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St Martin's Spice: Pleasant Indian food in a great location
UPDATE MARCH 2013: This restaurant has now closed down and a Mexican one taken its place, which I haven't yet tried. Review left only for my own records.
This Indian restaurant steers a neat line between traditional and modern. Its menu and style of cooking veers towards the former, with all the old favourites such as chicken tikka marsala, madras-style curries, dhansaks etc. But the décor is light and bright, and the airy ambiance is further enhanced by the provision of outside tables in Cecil Court, offering a rare opportunity in central London to dine al fresco at a little distance from the traffic fumes.
We have been here several times now and (an added bonus in this busy part of town) have never found it too busy – indeed, on occasion it has been suspiciously quiet for a restaurant just a stone’s throw from Leicester Square and the main West End theatres. This put us off trying it for some time, but it has since become an intermittently regular haunt, though it can be a little patchy.
Favorite Dish: On the whole the food is very good. I particularly like one of the specials, a medium ginger-based chicken curry (keep forgetting its name!) and on our latest visit Chris enthused about the lamb tikka starter. Prices are reasonable for this part of town – you can eat well for less than £25 a head (more though if you plan to wash your curry down with the refreshing Kingfisher or Cobra beer – my preference is for the latter).
The one drawback is that the service can be a little erratic – I have on occasion found it a bit slow but more often it has been a bit too brisk. Perhaps they are too used to catering to the pre-theatre crowd and assume that everyone is in a hurry? Nevertheless, do give it a try as it is one of the best options in this sometimes uneven (in terms of restaurant offerings) part of town.
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