Rice & 3Thomas St
Pretty disappointing today. The curries (pictured) were only OK, ity was a small portion and the price is up to £6 - which seems excessive when many places are still under £5. With Kabana, This & That and Yadgar so close I can't really see a reason to come - other than the same one that brought me here, other places being full.
Poor today - microwaved seekhs and roti. At £2 hard to quibble but the guy was pretty surly and insisted I sit on a very small (occupied table) with a guy who wasn't leaving. - Even when there was an empty one that he was presumably keeping for a larger party. Given I was out within 10 minutes this seemed ridiculous. He wasn't even nice about it. Plus (somehow) 2x60p seekhs and a 40p roti added up to £2. I thought I'd never complain about a £2 meal - and to be fair in a nice environment with friendly staff I wouldn't - first time for everything. Shame - maybe he was having a bad day, in the past he's been quite friendly and up for a laugh or chat. Ah well. Note to self stick to the tikka and curries.
After a cracking performance around Easter Al-faisal was a little disappointing today. The food was OK but short on quantity - so roti and a samosa were necessary (or deemed so by hungry people) to supplement the rice & 3 – (lamb, channa and chicken). This brought the price up to £6.80 - which for an average meal of this sort is a wee bit too strong. Shame. In other matters the staff (the 'boss' in particular) were very welcoming, up for a bit of a laugh and generally on the ball. We'll be back, it was just a shame that we now think of Al-Faisal as back in the 'slightly inconsistent' bracket, rather than consolidating the high ranking from last time.
Excellent grill and daal - Al Faisal really pulled it out of the bag this time and we only went because Kabana was shut! Just shows you. £3.80 for lamb tikka turned out to be a bargain as it was delicious and there was loads of it. Total price for lamb tikka, chana daal and chappati was £7.20 which is obvsiouly quite a lot by the standards of this blog (we're usually looking at £5). In fairness you could add another chappatti and the meal would have served two people with reasonable appetites for less than £4 each - I'm just a glutton.
Jan '10 - The pretty old review below is still accurate, which gives us a bit of faith in this blog. And, back slapping aside, the price £5.40 is still a wee bit over the top for a not very generous portion. However, having more places on the map now that are even more expensive puts this into a bit of perspective. The curries were good and the place fine if still not inspiring. Some folk seem to love it - but that can be the case with anywhere. We'd heard tell of the Tuesday special of kofta and egg and duly ordered it. It was fine but not something to get massivle excited about other than the novelty. As koftas go it was tasty enough but not worth missing the standard lamb curry for - which has always been a bit of a winner. Al faisal is not somewhere that really drags us back time and again but neither is it somewhere to avoid - it was an enjoyable meal in decent surroundings. Another aspect to the place is that it seems to be a slightly more 'professional' establishment than some, as clean as anywhere around, the table service - with water being brought to diners and most importantly clear and relaible opening hours. Being clean and 'respectable' and open until 8pm during the week and 7pm at weekends opens Al-Faisal up as a possible venue for trips other than lunchtime curry and a few pints. And once you are on the 'evening shift' so to speak Al-faisal certainly reverts to being a very cheap and tasty option as compared with the more mainstream equivalents.
Al Faisal is more formal than the other cafes. Diners are treated to a kind of semi table service, with orders made at the counter then brought to the table. The food quality is pretty high, with the meat consisting of nice lean cuts in rich, tasty sauces. So rich in fact that they are more reminiscent of Indian Restaurant food – whether this is good or bad is a matter of personal preference. Al Faisal strikes a good balance of having only a few dishes available on any one day but adds to this with a few weekly changing specials – and an active grill. It’s a good place, the food’s good, there’s ample room and it has that classic café situation of being on a busy corner, with lots of light and activity outside. Al Faisal perhaps lacks a little of the character of some of the others cafes, but maybe this will come with time. Unfortunately the overall value for money suffers somewhat due to the slightly high prices.
Key Ingredients 16.5 (out of 20)
Other Food 8.5 (out of 10)
Service Setting 8 (out of 10)
Value for Money 4.0 (out of 5)
Range 4.0 (out of 5)
Average Rating 8.2 (out of 10)
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