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Vama (the Indian room) - London

September 21, 2003

This is our favourite Indian restaurant in London. The food is exceptionally well done and presented in great settings; a great place for any celebration.

Expect around £30 per person for drinks and food.

We are regular visitors to Vama because of the high quality of food and the nice decor.

While I have tasted more authentic Indian food in London I still prefer the mellow yet succulent dishes of Vama. If you are new to Indian food, you can't go wrong with the chicken Tikka and some garlic Naan (bread). Ask to for a spicy version if you prefer your food hot.

Other options on the menu include salmon, tiger prawns and lamb. As always in Indian restaurants, vegetarians are well catered for as well.

The restaurant has two levels where the ground (main) floor is more popular. If you book early in the summer, you might get the popular table by the large open windows.

Come well dressed as the other guests usually do. Jeans and Rugby shirt was ok for me last night but I did not feel comfortable.

web: Vama
438 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LJ (map)
Tel: 020 7351 4118
Tube Station: South Kensington

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  1. Lara Says:

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    I have just eaten at this restaurant at 438 Kings Road, that apparantly won some awards, and to be honest, I have never felt more ripped off in my life.

    The food arrived with a whole bunch of things we never ordered and were then charged for.
    5x Naan breads at about 2.70 each, absolutely flavourless and boring.
    5x Basmati rice at 3.95, in the tiniest bowl ever, what a rip off.

    The Chicken Tika Masala arrived in a small bowl (the portion size is absolutely paltry...the starter was bigger), there were about four 2cm cubes of chicken in the dish and it tasted like Tomato Mascarpone sauce that you buy at Sainsbury's....in hind sight the waitresses probably took it upon themselves to serve us extra's we did not want because they knew how bad the portion sizes were....I still dont see why they charged us for it.
    The price that we paid for our lamb dish was 10.95, the Tika Masala 9.90 (maybe out by a few pennies).
    For that Price I do expect a decent amount of meat in my dish, and what we got was diabolical.

    The only good thing was the starter was the Lamb chop starter my partner ordered, which as I said before was probably bigger than the main course, how do you explain that.

    When the water was served the 2 waitresses arrived holding a bottle each, opened it and poured 1 glass out of it, then handed the freshly opened bottle back and proceeded to continue pouring out of what must have been decantered water in an already open bottle...makes me wonder if I was drinking Thames water.

    To top it all we were having dinner with our cousin from Italy and his wife, and they insisted on wanting to pay the bill, and we were horrified when it did arrive at how expensive it was. Of course to save face they would not let us help pay for the bill, and we knew that they could not afford that kind of money...as there was an extra 40.00 added on of things we never actually ordered, which may I add was not even suggested to us at the time of ordering, and should have been if they knew they were going to charge us for it.

    Basically they filled us up with Starchy food.

    Not Happy

  2. David Kaspar Says:

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    This utterly sucks. You should have definitely complained to the manager. I find some businesses in London get away with almost anything just because people don't complain.

    Maybe you could have mentioned that you have been recommended Vama by friends or a magazine but that you will be recommending people the opposite when they ask you about Vama.

    I have seen some bad reviews during the last year and a half and this could have to do with a change of management and staff.

    Why don't you post this review to (http://www.london-eating.co.uk/more_reviews.asp?restaurant=153&CurPage=1) and you can at least win a bottle of wine... not that would be much conciliation for such a bad experience.

  3. Ben Says:

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    We had the same miserable experience and on my fiancee's birthday. Food was dry, greasy, deep fried (chickpeas literally swimming in an inch of fat) and the worst vegetable biryani I ever hope to have - clearly frozen vegetables (the give-away cubed soft carrots) just mixed with short-grain white rice and again, lots of oil.
    The worst of it was that we did complain, clearly and politely - waitress went off to get floor manager who, after the worst possible response ('I've spoken to the kitchen and it's /supposed/ to be like that') fetched Andy Varma himself.
    The proprietor had the bare-faced cheek (though admirable poise) to stand in front of us and assert that this was authentic and well-prepared Indian food, and refuse even a discount.
    This was following a really positive experience when we attended his cookery class and had a wonderful meal afterwards. However, we have also had a take-away from them which was very disappointing, and can certainly now cook rice with veggies much tastier and healther than they offer you in the restaurant!
    Best avoided if you don't want to be ripped-off, insulted AND patronised.

  4. rebecca Says:

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    It is true, Vama has become a sub standard restaurant in the 2-3 years. We had a terrible experience couple of months ago, but thought maybe it was a busy night, and decided to go back last week. The food was cold, the chicken absolutely raw. When we called our waiter, to change the chicken dish, he told us "Thats the way it is supposed to be" I am not going back

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