by the Munching Mariner (published in East End Life, 24 May 2010)
Thursday evenings are a bargain at the Royal Spice. I wanted to take advantage of this after seeing their £8.95 deal advertised on the side of the building. They need to update the sign; it’s now £9.95 for the same deal.
It’s still a bargain. The price covers a starter, main and side dish, along with rice and naan bread. My Thirst Mate and I struggled to put away our food; not a common problem for us.
We arrived before 8pm without a booking and were guided to a table at the back. There were only two other diners, eating at separate tables. The restaurant remained fairly quiet all evening, apart from a small group who arrived later and seemed to inject enough local atmosphere for the whole restaurant.
The service was relaxed and helpful. We were offered poppadums as we sat down and then we ordered beer and tap water before asking for more time to consider our food. The menu offers a broad choice of Indian/Bengali dishes, including 15 “Royal” specials.
Apparently the chef will also “prepare dishes which are not listed, on request.” Such is the extent of the menu, I can’t imagine this happens often.
My Thirst Mate started with Aloo Chat and I opted for the “Royal Treet,” an eclectic meat dish where salmon, chicken and lamb are brought together with different spices.
I followed this with Gosht E Nobabi (lamb with herbs and spices) and my wife chose the Achari Chicken (a tamarind special). The terms of the deal meant we were able to add rice, naan bread and two side dishes.
As a whole, our food was fine and plentiful, but otherwise unremarkable.
Our bill was £29.60; it would have been closer to £45 on any other evening. The Royal Spice is worth a trip if you find yourself in need of an abundant feast at a decent price on a Thursday evening.
Address: 81 Commercial Road, E14 7HG. Telephone: 020 7536 9902.