A Brick Lane stalwart, Sheba has been knocking out dishes from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan for more than 40 years. It's been in the same family all that time.
The menu is typical curry house fare – think samosas, onion bhajis and tandoori lamb chops to start followed by mains of chicken tikka masala, lamb bhuna, prawn vindaloo and a number of biryani dishes. Signature dishes such as shorisha chicken, lamb noorani and king prawn malabar look interesting.
Drinks include a short selection of wines, pints of Cobra and Kingfisher and lassi. John Smith's is conspicuous by its absence - Sheba was the setting for one of their TV adverts, starring Peter Kay.
136 Brick Lane
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Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
Maybe the worst service i had in a long time. Went with a group of 15, the starter took too long to come and they gave the main course with the starters, which i thought to be pathetic really! They rushed us, we couldn't even finish our beers. Will never return!
Really, really bad service - the staff were so rude and made a scene when we noticed that we had been overcharged on our bill. Overall the food was pretty average. Few bits of meat in a sweet sauce that could well have just come in a jar. Even with our 'special' 20% discount from the sales guy out the front still came to £20 pp for a few curries and some starters. Better, and friendlier, options to be had on Brick Lane
I was looking forward to visiting Sheba, having heard good
things about it from friends. Having already eaten at several of the Brick Lane
curry houses it was interesting to find out that this was one of the originals,
established in 1974.
Knowing that it had won the best curry house award in the Cobra Good Curry Guide 2013, I had high expectations, and am pleased to say that Sheba more than lived up to them.
The staff were great – the perfect balance between being attentive and over-fussy, and our waiter was happy to recommend dishes.
I’ve always thought the key to getting a good curry is delving into the house specialties and regional dishes on offer and our waiter was happy to make recommendations.
We tried a shafi ghust, which is a traditional Bengalese dish of slow cooked lamb with pumpkin, in a sweet and medium-hot sauce, and a khora bhuna – finely diced slow cooked lamb with fresh herbs.
Both of them were fantastic and cooked to perfection, the meat was melt-in-the-mouth good and it was obvious that everything had been produced from fresh.
As well as its specials I judge a curry house by the quality of its standard sides and starters. The sheek kebabs were also recommended by our waiter and were moist and full of flavour. We also had onion bhaji, vegetable samosas and peshwari nan, which were all very high standard.
Their website says that they attribute their long-lasting success to excellent customer service, comfortable environment and use of premium quality fresh produce. After my visit I would say it is certainly hard to disagree with any of that. It’s rare to find a curry house that gets all three of these essential factors spot on, and getting harder in London. But Sheba certainly comes highly recommended from me.
There was glass in the curry dish that landed in my friends mouth. We were not compensated (price reduction etc) for this and when staff offered to replace the dish they repeatedly kept returning to 'check' with us that we really wanted another dish! The restaurant is very small and the staff were inappropriately and physically close to us, leaning on our chairs and 'accidentally' brushing against us. They placed two complimentary chocolates at the end of the meal with the bill when there were 3 of us and then took them away without leaving us a chance to even have one! Lamb was undercooked.