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“Please clean the carpet!”
Review of Spice Merchant

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Spice Merchant
Cuisines: Indian
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed October 22, 2013

OK, off the bat, let's get this clear - I LIKE this restaurant! I often visit with my wife, and sometimes with a small group of friends. The Spice Merchant is tucked away at one end of Walton High Street, with a popular pub (The George) just across the road.
On arrival, the staff are always friendly and welcoming, and will seat you wherever you fancy sitting. The restaurant is quite wide, with three distinct dining areas (there is a small step down to one of these), and a long drinks bar which seems to only be used by the staff. There is a small smoking area to the rear of the restaurant as well, for those who do.
One of the things important to me in an Indian restaurant is the ability to be able to order 'off menu'. The staff here are always ready to try and help. In fact, they do a lovely Reshmi Kebab starter for me regularly. Why it's not on the menu is a mystery to me.
Poppadums are delivered 'pre-broken' which is unusual, but are accompanied by the standard chutneys, plus a mild onion one which is both unusual, and pleasant.
The menu itself contains all of the favourite dishes, and I have always found the food here to be of a high quality, well presented, and served hot (as opposed to lukewarm). Nonetheless, I would prefer to have hotplates on the table, and here, like many Indian restaurants these days, their omission is a slight shame.
On to the food. For a mild, creamy curry, their Lamb Passanda is simply superb. The onion bhajees are crispy and tasty, and ball shaped rather than flat. I have had various other dishes at this restaurant, and all have been of high quality.
Price-wise, if having starters, main course and coffees, expect a bill of around £60-70 for a couple (including a couple of alcoholic drinks). This places the price point around average for the area.
OK, here are the bad bits! Some of the tables appear to be nothing more than a lump of chip board under all those table cloths. The toilets are clean, but beware when flushing the gents, as this will sound like an elephant being strangled to those dining outside as it refills! In the winter, the place can become a little chilly. (Heaters are then placed strategically about the place.) Finally, try not to look at the carpet! I really do not understand why no effort has been made to clean it at some point.
As I said, I like this restaurant, and have eaten there many times. It's friendly, but let down by the décor.

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1  Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 22 of 30 reviews

Reviewed October 6, 2013

Visited Friday evening restaurant not overly busy , service excellent and the meals hit the spot
Portions very large so be careful when ordering , food very tasty and fresh

A good visit and highly recommended prices average and drinks very reasonable
Would recommend

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Thank gerald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Great food on offering here, first class service, very friendly and eager to help. You won't be disappointed by what you get, really enjoyable evenings and a reasonable price to match!

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Thank Stark80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Had two dishes here between us and we both tried each of them. Both had chicken that wasn't the best quality - tough and quite chewy. Of the dishes themselves one was pretty good, the other one was bland (despite being described as highly spiced with 8 spices). The place itself is lovely inside - well decorated and well presented.

It was a pleasant meal, but I wouldn't return again

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Thank Graham T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

We eat here very regularly. The food is fantastic and very reasonable. As mentioned else where if you book a table for 4 or more you might get a free bottle of very nice house wine. Been there countless times including occasions where there have been over 20 of us and the value and quality of the food is always great.

I have the paneer shashlik which is to die for for a veggie ( extra mint sauce) my hubby is yet to find a dish he doesn't like but raves about the Gurkhas Revenge and the Karma Sutra.

Well worth a try with great food and outstanding service

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Thank HelandBaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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