Restaurant Review: Bengal Clipper
You can usually estimate a restaurant’s qualities and popularity from the calibre of celebrity patron it attracts – indeed many venues like to affix to its entrance wall a photo gallery of its biggest ‘scalps’.
One eminent customer of Bengal Clipper, which is sited in the prime riverside spot of Shad Thames near HMS Belfast, is none other than the Mayor of London himself, Boris Johnson, who has swung by on more than one occasion from nearby City Hall.
After a visit to the venue you can see what he likes about it: sterling Indian cuisine, and lots of it. The portion sizes are generous, and yet prices stay relatively reasonable, belying the exclusivity of its location. Most of the main courses chime in at under ten pounds, while the fish and speciality dishes hover around the £11-12 mark.
The restaurant excels in lamb dishes, with its meat imported from New Zealand, and helming the kitchen is Head Chef Mohammad Asrar who earned his stripes at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi. In its 21 years of operation Bengal Clipper has won three AA Rosette awards.
Venue-wise, the dining space is open, bright and colourfully decorated with modern Indian-themed artworks, its clientele mingling local curry connoisseurs with more discerning tourists looking to sample Britain’s favourite overseas cuisine.
Its final distinguishing feature is that while most Indian restaurants pipe in generic South Asian background music, the Clipper opts for a classier touch with a live pianist tinkling from the corner most evenings of the week.
All in all, this place will reward a visit if ever you’re in sight of Tower Bridge. Just ask Boris.
11-12 Cardamom Buildings, Shad Thames, Butlers Wharf, London SE1 2YR. www.bengalclipper.co.uk
By Kris Griffiths