Rasa Samudra, W1T 1RE
The information below is retained for historical purposes.
It is, the website proclaims, the largest of the restaurants, and has a number of rooms both at ground level and upstairs. There is a separate cloakroom where the staff are happy to store your coats, and a small lobby area for waiting when a table is being prepared (as we did on a Thursday evening, though only for a short time). On a Saturday in February 2009, we didn't need to wait for a table, though it wasn't too busy at 6:30pm (it filled up later, though).
The menu is vegetarian-friendly as in all the Rasa restaurants, but with the addition of seafood dishes. Ewan's cheera parippu curry (£6.25) was quite glutinous and sticky, but went very well with the lemon rice (£3.75). The paratha (£2.50) was also very nicely cooked, flaky but not dry.
Before the meal we shared some "pre-meal snacks" as they call them on the menu, a variety of crispy treats including poppadoms and assorted similar foods (£4.00 -- see the Rasa review for more detail, or check the menu available on the Rasa website), which were served with a selection of home-made pickles (£3.50), all very tasty, though a couple are fishy (vegetarians be warned).
They offer a number of bottles of wine, but only one white and one red by the glass. They also have the usual lagers on offer as you'd find at most curry restaurants (Cobra and the like).
Ewan's verdict: In all, another excellent Rasa meal, very much to be recommended.
Out the back, on an entrance from Rathbone Street, they have a lunchtime takeaway counter, where two different takeaway boxes are available between noon and 2pm, at either £4 or £3.50 for a vegetarian version. The latter has five compartments, with a large one for rice in the middle (topped by a small amount of paratha bread), and a couple for curries (one with daal), as well as a dry savoury side, and a final compartment for a milk dessert (which Ewan didn't try, and which can spill a little into the other compartments) photo. It's not terribly easy to eat from the takeaway tray, and decanting to a plate is recommended if in the office, but it's good value and the food is decent quality for such a speedy food option.