We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Tiny dishes - unhelpful staff”
Review of Imli Street - CLOSED

Imli Street
Price range: $20 - $27
Cuisines: Indian, Street Food
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Soho
Description: Part of the Tamarind Collection and sister to the Michelin starred Tamarind of Mayfair, One Kensington and Tamarind of London; Imli Street serves a unique menu inspired by Indian Street cuisines.Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Imli Street has completely revolutionised its interior and menu which has been developed by Tamarind Collection's multi-award winning Director of Cuisine, Alfred Prasad. The all-day menu features a range of small dishes inspired by four distinctive elements from across the diverse regions of India to give guests a real street food inspired dining experience.These include: Costal Shacks - celebrating India's vast coastline and her beach-fronts, Food Carts - a tribute to the roadside and street stalls that have created urban legendsRailway Cuisine - in India food is a big part of the journey and most railway stations are famous for their iconic dishesBeyond Borders - sub-continental influenced repertoire of Indian food as we know itIn addition a combination of international breakfast and selection of breakfast dishes with an Indian twist is served daily with a takeaway option. The ground floor is a light, fashionable and comfortable space, which includes a destination bar overlooking the hustle and bustle of Soho with a buzzing dining room and discreet back area for private parties. The downstairs area with exposed brickwork and cool, contemporary furnishings provides laidback sitting and a casual ambiance. The 130-seat urban street style venue opens 7 days a week.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

While this place appears to be a fun take on Indian street food - we left feeling a like we had all been taken for a ride. Some of the flavors are nice - but you really only get a few pieces of meat in each dish... The waiters don't have a great knowledge of the menu. We all left still feeling hungry while our wallets were considerably lighter. Will not return.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank MatthewS184
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (561)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

312 - 316 of 561 reviews

Reviewed April 30, 2013

I had first reviewed this restaurant a few months back before their makeover. You'll see from my old review how highly I thought of it.

Wife and I returned after a few months with a friend and sadly, this restaurant has lost much of its charm and most of its good food. The new décor, while very modern, feels a bit industrial and devoid of warmth. The menu used to have several all time classics from the Indian kitchen, cooked (and this is rare in London) in a homely sort of way, delicately spiced, sparing on the cream / oil and generously portioned. Having grown up with two great cooks for parents I am very choosy about eating an Indian meal at a restaurant and Imli was one of the few places we frequented. My wife loves vegetarian food, and Imli had a substantial selection.

Sadly, the food now lacks all of its understated, classic charm.

The chicken drumsticks were decent, but unfortunately this is where the menu peaked.
The fried bread (Poori) with potatoes was cold. The bread itself was greasy and the potatoes insipid. The onion fritters were outright burnt and bitter, but still stodgy. There was nary a vegetarian dish in the mains part of the menu- having been relegated to side dishes. The lamb naan-pie was possibly the driest lamb I have ever eaten.

On the plus side the cocktails seemed okay, although my Old Fashioned was a little watery.

We were so appalled at the fall in standards that we spoke to the manager about the new look and menu. We were told that it's because they wanted to attract a different crowd, the "Soho chic" crowd. Previously, we were told, there were a lot of Indians in their clientèle, as well as tour groups who were rather budget conscious. The new menu is designed to deter them in favour of said chic youngsters. The manager then added he aspired to be like Yauatcha, ("so close to Chinatown yet hardly any Chinese people"). I kid you not.

We (a group of 3 Indians) sat there wondering whether this was just plain offensive or so outrageous as to beggar belief.

The menu feels like it's a wannabe Roti Chai or Dishoom. These two have got the whole Indian street food / Railway food down to an art form. The old Imli had the classics down pat. The new Imli seems uncomfortable in its own skin, delivering on neither. In my opinion, Imli have lost their USP and are shooting themselves in the foot by driving away their core customers. I have eaten at Yauatcha several times, and it does well because while it's a stylish, modern joint, it also serves tasty food. And if I ever wanted authentic tasty Chinese food, I'd look for a restaurant with lots of Chinese people...

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5  Thank Intrepid L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Got to get the first hand new look of the restaurant after the refurb. Great Food, Staff and the feel of the restaurant. Food was very satisfactory, served hot without any delays. We ordered Spinach, Brain Masala, Tangri Chicken and Butter Naan..Great Taste..Staff was very attentive and the GM of the restaurant was making sure that if he sees any shortfall in service, he quickly shows to the staff very discreetly as how it needs to be done and gets it back in order without even being noticed by the guests.. A place in Soho to enjoy Indian Food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4  Thank Atul_Dubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Friday evening in Soho looking for a place to eat without having a reservation and no idea what we wanted. Passed by Imli street and at first we ignored but then came back! Super friendly stuff, quick service, good food and good value for money! The decoration nothing special but the food really pays off! Given that it is quite new, i think it will become very popular soon!!

I will definitely go back!

Try the Gulab jamun dessert!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Bricklaner7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Imli St has recently been overhauled apparently, and after a good blog review, we decided to check it out last Friday night. Glad I didn't read some of the negative reviews on here first as would've been put off.

To my mind, the only real criticism of Imli St is value for money £8-£9 for tapa portions (they recommend 2 dishes per person plus a few sides). We loved the lamb chunks and aubergine side dish. Other dishes were also very tasty, as were the drinks. Yeah, cocktails overpriced at £7.50, but (non-alcoholic) iced teas were also excellent and obviously more economical.

For me the absolute highlight was the sizzling chocolate dessert which has to go down as one of my favourite desserts ever. Usually I'm very happy to share with my girlfriend, but this time I was very grateful that she was already stuffed from the mains!

Finally, despite some comments here, we found the waiters very attentive and friendly. We had a seat right by where they were passing back and forth, so maybe this helped them notice us.

We will return to try the other menu items (although I'm afraid I won't be able to resist the sizzling chocolate)

2  Thank Damian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Imli Street also viewed

 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing