London Hotels Articles

August 14, 2010

Restaurant reviews: Spice Plaza, West Hampstead, London, UK

Filed under: London Restaurants — Tags: , , , , , — ordon @ 10:15 pm

Having lived abroad for many years, I have developed a taste for spicy food of any kind – Indian, Chinese, South Americanso long as it leaves me with a buzz. Unfortunately, authentic spicy food is not that easy to find in London. Luckily, my partner and I came across this restaurant purely by accident, and as it is not too far from where I live, I’ve visited a few times in the last couple of years.

Location

Address: 212 West End Lane

West Hampstead

London NW6 1UU

Tel: 020 7794 0228

www.spiceplaza.co.uk

This is just a short walk from West Hampstead tube station in North London.

Entrance

You could be forgiven for walking straight past this restaurant. The entrance is at street level, but the restaurant itself is downstairs and can’t be seen until you get to the bottom of the stairs. In the dark, there is a neon sign which is fairly easy to spot; in daylight, you really need sharp eyesight.

Decor

The restaurant is tastefully decorated, with a bar in one corner, white tablecloths and some beautiful wooden carvings on the walls. It is nothing exciting, but pleasing to the eye, which makes up for the restaurant not having any windows. Everything looks clean and new.

Service

The staff are excellent. The restaurant is usually full at the weekend, but we are always greeted at the door and shown straight to a table. Drink and food orders are usually taken straight away and arrive promptly. Staff are very helpful; glad to give advice as and when needed, but don’t hang around when they aren’t.

Food and drink

This is the best Indian restaurant that I have come across in London. There is a wide variety of dishes, few of which I had heard of (ie not your usual Lamb Bhuna and Chicken Korma), but with excellent descriptions so that you know exactly what to expect. We’re usually fairly boring with the starters – papadums, which come with four deliciously fresh dips and onion bhajis, mouth-wateringly light and gorgeous. There are a good selection of other starters though, including Indian cottage cheese, salmon, squid, crab and the usual meats.

For the main course, we had Mirchi Murgh, a fiery chicken dish cooked with spices and fresh green chillies and Gosht Ka Tikka, which is lamb marinated in tandoori spices and cooked in a clay oven, accompanied by naan bread and plain rice. I am addicted to the Mirchi Murgh, which is so hot that it leaves my mouth numb. For those that don’t eat meat, there are a wide range of fish and vegetable dishes – in the past I have tried spicy

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