourke

      Cathy – much as I enjoyed my meal at Bengal Spice, I have to ask, why aren’t you ordering your curries from the unmatchable and divine TIFFIN TIN?!

  • Anna

    I had a terrible takeaway from Bengal Spice; I ordered a salmon fillet curry, and I assumed (quite rightly I should think) that it would arrive in a sauce with bits of onion/pepper/tomato etc to go with rice. What arrived was a bone dry chunk of salmon in a plastic tub, and then the rice in another. I couldn’t assemble a meal out of that! My boyfriend and I spent plenty of cash on that meal and it turned into a complete waste. Haven’t ordered again since.
    Tiffin Tin, Bombay Nights and Guglee on the other hand, are all pretty good! Our favourite is Holy Cow in Kilburn though, the food is absolutely superb.

    • Skeleton O’Rourke

      That sounds dreadful, Anna. I tried the new Goan salmon dish from Tiffin Tin recently, and it was spectacularly delicious. Must be hard not to overcook fish when delivering piping hot in sealed containers.

  • Emily

    Bengal Spice is our favourite Indian restaurant and nice to see such a good review of it. Really surprised by the comments, we have been going there for over 4 years as a couple, in groups and with visitors to the UK and also had takeaways and never had a bad experience – staff have always incredibly polite and friendly and the food both in the restaurant and takeaway has always been consistent and of an excellent standard. The butter chicken and tikka masala are special favourites and the mango lassi drink is really nice too. We have still yet to make it to dessert!They even rustled up a birthday cake one time. It’s a real shame (and really surprising to us) to hear other people didn’t have a good experience, but wanted to balance the picture by giving our view. For others, we would definitely recommend giving it a try. It’s nice to still to be able to go to an authentic longstanding local restaurant rather than a chain one too!

  • Tom in London

    Don’t try ordering from Tiffin Tin if you live in Rowley Way NW8. For some reason they think Rowley Way, one of the most sought-after places for people buying property, is “undesirable”. Not only that: a while ago Tiffin Tin charged my credit card for a meal **after they had refused to deliver it to me**.

    • Maybe they watched that new movie “The Kingsman” with Colin Firth, and assumed that the area is chock full of knife-wielding “chavs” as suggested by the film…