The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises.
The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian restaurants and providing impartial reviews of Curry Houses all over the world.
Members vote anonymously without being influenced by other members (we call this “no swaying”) on 5 categories, and an average score out of a maximum 10 is given to each restaurant we review.
On Friday 11 May, 12 members visited “Spice” on Knutsford Terrace in Kowloon, described as featuring “authentic pan Asian, Thai, Malay and Indian Cuisines” coupled with a "vibrant ambiance and great atmosphere".
After what was a memorable meet at Spice, the OCC rated this restaurant as a “never-to-return" 4.9 out of 10, with quality receiving the highest rating of 5.7 and customer care receiving a miserable 4.1 out of 10.
For full transparency see below scores.
Quality: 5.7 Value: 4.7 Service: 5.3 Customer care: 4.1 Atmosphere: 4.7
Disclaimer: the voting is based on the votes from 12 OCC members who have been through a rigorous selection process to gain entry into the Club. In short, we all know our curries.
The curry, to be fair, for a mixed Pan Asian restaurant, was “ok". The onion bajhis were flat but crispy, the mixed tandoori platter of fish and chicken was tasty (albeit a little dry), and the curry itself was spicy and of good consistency. This wasn’t ever going to be a contender for the prestigious OCC Curry House of the Year (CHOTY) but the food was “ok". If you are on Knutsford terrace and are in desperate need of a tasty curry after a few Cobras, cannot find 2017 CHOTY Koh-i-noor and can’t make it to 2016 CHOTY Bindaas, and again, really need your curry fix, then this could be the spot for you. But please don’t go if you are looking for a “latin vibes atmosphere” and please don’t go after 11pm as the chef leaves early (hence why we were unable to take a photo of the chef and management team as per standard OCC practice).
Overall the price was more than $600 per head which we thought was a tad expensive for the location, the quality and the service. However, the aspect of the evening that most disappointed the OCC was customer care and there are three examples to highlight:
#Poppadomgate If a group of 12 curry connoisseurs arrive at your restaurant at 8pm on a Friday night, then why are we not met with a little love? Doesn't the OCC reputation precede us? It should, but maybe it doesn’t. But in any case, why does any customer have to wait 20 minutes to get (stale & dry) poppadoms which arrived after our starters? The manager should care enough about customer service to ensure we have pickle tray, poppadoms and beers, and thats just how it should be. All other restaurant managers take note for future reference. It is an easy win, and gets you up there for customer care and starts the night as it should be, with crispy poppadoms and spicy sauces.
#Shhhhgate Despite the website mention of “vibrant ambiance and great atmosphere”, the OCC were somewhat shockingly asked "to be quiet", twice. I repeat, the OCC were somewhat shockingly asked "to be quiet”, twice. Supposedly we were making too much noise and we could somehow be heard by other tables over the 90’s R&B sound track booming in the background and the large table of local Hong Kongers honouring us by repeating our famous anthem, OCC, OCC, OCC. Supposedly there was one lady who made a complaint and the owner decided to favour her over the rest of the restaurant who seemed to be enjoying being in the presence of one of the most respected curry reviewing establishments in the world. In our esteemed view we believe the cross pollination of cuisines at Spice as “pan Asian” restaurant severely hampers the establishments' ability to deliver as a “curry house”, which really do aim to deliver a “vibrant ambiance and great atmosphere”. Maybe staff in Malay restaurants do really ask their guests to “be quiet”. We wouldn’t know because we don’t frequent Malay restaurants, us being the OCC and all.
#billgate (not Bill Gates) At the end of a long meet and ok meal, with very little love shown by the management in terms of customer care, we were then surprised for the bill to take an age to arrive and for the staff to take at least 20 minutes to run our cards through the credit card machine. We were also disappointed that the staff made a mistake and didnt put “2 people on 1 card” as instructed which then caused each member of the OCC to pay $100 more, resulting in a lively debate between 2 members about who owes what and who is owed what.
A round of beers at the next establishment quickly settled this debate but the debate regarding the OCC returning to this restaurant is over, we shall not return.