Up up and Holloway...
With great excitement, the OCC descended on Bengal Spice, Holloway road, 22nd September. Recently refurbished to an impeccable standard. They excel in serving authentic flavours and new contemporary dishes which will take your taste buds on an exploration of spices and delicacies.
The OCC’s scores out of 10:
Quality: 7.3 Atmosphere: 5.2 Value: 6.8 Service: 7.3 Customer care: 8.6
Arriving into Bengal Spice, with beers in hand, we were pleasantly greeted by Ali. It’s important to understand here, that this is an establishment without an alcohol licence, so BYOB is available. A much more pleasant picture than the OCC members being raging alcoholics, who can’t walk anywhere without a bottle of cobra in hand.
The OCC had heard big things about Ali. Previously he had worked at an alternative curry house in Angel, Islington - where he had built up a solid reputation. Now 2.6 miles up the road, Ali is trying to re-establish himself at Bengal Spice. It is evident that this is certainly a work in progress, and the cat is not yet out of the bag, as the restaurant was sparsely populated for a Friday evening.
Ali’s reputation proceeded itself. He was extremely helpful whilst we ordered our starters and mains, offering two types of each dish, and providing other exciting dishes that the OCC may not be used to. Being basically a one man band, Ali managed to look after the other few tables too, without comprising our dining experience, and was always on hand when needed.
Customer Care 8.6
By the time the starters arrived, the members had built up a healthy appetite discussing how to further improve our club. Luckily the size of the portions did not disappoint, and no one would be going hungry tonight. The tandoori chicken was succulent, but unfortunately only warm, rather than hot. Many mixed starters were also consumed, and the overall feeling was that with these, quantity over shadowed quality a little. Ali and his co-worker worked tirelessly to bring out all the dishes together, and when things were reported missing, these were corrected without hesitation.
The mains were an improvement. A few of the dishes were handpicked by Ali himself, and they did not disappoint. The portion size again remained decent, but this time the additional spices and flavours meant that praise was sung around the table.
Our bill came to approximately £25 pp, and when considering Bengal Spice is BYOB, OCC members found this to tip the scales a little towards the expensive side.
In summary, whilst Bengal Spice is clearly trying to establish as a big player in Holloway, being further away from Central London means this could be a tougher gig for Ali. That being said, whilst it lacked that Friday evening curry atmosphere, what it does deliver very strongly in is its customer care. This stood out as its strongest asset, and on top of that, the food did not disappoint either. The OCC would recommend Bengal Spice for people looking for a quiet (for now) curry house to escape the hustle and bustle of central London.