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“Cold and unfriendly - so much so we left without eating.”

Kennington Tandoori
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Ranked #10,992 of 22,552 Restaurants in London
Price range: $26 - $40
Cuisines: Indian, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: Nearest tube - Kennington, Oval(Northern line) Vauxhall (Victoria line) Bus service 159, 59, 3, 133, 415, 333
Description: The dining room at Kennington Tandoori is an elegant space dressed in lemon, plum and chocolate colours. Located on Kennington Road, this south London restaurant draws a local crowd and is always bustling with a lively mix of tables for two, business groups and politicians. The food is the real star of the show here, and the kitchen staff at Kennington Tandoori pay attention to detail - roasting and grinding all their own spices and making up all their own fresh stocks in-house. The menu – which is filled with classics such as the chicken tikka cooked with almonds, pistachios and coconut cream in a saffron sauce – is complimented by a bespoke wine list created by Caspar Auchterlonie.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Cold and unfriendly - so much so we left without eating.”
Reviewed December 14, 2012

We live close to this restaurant and had been waiting for a special occasion to try it, so we went for my partners birthday. We were a table of 5. As soon as we sat at our table the waiter gave us dirty looks for trying to seat ourselves so that one person didn't have to sit facing nobody. When we asked if the extra chair could possibly be moved we were ignored and scowled at before the waiter purposefully slammed the chair back to where it belonged. We were then asked 'still or sparkling water' with no smile or tone of friendliness. When we asked for some puppadoms to start with the waiter didn't even acknowledge with a nod and we had to ask twice before receiving a grunt which we took for yes. At this point we asked the staff if we had done something to upset them to which they started to gather around the table intimidatingly. We said that we felt unwelcome and that they were very cold and there was no apology just arguments. We decided that we couldn't face an evening in a place with such a terrible attitude and stood up to leave and take our coats. I have never before chosen to leave a restaurant like this but the service really was disgraceful. It seems the staff have got a bit too big for their boots and have forgotten the importance of customer service. Having read ther reviews now, it does seem odd to see so many opposing opinions. We certainly won't be going back and in fact we discovered the other Indian restaurant down the road had a lovely atmosphere and great food at a much more reasonable price!

Helpful?
9 Thank Faybelline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheKTLondon, Owner at Kennington Tandoori, responded to this review, December 17, 2012
Good manners are a two way street.
There are some unspoken rules of etiquette that make dining in a restaurant an enjoyable experience, the most important of which is civility from guest and waiters alike. We offer our customers a choice of still, sparkling, or tap water when they are seated at the table; your response of picking up a chair and putting it in the centre of the restaurant for customers to trip over was somewhat unexpected, even though it provided entertainment for some of our other diners who had realised you had not looked at the menu displayed in our window and needed an excuse to leave. "Please", or "Sorry", would have been nice. However I hope that you enjoyed your meal at Ghandis. You'll also find that The Coriander in Kennington Lane is cheaper still.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Avoid”
Reviewed November 24, 2012

First time it took them nearly 2 hours to deliver the food, they advised their server was down and they would send an extra beer (we already had one on the way). Order arrived no beers at all. Food was ok. The manager sent a voucher to apologise.
We decided to give them the benifit of the doubt and use the voucher. Second time they told us food would be with us in one hour, it arrived one hour forty minutes later, again they forgot the beer. The driver went to the local supermarket and bought a warm beer.
The food delivered was probably the same temperature as the warm beer.
The salmon dish I ordered was overcooked, hard and inedible, the okra was cold and undercooked! Avoid

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank LisaAnn W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“One of the best”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Our dinner last night was of the highest order. Beautifully prepared and presented, and with a delicacy of flavour that you rarely find with this cuisine. The Kennington Tandoori is one of the best indian restaurants in London, in my opinion. Elegant surroundings and superb food: not your average flock wallpaper and chicken tikka masala gloop, although they do actually do a really good chicken tikka masala. It's a restaurant that clearly has a strong regular clientele. Highly recommended.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tobias_48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Bad food quality, terrible service”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Disappointing welcome-we were told that although we beeked a table we need to leave at xy. Got wrong wine to the table, unfriendly staff, lack of attention to details-missing cutleries, the food quality is suprisingly low. We split the bill, paid seperately, than were told that havent paid enough, we checked and we actually overpaid- dishonesty or incompetency? We found our coats on the floor when leavin-instead of the hanger. Interior is nice, what a waste of money! Etc...
Most take away offer better food quality. It wants to appear as a high market, top end place, but its the opposit. It lets down the customer Very much, in almost every possible way.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Clytemnestra8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheKTLondon, Owner at Kennington Tandoori, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear Clytemnestra,
Did you realise that one of your friends came back to the restaurant to apologise for the behaviour of certain members of your party? There can be many unnecessary dificulties in organising a night out for a group of friends and, unforunately, your friends created several of them.
The advice my father gave customers when he opened our restaurant is as valid today as it was almost thirty years ago: Turn up at the time of your reservation with the correct number of people. Especially on Saturday nights. If you are early, sit in the restaurant and have a drink whilst reading the menu. Don't go to the pub down the road, and turn up half an hour later with more people than will fit on the table you booked.
Let one person act as host and order your meal and drinks, taking the likes and dislikes of your friends into account. Don't mix your drinks. Don't let three people order three different bottles of wine, it this causes confusion to your guests, even when poured into clean glasses as we do.
If you all leave at different times, try not to throw other peoples coats on the floor. Or wasn't this where your friend came in to apologise...?
Sincerely
Kowsar Hoque
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Smart surroundings but expensive, bland food and a creative approach to tips.”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

A group of five of us dined at Kennington Tandoori last night and will not be returning. The restaurant clearly wishes to make itself stand apart from the stereotype of high street curry houses and to this end it is outstandingly smart and clean, with fresh linen on the table, spotless washrooms, etc. However, the promise of the surroundings is let crashing down by the food.

Example: "Goan Vindaloo - A traditional Goan tender lamb curry; hot, sharp, and sour, flavoured with garlic and topped with toasted chillies ~ not to be confused with a curry house' Vindaloo"
The menu made it sound delicious; I am a long-time fan of a proper vindaloo and love the sourness which the tamarind brings to the heat of the other ingredients. What I received was a dish of such spectacular blandness I was about to call the waiter and tell him I had been bought the wrong thing until I noticed the chilli pepper chucked on top, as described in the menu. Two of my companions had "Murgh Xacuti - 'The Rugby Player's Korma', a creamy and hot chicken curry cooked in a fusion of rich spices and coconut cream ~ our own version of a classic Goan dish." Again, it was bland to the point of pointless, with none of the promised heat and practically no taste. The remaining main course elicited the comment, “cottage pie” after the first bite.

I’m all for subtlety in cooking; some of the best food seduces rather than bludgeons tastebuds into submission. However, the food last night was simply bad. From the starter (The “Famous KT Platter” starter; a plate full of pretty standard fare, with the piece of chicken tikka being actually rather tasty but the methi palak pakora being way too oily for the light nature of the ingredients) to the mains, what made it worse than the plain honest lousiness of, say, the Brick Lane curry houses, was the fact that somebody had evidently worked hard to produce such genuinely feeble food. I’m a reasonably capable cook myself, with a passion for cooking Indian food and am baffled by the way what came to our table last night can be so profoundly, disappointingly feeble compared to the breathless descriptions in the menu.

The bill for five came to £187, including service at 12%, give or take a few pennies. For that price, I would have expected the reaction of at least one of our group to be positive. To add insult to injury, when the staff took our payment in cash, they chose not to return with the change due; about £8, despite nobody saying Keep The Change. My wife, who works in a restaurant herself, was so outraged by this that she had a (very polite) word with the manager to ask why the waiting staff had decided that they were worth a 17% tip. The money was smoothly returned with my wife’s impression being that this is all normal practice at Kennington Tandoori.

Reading other reviews of this restaurant online, I am struck that they are either massively positive or negative. Though I am sure that other folk might well have thought otherwise, all five of our group left feeling highly disappointed and borderline ripped-off. And so I have been motiviated to register with TripAdvisor and offer our opinion on the side of the naysayers: Avoid.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Waxmeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheKTLondon, Owner at Kennington Tandoori, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Dear Waxmeister,
If you are unhappy with food in a restaurant, why not mention it at the time? I realise that people have different palates, and, If you find that our spicing is not to your taste, why not tell me. I am in the restaurant six nights a week and always available to talk to new or regular customers. Our kitchen is ten feet away from your table and we would happily have cooked you another dish.

As far as your bill is concerned, a two-course meal with poppadums typically costs around £20-£25 per person. We also offer a very popular three-course seasonal set menu for £27.50. However as your friends choose to have two or, in some cases, three rounds of drinks your bill was higher than this at £187 which you split five ways at £37.40 per person, service included.

Kowsar Hoque
Owner, Kennington Tandoori
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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