Finally the 24th of January 2020 had descended upon the OCC and having come off a two week curry absence after presenting the CHOTY, it was time to kick start 2020 with the first meet of the year. 11 of The OCC members were once again pounding the streets of London on their way to Spice Trader which can be found in the heart of London in between Bank and Moorgate tube stations.
We walked down a flight of stairs to a very open, bright and…… quiet restaurant, not expected at 7:30 on a Friday night in London but maybe it would pick up later in the evening once people had heard The OCC were in town.
The OCC were given centre stage, the middle table, pristinely laid ready to be graced with what we would hope would be a range of spiced curries, a mix of sides and naans, dozens of poppadoms and alllllllll the sauces.
The OCC were split on the atmosphere in Spice Trader with a score of 6.32 out of 10. It was very quiet at around 7:30pm but seemed to slowly pick up during the evening as more and more groups came to taste what Spice Trader had to offer. The main reasons that it didn’t score highly here was the despite being in the heart of London, the restaurant is tucked away in a street not many people would venture down and some members questioned the ambiance. Whether it was due to it being January and people are in saving mode after Christmas or people’s January diets were well and truly underway, Spice Trader did lack an atmosphere, it would be interesting to see whether this improved in other months.
The meet commenced, a pin drop could be heard as 2020 started with a welcoming speech from the New Chairman of The OCC and we were off. It was a slightly frustrating start after having ordered drinks and poppadoms with alllll the sauces we had to politely ask if it was possible to have a menu so we could start to look at starters and mains. Whilst we have been to places where there has been a larger variety of sauces, the sauces that came were of good size with them offering Mango Chutney, Lime Pickle and Mint Sauce. The little lack of attention such as not handing out menus and lack of interaction with the customers saw The OCC score 6.55 out of 10 for their customer care rating. However, on the plus side, drinks were delivered swiftly, curries came out in abundance with little time between the first and last dish with no mistakes made and they were accommodating on switching items on dishes for certain members. This scored them an average rating of 7.23 out of 10 for their service.
Members were pleased with the range of dishes on the menu, the quality of the starters and mains were good and The OCC did enjoy their meal at Spice Trader. For those that do like an extremely hot curry or those that are feeling brave The Chicken Mardell is a Spice Trader special….. it is hot, it is fiery but can you handle the heat? One member of The OCC could! The quality of food scored an average rating of 7.30 out of 10 with the majority of members scoring it above 7 with some 8’s in there.
Now it comes to the crunch part! For the food, the atmosphere, customer care and service, how did The OCC feel it scored value wise?
All members paid £44 with Spice Trader receiving an average score of 6.59 out of 10 which is pretty fair for starters, mains and 3-4 drinks for each member in London, although some members were doing dry January.
Spice Trader isn’t a place The OCC will rush back to, it won’t be receiving the OCC stamp of approval and where it ends up in the table for the 2020 race for CHOTY we will have to see. However, if you’re in the area and wanting a curry then it would be a good restaurant to go to but I wouldn’t go out your way to book a table way in advance. Having received an average overall rating of 6.80 out of 10 it was a warming opener to 2020, one which the OCC will expect to build upon over the next 12 months as we start the race to the 2020 CHOTY.
Oakham Curry Club