The restaurant on Princess Street is the original EastzEast and we’ve been eating here fairly regularly for well over a decade (except for a period when it closed). And this is the first time we’ve come away not being thoroughly happy with dinner. Frankly, the food just wasn’t as good as previous and the service was dismal – drinks order having to be chased, food orders not taken for ages and then ages more for it actually to arrive – it was 45 minutes from walking in (on time for our reservation) till starters were brought.
We both went with puri starters – one chickpea, one chicken. The masala sauce was OK if a bit underflavoured. But what let both of them down was the mention on the menu of “crispy” puri which, disappointingly, was anything but.
As for main courses, there was aloo gobi for one of us. When done well, it’s a lovely dish of potato and cauliflower, retaining a little bite. And they have done it well here in the past. But not this time. The texture was fine but what is usually a quite complex sauce just tasted of “hot”. Lamb kerela was fine – small cubes of lamb, big chunks of the bitter gourd, in a well rounded sauce that had the heat of chilli but not such that it overwhelmed the other spices.
Rice was good. On the other hand, a tandoori roti like the puri failed to have any crispness.
I’d like to hope that we just caught them on a bad night. We’ll always give places like this a second chance but we really wouldn’t give it a third if we had issues next time we come. There are too many good south Asian places in the area to do that.